Obama administration covers up union welfare program
F. Vincent Vernuccio | The Washington Times
April 8, 2011
The Obama administration is more than a year late in releasing an important report on federal government union costs. Clauses within collective bargaining agreements require that the government pay some federal workers for union activities – using tax dollars. This practice, known as “official time,” is documented annually in the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Official Time Usage in the Federal Government Report. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has not released any official time statistics since taking office; 2008 is the latest information available.
According to OPM, “Official time, broadly defined, is paid time off from assigned Government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees.” In other words, government agencies allow some federal employees to do union work while still being paid. This is a boon for government employee unions because they do not need to pay these workers to represent their members and can still collect dues.
In 2008, federal employees logged 2,893,922 hours for union work while still receiving a paycheck from Uncle Sam. This cost taxpayers nearly $121 million for work only benefiting government unions.