AFGE opposes bill amending official time law

The American Federation of Government Employees opposes a House bill the federal employee union claims would limit federal employees' access to union representation.

"[The Official Time Reform Act of 2017] is a blatant attempt to bust federal employee unions and silence the voice of workers in decisions that impact not only their jobs, but services the American people rely on," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a news release.

According to the AFGE, the legislation targets federal employees' use of official time, capping the amount union volunteers can spend providing representational work or meeting with agency leaders to discuss workplace improvements. In addition, a financial disincentive is created for employees to volunteer as union representatives by cutting their pension accrual for any time spent on representational work above the arbitrary caps.

"This legislation creates a form of micromanaging that will tie the hands of supervisors and agency officials when it comes to scheduling meetings, legal proceedings, and non-official time work for union representatives, ultimately discouraging the use of official time," said the AFGE in an official letter of opposition sent to Sens. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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