Union “official time” is a massive taxpayer subsidy to government unions, which releases federal employees from their regular public duty, without suffering loss of pay, to conduct union work.
Worse, the Obama administration is years late in releasing a report, published by the Office of Personnel Management, on the cost and use of official time across the federal government. The last available official time numbers are from FY 2011.
And its not a situation where nobody is asking for the data. Most recently, in March, Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) sent a letter to OPM Director Katherine Archuleta requesting the official time report. She has yet to respond.
However, other federal government agencies send reports to certain committees annually revealing its official time costs. Paul Bedard, a columnist at The Washington Examiner, has the latest:
The Treasury Department has revealed to the House Ways and Means Committee that Internal Revenue Service employees spent over 500,000 hours on union activities last year. They estimated the cost to taxpayers at $23.5 million in salary and benefits.
Officials told Secrets that the exact hours IRS members of the National Treasury Employees Union dedicated to labor activities was 521,725 in fiscal 2013, which ran from October 2012 to September 2013. That was slightly less than the 573,319 hours in fiscal 2012, according to the IRS, but the spending was significantly above that year’s total of $16 million.
The Social Security Administration is another agency that annually reports its official time costs to the House Appropriation Committee. SSA employees spent 244,290 hours on official time at a cost of $14.6 million in FY 2013.