Public employee unions spending more on lobbying as membership booms

The Washington Examiner

Unlike their private sector counterparts who have seen steady membership declines for several decades, federal career civil service employee unions are expanding their numbers even as they devote more dues money to lobbying Congress and the White House, often on issues only tangentially related to goverment workplace conditions, according to’s Janie Boschma.

Approximately half of the federal government’s 2.1 million career employees are union members, and the largest of those unions is the American Federation of Government Employees, an AFL-CIO affiliate that saw a 43 percent increase in members to 282,535 last year, Boschma said. The increase came about “partly because AFGE began representing Transportation Security Administration employees last year.” she said.

The union “also increased its lobbying budget to $1.49 million last year, an increase of $190,000 over 2011, the biggest jump for federal unions in 2012. According to its fourth-quarter report, AFGE mostly lobbied budget and appropriations issues to secure funding for Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for example.”

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