Giving Federal Employee Unions Official Time to Lobby Congress

Much has been written about the amount of official time that the unions consume each year.  Since federal unions cannot negotiate salary or benefits for federal employees, official time is their sacred cow.  According to the last official time report by the Office of Personnel Management for 2011, unions that year consumed 3,395,187 hours, at a reported cost of $155,573,739.

There are 2087 total hours in a staff year, of which approximately 1,600 hours is considered the amount of direct time that a person can devote to their work and the mission of their agency.  The rest is indirect time associated with all forms of leave, attending meetings, training, etc.  Using the direct time as your denominator, the total amount of official time used in 2011 equates to roughly 2,122 staff years of direct effort.  This figure is just slightly less than the total number of employees allocated to OSHA by the Department of Labor, and approximately 40 percent of DCAA’s total workforce.


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