(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) offered two amendments today to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, which aim to eliminate labor unions’ ability to charge taxpayers for non-governmental work.
“Transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded union work by federal employees is long overdue,” Johnson said. “It should be common sense that government employees hired to care for our veterans, ensure our food is safe, and protect the border perform those jobs well. The American people should know exactly how much union activity they are paying for.”
Amendment 877 would require federal agencies to report how much time and money federal employees spend performing union work. Amendment 878 would prevent federal employees from earning retirement benefits and bonuses while working for unions.
“The (latter) amendment also renames ‘official time’ as ‘taxpayer-funded union time’ to more accurately reflect its purpose,” according to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Johnson chairs. “This amendment…would return ‘official’ time to the occasional, limited usage intended by Congress.”
Federal employees doing union work on the taxpayer’s dime cost $162.5 million and 3.4 million hours of labor in 2014.
The problem exists in federal agencies that have traditionally underperformed. For example, the Veterans Administration has almost 350 employees working solely on union tasks. The IRS has 200 employees doing union work.
“Employees on official time are off lobbying on behalf of their union, attending union conventions, or doing some other union-related business,” said Trey Kovacs, labor policy analyst for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, to the Washington Free Beacon in March. “The Trump administration and Congress should waste no time in eliminating this subsidy for federal employee unions.”Click here for reuse options!
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