Comparison of the Government Printing Office Pay and Classification System to Other Federal and Private Sector Systems

FPCD-83-32: Published: Jun 3, 1983. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the pay practices second classification systems of the Government Printing Office (GPO) and compared them with pay and classification systems used by other federal agencies and in the private sector in the Washington, D.C., area.

The pay-setting system of GPO and other federal agencies that collectively bargain for wages have not been affected by Presidential or congressional pay restrictions but are set at rates that are in the interest of the government and just to the employees. GAO found that, during calendar year 1982, employees in GPO collective bargaining units received an average of 42 percent more in wages than printing, lithographic, and blue-collar employees in other parts of the government. GPO employees were also paid more than private-sector employees in the Washington area. From 1972 through 1982, cumulative percentage pay increases for GPO employees outpaced those of their federal counterparts. GAO found that, unlike other federal pay systems, GPO has not developed job-graded standards for all occupations within the printing craft trades. As a result, workers within occupational groupings earn the same wage, despite different job requirements. The fringe benefits received by GPO personnel are the same as those granted most other federal employees and are generally comparable to those available in the private sector. GAO believes that a long-term solution is needed to resolve the impasse over what is reasonable compensation and suggested that a joint labor/management task force be established to identify features of public and private-sector pay-setting practices that may be applicable to GPO.

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