3/14/12: For almost a year now, NTEU has led an effort to obtain an increase in the mileage reimbursement for government-related travel from the 51¢ set in January 1, 2011 to account for rising fuel prices since then. NTEU was successful in the first step in this process when IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman raised the allowable mileage reimbursement rate from 51¢ to 55.5¢. In doing this, Commissioner Shulman was acting in his policy capacity over tax regulations, not as the employer of workers at the IRS. In order for this to apply to federal employees a second step is needed, taken by the General Services Administration (GSA).
Historically, GSA has followed the IRS by raising the mileage reimbursement rate to the level set by the IRS, although sometimes there has been a lag of a few weeks or months. NTEU has written to GSA asking them to raise the mileage reimbursement rate and the Union has met with the staff of GSA to discuss this matter.
GSA recently responded to thee Union's letter saying that while they will continue to monitor fuel prices, they do not believe a change is called for at this time.
NTEU disagrees with GSA’s conclusion and will not stop pursuing this. NTEU believes that the current rate of 51¢ results in federal employees having to bear part of the government’s cost of travel on official business. This is unfair to NTEU members, particularly at a time when pay has been frozen. NTEU will continue to keep you informed on this important matter.