Federal employees spent about 3.4 million hours performing union duties while on the clock in 2011, according to an unreleased Office of Personnel Management (OPM) report made public in a November 26 Federal Times article. This amount of time, referred to as “official time,” cost the federal government $155 million. It represents an 11 percent increase in the amount of official time in 2010.
Unfortunately, the problem is not exclusive to federal employees. State and local governments all across the country also allow workers to labor for union bosses on taxpayer time, at an incalculable cost. Part of the problem, as Mallory Factor noted recently in The Wall Street Journal, is that ”states and municipalities don’t generally track official time for their employees, much less disclose it, so data on the subject are hard to come by.” However, Factor hazards an educated guess as to the extent of the problem: