GAO analysts vote for union representation

By a wide margin, analysts at the Government Accountability Office voted Sept. 19 to be represented by a labor union. The vote was 897 to 445 in favor of representation by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. About 1,813 GAO employees were eligible to vote in the election.

Jacqueline Harpp, a senior analyst at GAO and one of four official union observers during the vote count, said employees who supported the union were ecstatic about the results.

“Our slogan for this campaign was ‘band together,’ and that’s exactly what we did,” she said. “Over the past 18 months, we came together regardless of pay band, years of service and whether we worked in D.C. or the field. This vote reflects that spirit of unity.”

In a statement, Comptroller General David Walker, head of GAO, thanked the employees who took the time to vote and said GAO managers will bargain in good faith.

Employees will next elect a council, write a constitution, determine bargaining priorities and negotiate a first contract with GAO managers.

Union President Gregory Junemann said the national union’s involvement in the employees’ next steps will likely be limited. “The analysts at GAO are experts at creating efficient organizations,” he said. “You can bet that their bargaining surveys and their research will be data-driven.”

Last May, the federation filed a petition to form a union after more than half of GAO’s analysts signed cards endorsing a vote on unionization. In voting to support the election, GAO analysts voiced concerns about issues relating to the agency’s two-year-old pay-for-performance system.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.