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OpenMarket: Government Unions

  • Labor and Employment in Trump's First 100 Days

    April 24, 2017

    April 29th will mark the end of the first 100 days of the Trump administration, and the President has placed a great deal of importance on achieving success in this honeymoon phase. Below is a quick recap of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what transpired during the first 100 days on labor and employment policy.


    At the end of March, President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to repeal what is known as the Blacklisting rule. The rule, which derives from a 2014 Obama executive order, required contractors who bid on federal contracts over $500,000 to report alleged, as well as actual, labor violations over the last three years. These violations could have been used to block a company’s bid....

  • Stop Paying Federal Employees to Perform Union Business

    April 19, 2017

    Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, recently issued guidance that directs federal agencies to find ways to, in part, “reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce” and “Develop a plan to maximize employee performance.”


  • Time to End Official Time

    April 3, 2017

    The Official Time Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 1364) would prohibit federal employees from conducting political activity on union official time. Union official time is taxpayer-funded subsidy to federal employee unions that pays for federal employees’ salary and benefits while they perform union business—including attending union conventions, lobbying Congress, and filing grievances, instead of the federal work they were hired to do.

    The bill calls for federal employees to lose service credit, which counts toward pension and bonuses, if they perform union business for 80 percent or more of the hours in a workday.

    According to the...

  • Columnist Misrepresents Civil Service Reforms

    March 29, 2017

    In a recent column, The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson presents a gravely distorted view of Republican civil service reform efforts, which seek to save taxpayer money and attempt to clean up the mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Davidson describes these legislative fixes as undercutting “worker due process rights” and “weaken labor organizations.”

    Provoking Davidson’s ire is the Official Time Accountability Act of 2017 (H.R. 1364), introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), to prohibit federal employees from conducting political activity on union official time, the practice of paying federal employees to perform union business instead of federal work. In...

  • New Report: Federal Employee Union Subsidy Costs $162 million

    March 27, 2017

    Last Friday afternoon, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its biennial report, “Official Time Usage in the Federal Government—Fiscal Year 2014.”

    The survey uses a flimsy methodology to calculate how much time federal employees spend performing union business instead of serving the taxpayer. In FY 2014, federal employees spent 3,468,170 hours on official time, at a total cost of $162,522,763.18—a $5 million dollar increase from FY 2012. Unfortunately, union official time undoubtedly costs more than the report suggests.

    A 2014 Government Accountability Office...

  • Mr. Acosta Goes to Washington

    March 22, 2017

    Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee held a hearing on Alexander Acosta’s nomination to be Secretary of Labor. Mr. Acosta came off as smart, accomplished, and an...
  • Veterans Affairs Employees Spent 1.1 Million Hours on Union Activities

    February 21, 2017

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has a simple, but crucial mission. The agency’s website quotes President Lincoln’s promise to veterans to describe it:

    ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan’ by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans.

    Last week, the Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunities held a joint hearing because many Veterans Affairs employees are performing union activities instead of fulfilling the mission of the agency.

    Using the practice known as official time, which pays federal employees their salary and benefits to perform union business...

  • Pence Shows Interest in Scott Walker-Style Collective Bargaining Reform

    February 3, 2017

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently spoke with Vice President Mike Pence about reforming collective bargaining by federal employees. Gov. Walker...
  • Union Membership Hits Rock Bottom

    January 27, 2017

    Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual union membership report. As has been the case for decades, the union membership rate—the portion of public and private-sector workers who are union members—declined, this time to the...
  • Labor and Employment Reforms for the Next Congress

    December 14, 2016

    In the arena of labor and employment policy, the next Congress will have its hands full in reversing eight years of red tape that has unduly burdened the private sector and the individual’s ability to set their own terms of work. Fortunately, the Competitive Enterprise Institute recently published ...


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