House passes bill to restore pay

The House has passed a measure that would restore pay raises to hundreds of Government Accountability Office employees who claim they were wrongly denied cost-of-living increases under GAO’s restructured pay system.

The GAO Act of 2008, which passed by a voice vote June 9, would provide a lump-sum payment to analysts who received “meets expectations” ratings but were denied the 2.6 percent increase that other GAO workers got in 2006 and 2007 under the agency's  performance-based pay system. After those actions were taken, 274 individuals filed grievances with GAO’s Personnel Appeals Board.

“They were wrongfully denied” the cost-of-living adjustment, said Ron La Due Lake, chairman of the Interim Council of the GAO Employees Organization, which is represented by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. “That’s pretty clear and it needs to be fixed.”

Under GAO’s pay-banding system, some workers in the lower portion of the pay range lost cost-of-living increases while others saw their jobs reclassified as overpaid compared with prevailing market rates for similar positions. The issue has been a major point of contention for GAO’s analysts, who voted to form a union last year.

The bill was introduced in April by Rep. Danny Davis (R-Ill.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Federal Workforce Subcommittee.

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