Union Spending Secrets Hidden From Public
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has quietly removed a webpage that tracked the amount of official time federal employees spend on labor union activities. The OPM, which oversees federal employment and recruiting, has also stopped publishing reports on the subject since the Biden administration took office.
This webpage, which had been regularly updated for the past two decades under four different administrations, provided a crucial analysis of the taxpayer money spent on funding union activities. With its removal, the transparency and accountability of this spending have been lost.
According to Maxford Nelson, the director of research and government affairs at the Freedom Foundation, this deletion is a disservice to taxpayers who have a right to know how their money is being used. “If federal employees are going to be legally permitted to engage in union work while on-the-clock, the very least taxpayers are owed is an accurate accounting of the associated costs,” he told Fox News Digital.
“While the past 4 presidential administrations…
have documented & reported on scope & cost of taxpayer-funded union time across the federal workforce every 1-2 years, the Biden administration has yet to do so even once,”
“White House scrubs webpage…”
— BlessedInAmerica (@america_blessed) November 22, 2023
The most recent OPM report on official time, published in 2019 under the Trump administration, showed that federal employees spent 2.6 million hours working on union tasks, costing taxpayers approximately $135 million. However, with the Biden administration’s pro-union stance and the repeal of Trump’s executive order limiting official time, it is likely that the amount of time and money spent on union activities has significantly increased.
An OPM spokesperson claimed that the webpage and reports were deleted as part of a website reorganization. However, they failed to provide a timeline for when or if the site would be restored, raising suspicions about the actual reason for their removal. The spokesperson also did not clarify if any other web pages were affected by this reorganization.
The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 allows federal employees to use official time to conduct certain union activities, recognizing the union’s obligation to represent all bargaining unit members, regardless of their dues payment. However, with the lack of updated information, it is difficult to determine if this use of official time complies with the law and is being used efficiently.
White House scrubs webpage showing how taxpayers fund union activities
The White House Office of Personnel Management (OPM) quietly deleted a webpage tracking how much official time federal employees spend working on labor union tasks.#news #politics https://t.co/BpIsbPXgsB…
— LaborUnionNews.com (@WorkPlaceRpt) November 21, 2023
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has made expanding union membership a top priority, with its White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment announcing an increase of 80,000 federal workers joining unions since 2021. This, coupled with the removal of the official time webpage and reports, raises concerns about the administration’s motives and lack of transparency.
According to Nelson, the Biden administration’s actions demonstrate a contempt for taxpayers and a push to give unions even more control over the already bureaucratic federal system. While previous administrations, both Democrat and Republican, have regularly reported on official time, the Biden administration seems to be actively hindering public access to this information.
In addition to the removal of the official time webpage and reports, the Biden administration’s actions to increase union membership and control over federal employees are concerning to many. It remains to be seen if and when the OPM will restore the webpage and reports, providing taxpayers with much-needed transparency regarding the use of official time by federal employees.