GAO union optimistic about pay

The Government Accountability Office’s labor union is optimistic that a bill to grant pay raises to hundreds of GAO employees who were denied them under the agency’s restructured pay system will become law this year.

The GAO Act of 2008, which passed the House by a voice vote June 9, would provide a lump-sum payment to analysts who received “meets expectations” ratings but were denied a 2.6 percent cost-of-living increase that other GAO analysts 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.

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

Union officials said they are encouraged by prospects for the bill because it has the support of GAO’s top leaders. “We just got a notice from GAO management internally here, saying they were pleased that the House had the act,” said Dan Meyer, the union’s vice chairman.

After the House approved the bill, it was referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

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