Government Spends Record-High on Union Activity

sar_38/Shutterstock.com

The federal government in 2011 spent more on “official time” -- when public sector union officials receive taxpayer-funded salaries and work in government offices -- than any year since at least 2002, when the Office of Personnel Management began collecting the data.

Union workers cost the federal government more than $155 million in 2011, according to OPM’s new report, marking an almost 12 percent increase from 2010.

Overall, federal employees spent about 3.4 million hours working for unions while receiving federally funded salaries -- the highest total since 2004. That marks nearly a 10 percent increase from 2010, the largest jump from one year to the next since the data became available.

The figure is still down since 2002, when employees spent more than 4.7 million hours on official time -- but did so for significantly less money.

Of large agencies with more than 25,000 employees, the Homeland Security Department saw the highest one-year increase of official time use, with a 31 percent jump. Overall, the Federal Elections Commission saw the largest surge, with a 441 percent increase from 2010 to 2011.

Official time was created by an executive order signed by the Kennedy administration and reaffirmed in the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. Republican lawmakers have repeatedly attempted to increase oversight of official time, or to eliminate it entirely. Unions defend the practice as a “fair and effective” means to protect federal employees. 

(Image via sar_38/Shutterstock.com)

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.