Official Time: Government Workers Perform Union Duties on the Taxpayers’ Dime

In fiscal year 2009 the federal government paid almost $130 million for union members to perform union duties at work. In what is known as “official time,” collective bargaining agreements authorize government workers to handle official union activities unrelated to the jobs for which they were hired – and to be paid their government salaries while doing so. Astoundingly, there is no law or regulation that requires the federal government to count and report how much government job time is devoted to union activities. The Office of Personnel Management’s failure for over a year to report official time usage data demonstrates that the Obama administration is not credible when it demands transparency and accountability in government.

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