‘Union Business On The Taxpayer’s Dime’: Trump Administration Cracks Down On ‘Official Time’ At VA

GOP USA cited CEI’s Policy Analyst Trey Kovacs on Virginia union policy.

The Department of Veterans Affairs this week will stop paying employees in health care jobs for time spent on union activities as the Trump administration cracks down on the practice known as “official time,” which costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.


“Union official time enables thousands — at least 12,000 — federal employees to perform union business on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Trey Kovacs, a labor policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “VA employees spent nearly 1.1 million hours on union leave, which is almost one-third of all official time use.”

Mr. Kovacs noted that such data are estimates. The Government Accountability Office reported last year that the VA can’t accurately track the amount of work time employees spend on union duties because it lacks “a standardized way for its facilities to record and calculate official time.”

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