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Union Price Tag Grows at a Cost to U.S. Taxpayer


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Fox News:

Union behavior and their bargaining power has been of intense interest in many states. As the country continues to work its way out of a recession and the unemployment level is still hovering at a high 9 percent, the additional costs of unions are again being scrutinized in Washington.

Unlike state government worker unions, federal employees of unionized agencies are not required to join the union or pay mandatory dues. Wisconsin lawmakers sought to abridge that power, sending the nation into a frenzy.

Of specific interest on Capitol Hill Wednesday was something known as official time. Official time is a federal term for the hours spent by union officials employed by the government conducting union business. The officials are paid their normal government salaries for this work on behalf of the unions.

Official time is seen by supporters as compensation for the fact that unions are required to handle labor issues related to all employees, not just union members. When union officials negotiate with federal managers over work rules, like appropriate attire and other human resource requirements, those functions are carried out under official time.

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., chairman of the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy, called it "charity" to federal employee unions.

“This came at a cost of $129 million to American taxpayers,” he says, citing a 2009 Office of Personnel Management report.

That’s about three million hours of official time.

Thuggery and intimidation is hard work...
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