GAO employees to vote on union

Agency analysts say they want a voice in personnel issues that affect their pay.

An employees union could be in the Government Accountability Office’s future if GAO analysts formally decide later this  year to unionize.Officials from the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and GAO have begun a series of meetings to work out details for what will be the first union representation election in the agency’s 86-year history. The election is likely to take place in late spring or early summer, union officials said.The federation filed a petition May 9 to form a union after a majority of about 1,500 GAO analysts voted to unionize. Jamie Horwitz, a federation spokesman, declined to specify the number of analysts who signed cards requesting a vote for unionization.“We received cards from a majority of analysts in Washington and in field offices around the country,” Horwitz said. “We still have cards coming in because people want to show their commitment.”Steve Berke, a GAO senior analyst who supports unionization, said more than half of the agency’s analysts signed cards. which “indicates how an election might go.” In voting to support a representation election, GAO analysts expressed concern about a range of employee issues, especially those related to the agency’s pay-for-performance system, implemented in 2004. Employees say they had little input into the system’s structure and management.“The result is that it has hurt teamwork and morale,” Horwitz said.In a statement, Comptroller General David Walker said the agency’s management has complied with all applicable labor laws and GAO employee orders. He said GAO is “prepared to support a timely election process if the union meets related requirements for a vote.”Walker has been a vocal advocate for establishing a culture of performance in government and particularly for pay-for-performance systems. GAO has often been cited as a model agency for merit-based pay systems in government.Nonetheless, there has been an undercurrent of unhappiness at GAO about the pay-for-performance system, one analyst said. GAO’s employees say unionizing will help engender a more collaborative environment.“I believe GAO’s pay-and-performance system could benefit from the input of its employees,” said another analyst, Gay Hee Lee, who has worked at GAO for five years. “It would make the system more transparent and objective and would make us as employees more accountable because we would have an active part in its implementation,” Lee said.A joint congressional hearing is scheduled for May 22 to examine GAO’s employee reforms.

Best places to work in the federal government

Related Links


























A question of rankingMany Government Accountability Office analysts voted to support unionization, so it might seem surprising that GAO was recently ranked the second best place to work in government in an independent study by the Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.
Researchers said  the rankings were based on the Office of Personnel Management’s 2006 Federal Human Capital Survey, which included responses from more than 220,000 civil servants.

However, said Steve Berke, a senior analyst at GAO, the agency’s ranking was based on a different survey than the OPM human capital questionnaire, creating an “apples-to-oranges comparison” between GAO and other agencies.

“We were given a different survey than the human capital survey that the executive branch agencies were given,” Berke said. “Several of the questions that were asked of us in our survey were transposed and compared to the results of the human capital survey.”

In response, Robert Tobias, director of the Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation, said, “That is not accurate. The three questions [in the GAO survey] that we used to provide an overall ranking were the exact same questions that were used in the federal human capital survey.”

Tobias agreed that “the balance of GAO’s survey is different.” As a result, he said, GAO is not included in the subcategories in the best places rankings, such as employee skills/mission match and strategic leadership.

“GAO is not rated and ranked in the categories because we don’t have matching questions,” Tobias said.

— Richard W. Walker

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.