Bill Targets Massive Subsidies For Union Bosses

Big Labor Politicians Scheming to Enshrine Abuse of Taxpayers

Even as Big Labor politicians push to enshrine federal union bosses’ “official time” privileges, pro-Right to Work Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C., at the mike) is striving to eliminate them by statute. (Credit: Jackson A. Lanier/Wikimedia Commons)

For decades, federal union bosses have been paid by U.S. taxpayers to file “unfair labor practice” charges against the government, often on behalf of unruly (or lazy) bureaucrats.

This is, of course, a completely indefensible abuse of taxpayers’ money.

Unfortunately, longstanding federal policies empower government union bosses who are also on the federal payroll to conduct a virtually unlimited array of union business activities while billing taxpayers for their time and expenses.

Doing business on the taxpayer dime is commonly referred to as “official time,” an Orwellian euphemism that conflates taxpayer business with that of Big Labor.

So-called “official time,” more appropriately labeled as “union time,” was officially authorized under the 1978 Civil Service “Reform” Act (CSRA) signed by President Jimmy Carter. Today the CSRA promotes union monopoly bargaining across federal agencies like the IRS and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

According to the White House’s Office of Personnel Management, in 2016 federal employees racked up a total of over 3.6 million hours in union time — during which they were compensated by taxpayers to represent a union, instead of doing the government jobs they were hired to perform.

Union-Label Politicians Eager to Protect, Expand Usage of ‘Official Time’

In 2018, President Trump issued Executive Order 13837, which aimed to lessen the anti-taxpayer impact of union time. E.O.13837 prohibited Big Labor lobbying on federal time, as well as Big Labor use of federal property at no charge. 

It also prohibited the use of federal time to file union grievances against the government.

But union chiefs knew these reforms would die as soon as one of their handpicked politicians occupied the Oval Office again.

Indeed, Joe Biden revoked E.O.13837 on the third day of his presidency. Union bosses’ special privilege to spend taxpayer money on lobbying the government was restored.

Biden allies on Capitol Hill want to go even further. In June, the House Appropriations Committee actually rubber-stamped legislation that would make it illegal for any federal agency to prevent union officials from claiming official time for any reason.

This would force taxpayers to subsidize a potentially unlimited amount of official time for any purpose federal union bosses wanted!

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad commented:

“It’s no surprise that government union bosses want to force taxpayers to subsidize their lobbying efforts. 

“It’s also no surprise that President Joe Biden is using his pen to enrich and empower his Big Labor allies while union-label politicians in Congress attempt to make it permanently impossible even to limit ‘official time’ abuses.” 

Do Your Job Act Would End Abusive Practice, Once and For All

Mr. Mourad continued:

“Fortunately, Right to Work supporters in Congress are fighting back. H.R.1902, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in March by forced-unionism foe Dan Crenshaw [R-N.C.] and cosponsored by 18 House members as of June 30, is a genuine solution to the union-time problem.  

“This bill, aptly labeled as the Do Your Job Act, would lift the CSRA’s authorization for ‘official time’ and prevent federal agencies from paying union operatives to conduct union business.”

Mr. Mourad vowed that the Committee and its members would help mobilize grassroots support for the Do Your Job Act and work to force roll-call votes on the union-time issue. “American taxpayers deserve to know where their elected officials stand on funding union lobbyists with their hard-earned money,” he said.

Law Foisting Monopolistic Unions on Federal Workers Should Be Repealed

In the long run, however, a more sweeping fix is needed to end the abuses perpetrated by Big Labor against independent-minded federal employees and taxpayers, added Mr. Mourad. Right to Work supporters’ goal must be repeal of the entire CSRA.

“The CSRA,” noted Mr. Mourad, “imposes union monopoly bargaining over federal disciplinary rules by statute.

“It effectively transforms power-mad union bosses into co-managers over hundreds of thousands of civil servants.

“Because of the CSRA, union bosses have the power to block federal managers from assigning workers to new tasks or shifts, or even from disciplining them for not doing their jobs properly!

“The wasteful work rules and job featherbedding enabled by the CSRA protect bad employees and cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year. The sooner it is gone, the better.”  

This article was originally published in our monthly newsletter. You can go here to access previous newsletter posts.

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