Save Taxpayer Money for Air Traffic Control

President Obama has claimed airline delays because of the Sequester cannot be avoided, however, Diana Furchtgott-Roth notes, that taxpayers are funding 17 air traffic controllers to work for their union instead of for public air safety: With air traffic controllers furloughed and travelers delayed at airports, it's time to ask why Uncle Sam is paying 17 air traffic controllers to work full time as representatives for government unions rather than guiding airplanes. Uncle Sam calls hours that federal workers spend working for their unions and not working for taxpayers "official time." Sixteen of the 17 air traffic controllers on official time make six-figure salaries. In a report issued in February, just before Presidents Day weekend, the Office of Personnel Management announced that the federal government paid more than $156 million in 2011 for career civil service employees to work on official time, up from $139 million in 2010 and $129 million in 2009. Government employees, including air traffic controllers, spent more than 3.4 million hours in 2011 on official time, up from 3.1 million in 2010 and 3 million in 2009. OPM reports numbers of hours on official time. The only way to ascertain the number of full-time employees is to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to each individual agency. Americans for Limited Government, a conservative nonprofit organization, requested the data for each agency. Kathy Roy, FOIA officer at DOT, reported that 35 employees did no work at all for the department in 2012, including 17 air traffic controllers. go here for the list. They were paid average salaries of $138,000, for a total cost to taxpayers of $4.8 million annually. Many more DOT employees spent some of their day at departmental duties, with the rest as official time, courtesy of the taxpayer.

NYC Question Paying $6,900 Per Student For Bus Transportation; Union Activists Go Nuts

Kyle Olsen looks at how taxpayers in the Big Apple are taken for a ride by the union bosses: New York City Schools Spend $6,900 Per Student - on Bus Transportation! Government schools are an expensive endeavor, especially when union labor and no-bid contracts are involved. The New York City Department of Education has been catching heat from transportation unions lately over a decision to solicit bids for private transportation services in an effort to curtail runaway costs. The district has not sought “significant” bids for student transportation services in 33 years. That means it’s probably been using the same companies for years, without competitive bids to naturally control rising costs. And those costs are increased every year because the companies use high-paid union drivers. In response to the union criticism, the DOE recently issued a “School Bus Bids FAQ” which makes a staggering admission: the city spends $6,900 per student (for a total of $1.1 billion) per year for bus transportation. In a 180 day school year, that’s $38.33 per student a day. At that rate it might be more cost-effective for the school system to distribute vouchers for kids to take taxis. City officials say New York spends more than twice what Los Angeles (the nation’s second-largest city) spends on K-12 student transportation.