Conservative Groups urge Congress to Prohibit Official Time

By Tom Fletcher

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The Alliance for Worker Freedom is proud to support legislation introduced by Phil Gingrey (R-GA) banning “official time,” a practice that allows federally unionized workers to conduct union business while being paid by taxpayers. This legislation would save taxpayers over a billion dollars and provide more stable work environments for federal employees.

Below you will find the letter organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and signed by a number of conservative groups:
 

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

February 14, 2013

Dear Representative,

We, the undersigned organizations dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government, urge you to support Rep. Phil Gingrey’s H.R. 107, The Federal Employee
Accountability Act, which would ban a wasteful practice commonly known as “official time,”
under which unionized federal employees conduct union business—sometimes even including
political activities—while on public duty.

Citing data from a forthcoming agency report, U.S. Office of Personnel Management associate
director of employee services Angela Bailey has stated publically that federal workers devoted
nearly 3.4 million hours conducting union business while on official duty in 2011 - costing
taxpayers an estimated $155 million.

By prohibiting this egregious activity, The Federal Employee Accountability Act would save
the taxpayers an estimated $1.3 billion over ten years. At a time when the federal government
lurches from one fiscal crisis to another, this is money we can no longer afford to squander
on political favors to private special interests. We wholeheartedly agree with Rep. Gingrey’s
November 30 letter to OPM Director John Berry, in which he states that, “it is absolutely
necessary to ensure that government employees spend their time serving the interests of their
employers, namely the American taxpayer.”

CEI, along with the below allied organizations, urge every member of Congress to support The
Federal Employee Accountability Act to end the wasteful subsidy to organized labor that is
official time.

Sincerely,

Americans For Tax Rerfom         Americans For Prosperity        Competitive Enterprise Institute

Heritage Actions America          Alliance For Worker Freedom

National Center For Public Policy Research

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