A House committee has cleared a bill requiring an annual report on how much on-the-clock time federal workers spend doing union activities.
Introduced by Florida GOP Rep. Dennis Ross, the bill would mandate that the Office of Personnel Management submit a report to Congress every year relating to the use of so-called official time by federal employees who engage in negotiating contracts or other union business allowed by the government while they are on the job.
"Currently, there is no accurate reporting of official time, which costs taxpayers millions of dollar each year," said a statement from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which approved the bill on a voice vote.
By law, official time is to be used for things such as collective bargaining and representing employees in grievances, but not for internal union business such as conducting elections, according to The Washington Post
"The sole job of some federal employees is to serve as union representative. At a time when our country is almost $17 trillion in debt, we should not be spending money for federal employees to conduct union business during official work time," Ross said in a statement.
The bill would also require the annual report to provide the number of employees to whom official time was granted, including those who work full-time on union matters.
Separate bills reportedly introduced in the House and the Senate this year would eliminate official time altogether.
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