Taxpayers Foot Bill For Union Work, VA And IRS Biggest Offenders ➠ Lawmakers Seek Changes
Its for the Union label.
Via FOX News
When he arrived on Capitol Hill in January, freshman Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., discovered something he had no clue was going on. Hundreds of federal employees spend their entire workday — not doing the business of the government, but working for their unions.
Hice told Fox News he was shocked by what he found.
“Waste on an egregious level by federal employees who are taking taxpayer monies and using it for purposes other than the reason they were hired,” Hice said.
It’s called “official time,” and it was sanctioned into law by Congress in 1978. Lawmakers voted to allow federal employees who are union members to spend part of their day addressing union issues. The reason behind the law: Federal employees are not required to join a union even if they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The Civil Service Reform Act was designed to make up the financial gap of unions having to represent employees who did not pay dues, by allowing federal workers to “volunteer” time during their working hours to address grievances, work on collective bargaining and deal with other issues.[…]
According to the Office of Personnel Management, in 2012 (the most recent year there are statistics for) federal workers spent 3.4 million man-hours on union issues and not the work they were hired for. OPM estimates the cost to taxpayers was more than $157 million.
What’s more, at two government agencies that would seem least able to afford a loss of manpower — the Veterans Affairs Department and IRS — hundreds of workers spent 100 percent of their time doing union work. At the VA, 259 employees worked solely on union issues. At the IRS — which only disclosed their statistics when the National Review sent them a Freedom of Information Act request — the number was 201.
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson — who is co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate to curtail the practice — is outraged.
“The VA’s had problems getting veterans appointments within 30 days, yet they’re taking thousands of hours to organize the union. Something’s wrong with their priorities. We need to get it fixed”, Isakson told Fox News.[…]
Republicans have been fighting this problem for years. Similar measures to crack down on “official time” have been introduced in each of the last three Congresses. They all went nowhere. With Republican majorities in both chambers, lawmakers are hopeful these new bills will get more traction. But even if they do pass, the measure would be a ripe target for a presidential veto. More