Taxpayers Paying Public Employees to Do Union Work

August 18, 2014

A report from Kenric Ward at Watchdog.org presents a stunning fact from Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government: American taxpayers spent $156 million in 2012 paying federal employees to do union business, not federal work.

Collective bargaining agreements provide for employees to do union work, known as "official time," while taking their regular paychecks. According to Mehrens' research:

  • There are 286 full-time IRS employees that were receiving paychecks from the government in 2012, despite working solely for the National Treasury Employees Union.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has 250 employees that work exclusively for the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.
  • Thirty-five employees of the Department of Transportation receive average annual salaries of $138,000 -- all on official time.
  • Similarly, EPA employees receive $1.6 million annually for full-time union work.

At the Daily Signal, Nicole Rusenko and Kelsey Harris report that public employees spent 2.4 million hours working on union business in 2010. In just three years, from 2008 to 2011, the amount of "official time" on the federal payroll increased 28 percent.

Source: Nicole Rusenko and Kelsey Harris, "How Unions Are Chewing Through Taxpayer Dollars," Daily Signal, August 15, 2014; Kenric Ward, "Federal agencies spend millions on union business," Watchdog.org, August 11, 2014. 

 

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