Report: Florida Unions Milk Taxpayers for Millions Through ‘Release Time’

Reason covers a new report co-authored by Trey Kovacs on public uninon release time in Florida.

Taxpayers in Miami have spent more than $9 million over the past three years to pay union workers to do nearly 300,000 hours of work for the benefit of public sector unions.

Public sector union contracts usually include a provision allowing workers to step away from their typical job to do administrative work for their union while still being paid. The work done during so-called “release time” (known in some jurisdictions as “official time”) ranges from mundane HR tasks to contract negotiations and filing complaints.

According to the Miami-Dade County “Leave Manual,” employees are authorized to “participate in labor management committee meetings, collective bargaining sessions, the processing of an employee grievance, or other activities as specified by collective bargaining agreement.”

In other words, union workers being paid with taxpayer money to do a public job are instead working for the benefit of a private organization. It’s all perfectly legal, but a new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Florida-based James Madison Institute, a pair of libertarian think tanks, raises questions about whether the practice should be curtailed.

Read the full article at Reason.