GAO Examines Official Time Use

Following is a summary of a recent GAO report on use of official time, on-the-clock time spent by federal employees on union duties—time that some members of Congress have criticized but that federal unions consider a proper tradeoff in federal labor law for their obligation to represent all bargaining unit members regardless of whether they pay dues.

GAO: Union Official Time Costs Underreported

In October, the Office of Personnel Management released the long-awaited report that estimates the cost and amount of time federal employees spend on union activities while paid as if they were on duty performing government work. OPM’s report found federal employees spent 3.4 million hours at a cost of $156 million in fiscal year 2012.

$157,196,468 Spent on Union Salaries in FY 2012

By Ralph Smith,

“Official time” is the term of art used in the federal government’s labor relations program to describe the time spent by union representatives working on behalf of the union but still being paid their regular employee salary and benefits.