Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce, is one of two lawmakers who sent the Nov. 30 letter to OPM. (Rep. Dennis Ross)
Two House Republicans are calling on the Office of Personnel Management to release a report on the costs of federal employees conducting union business while on the job.
So-called “official time” grew by nearly 11 percent and its costs by roughly 13 percent from 2010 to 2011, Angela Bailey, OPM associate director of employee services, said at a meeting of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council this month.
That would mean federal employees spent roughly 3.4 million hours — at a cost of $155 million — conducting union business while on duty in 2011.
Federal Times reported the data in a Nov. 26 story, for which OPM declined to provide more information, pending the release of an official report.
Citing the Federal Times story in a Nov. 30 letter to OPM Director John Berry, Reps. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., and Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., wrote: “These statistics serve only to increase the need to access the fiscal 2011 report.”
The lawmakers — who have sponsored legislation that would prohibit the government from paying employees while they are conducting union business — said that OPM should release its annual report now. “Continued and timely preparation of these reports is necessary to provide transparency of the use of official time and to provide oversight of taxpayer dollars,” they wrote.