Negotiations Ongoing: The GAO's compensation system negotiations, including the across-the-board increase for 2016, are ongoing. A challenge in these negotiations is that the 2016 across-the-board pay increase is bundled with a number of other compensation topics in the expired MultiYear Compensation MOA. The recent newsletter highlighted aspects of the current system that must be addressed. It requires agreement of both management and the GAO Employees Organization to isolate a portion of the MOA and implement it separately.
Implementing the 2016 Pay Increase: The GAO Employees Organization is striving to implement the 2016 across-the-board pay increase as soon as possible. We submitted proposals reaching back to last year and provided our latest proposal to management for a way forward on Monday, January 11. Management has not yet replied to that proposal. The General Schedule (GS) system across-the-board pay increase was effective automatically for federal employees in the GS system and they will receive it in their pay when PP #1 is processed in February. GAO’s compensation system was delinked from the GS system by the Congress.
Effective Date of 2016 Pay Increase: When an agreement is reached for GAO employees, it will also be effective for PP #1. Since we are several days into the pay period, however, it is very likely that an across-the-board pay increase for 2016 will be delayed and not be processed with PP #1. However, when an agreement is reached, the pay increase will be processed retroactively to PP #1.
Town Hall: We are scheduling town hall sessions in the near future so we can explain this more fully and answer your questions. Please look for information about them in a separate communication.
Last Appraisal Cycle Ratings Concerns
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) negotiated by the GAO Employees Organization in 2012 (Analyst and APSS), as soon as an employee’s performance falls below Sustained Quality Performance in one or more competencies, management must inform the employees as soon as practicable of the competency(s) and the deficient performance. If requested, employees must be provided feedback with respect to what improvements should be made in their performance. We negotiated these requirements in the belief that employees who are in danger of a poor rating deserve explicit warning and an opportunity to improve their performance.
After the 2013 rating cycle, we invoked arbitration in the case of an employee who had not been given the explicit warning required under the MOA. When we won that case, the agency offered to settle the cases of several employees who were not given explicit warning during the 2014 appraisal cycle.
This week, the GAO Employees Organization filed a grievance on behalf of all employees in the bargaining unit who received 2015 ratings below Sustained Quality Performance without having been notified during the appraisal period that their performance had fallen below that level. Employees who feel they were not given explicit warning in this last appraisal cycle should contact the GAO Employees Organization to discuss how we might help.