Lawmaker proposes ban on union activities during work hours

Lawmakers soon could revoke federal workers' rights to conduct union business while on the job.

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., on Wednesday unveiled the 2011 Federal Employee Accountability Act (H.R. 122). The legislation, first introduced in 2009, repeals two sections of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act that allow federal employees to use official work hours to perform union functions or participate in union activities.

In an e-mail to colleagues, Gingrey wrote that Office of Personnel Management data show federal employees used 2.9 million official work hours to engage in collective bargaining or arbitration of grievances in fiscal 2008. Those activities cost $120.7 million, up from $113 million in fiscal 2007. The legislation will save $600 million over five years, he added.

"We have seen an increase in union activity on official time lead to a more inefficient workforce, and it is time to stop subsidizing this problem," Gingrey wrote. "While families all over the nation are tightening their belts and cutting their own spending, it should not be the practice of the federal government to increase the size and spending of its budget and federal agencies."

Matt Biggs, legislative and political director for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, called the information "misleading and downright inaccurate."

Enactment of Gingrey's bill would represent a "significant step backward in the effective functioning of a taxpayer-centered labor-management relations system in the federal government," said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, in a statement.

"Make no mistake about it though, these will be serious attacks on federal workers and it is critically important that we not only work against them here in Washington, but also that we significantly build our membership internally to levels that will make us even more successful," Biggs wrote in an e-mail.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.