In 2007, about 2,000 Government Accountability Office employees decided to unionize with The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. It was the first time in the GAO’s 91-year history that its employees were represented by a labor organization. That’s when Eric Adams decided to jump ship from his previous agency and apply for the Director of Workforce Relations at GAO.
“It was an opportunity for me to start a labor program here from the ground up,” Adams said.
Adams says his main role is being a liaison between the agency’s management and the roughly 2,500 non-management employees.
“I think all organizations want their employees to be involved and care about what they think,” Adams said, “and I think employees in any workplace take interest in decisions which effect them.”
While he represents the agency’s management interests, Adams reaches out to employees to see which programs aren’t working and which programs are successful.
“A program that is effective that allows for the agency to get its mission done is Telework,” Adams said.
The benefit of his job, Adams says, is an accountable, high performing, motivated workforce carrying out the mission of the agency.
Listen to Adams’ views on public service.