No Recess for the Weary

Posted September 18, 2007 at 6:36pm

House lawmakers will not take a one-week recess beginning Oct. 8 despite Senate plans to do so, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. [IMGCAP(1)]

“We have scheduled that week to work and I have no inclination to change that,” Hoyer declared. “The Senate decided to do that without discussing it with us. We have work to do, and we’re going to be doing it.”

Hoyer acknowledged, however, that the chamber’s original Oct. 26 adjournment date is unrealistic. The House now is expected to remain in session until at least Thanksgiving.

Union Vote Today. Government Accountability Office employees will vote on whether to form a labor union today in an election that has been almost a year in the making.

If the analysts choose to unionize, they will have an official body that can negotiate bargaining agreements with the GAO, provide legal assistance to employees and conduct studies on employment practices. GAO’s union would be under the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, an umbrella organization for local unions across the country.

Setting the date for an election proved difficult: Both sides haggled over which employees should be allowed to vote and at one point, IFPTE filed an unfair labor practice charge against Comptroller General David Walker. But in recent days, IFPTE has released videos focused on the positives of having the powerful voice of a union. The organization has also held brown-bag lunches for employees to ask questions and helped set up an ice cream social last week.

“We’re pretty optimistic,” said Paul Shearon, the secretary-treasurer of IFPTE. “We talk to the employees out talking to their colleagues. From them, they’re all quite positive about the outcome.”

GAO employees can vote today from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Bid Protest Room (1N35/1N37) at GAO Headquarters.

— Jennifer Yachnin and Emily Yehle