The Government Accountability Office upheld a protest challenging the Department of Homeland Security's contract to intergrate financial management systems. (Staff file photo)
Accountants, librarians, information technology specialists and other professional support staffers at the Government Accountability Office took the first step Friday toward forming a union.
The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers said that a majority of GAO's 500 professional support specialists filed requests with GAO's Personnel Appeals Board calling for a union election.
If those employees succeed, they would be the second group of GAO employees to organize a union. About 2,000 analysts and specialists at GAO voted to unionize and join IFPTE in 2007 after dissatisfaction grew over the agency's new market-based pay system.
IFPTE said the support specialists hope to gain the ability to collaborate with the analysts' union, IFPTE Local 1921, also known as the GAO Employees Organization.
"After seeing the improvements our colleagues within the GAO Employees Organization have made at the agency through collaborative coordination with management, we realized that we needed to take responsibility to become a part of those efforts," Lorene Sarne, an educator at GAO, said in a statement released by IFPTE.
IFPTE said the specialists hope the vote will take place "in the near future."