We have been receiving a lot of questions about the status of the PBC impasse process and how this matter will be resolved so eligible employees can get their PBC increase for 2016. The bottom line is that the matter is in the hands of a Personnel Appeals Board (PAB) Administrative Judge and things are moving quickly. We expect that the impasse will be resolved soon, perhaps within the next couple of weeks.
Bargaining representatives from the GAO Employees Organization and management have met with the judge and agreed to use an expedited mediation arbitration process that will be conducted by the judge (see Appendix 1 of Order 2711.1 for more information about the procedures available for impasse resolution). We are encouraged by the responsiveness and urgency with which the PAB has approached the process.
We will of course reach out when an agreement is reached or when a decision by the judge is made. Depending on how the matter is resolved, it may be necessary to conduct a ratification vote by the dues-paying membership. If ratification will be required, it will be conducted in a compressed timeframe, so as to bring what has been a lengthy process to a close as quickly as possible. We ask that dues-paying members monitor your emails in the coming weeks in case a ratification vote will be conducted.
As you are well aware by now, once the impasse is resolved and the PBC budget factor is established, there will still be a lag of roughly 2-3 pay periods for GAO HCO and the National Finance Center to process the retroactive payments (retroactive to Pay Period 1 of this calendar year). This means that PBC may not show up in employees’ paychecks until October, even with a rapid resolution at the PAB.
As you know, GAO issued a Notice in mid-May that non-bargaining unit employees would be provided a PBC budget factor of 1.0%. We understand that this year’s negotiations on the PBC budget factor for the bargaining units have been arduous and perhaps perplexing for those looking in from the outside. We think this is no way to administer a merit pay system, which is why we’ll be looking for ways to expedite this process in future years as part of our upcoming multi-year compensation negotiations. The GAO Employees Organization is committed to doing what we can to ensure that the agency recognizes your performance in a way that the 1.0 percent budget factor would not accomplish.
As always, we appreciate and encourage your input through contact with your local representative or by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.