Union: Increase mileage reimbursement for government employees

The government should pay a higher rate for miles employees drive for work, the National Treasury Employees Union said.

The federal government should pay employees a higher reimbursement rate for miles they put on their cars in the course of work, according to the the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).  

The NTEU has pushed the General Services Administration (GSA) to increase the federal mileage reimbursement rate to 55.5 cents per mile. The current rate is 51 cents.

NTEU President Colleen Kelly said if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could make the jump for the tax-deduction for non-government employee, the GSA could do the same for federal workers.

"Federal employees pay the same amount for gas as private sector employees,” Kelley wrote Friday in a letter to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson. “They should be able to be reimbursed for necessary business travel at the same rate as private sector employees.

“It is my understanding that GSA has historically followed the reimbursement rates set by the IRS and I strongly urge you to do so now,” she continued. “Please do not let this unfair situation continue.”

The NTEU represents 150,000 government workers in 31 agencies. It vied recently to represent the Transportation Security Administration, but lost a run-off election to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

The request is being made as lawmakers and the White House are looking to pinch pennies from federal budgets to lower record deficits. President Obama has issued a pay freeze on federal workers.