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April 7, 2017 UPDATE: Congress leaves this week for a two-week recess without calling HR 1364 to the House floor for a vote. This is a huge victory for the unions and others who understand that official time is an important labor-management tool that ultimately saves the government money and helps agencies succeed. We believe HR 1364 is still headed to the floor after the recess so please keep working to contact your Representatives to Say No to HR 1364.
March 31, 2017 UPDATE: Over 20 federal unions have joined the fight against the attack on Official Time in the U.S. House of Representatives. NFFE co-chairs the Federal Workers Alliance and chairs the legislative committee of the United DoD Workers Coalition. Together, NFFE fights with our brothers and sisters across labor to stop this revolting attack on working people and their families.
The bill, H.R. 1364, was introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) and misleadingly called the Official Time Reform Act. It is intended to amend Title 5 of the United States Code to cap the use of official time and exclude it from counting towards an employee’s retirement and pension eligibility. Specifically, the bill punishes union members by retroactively denying employees retirement service credit for time served in official time status of 80% or more. This bill goes after the pensions of union members, making it one of the most egregious attacks on individual federal workers in decades. This bill targets the financial security of individual union members and their families, and it is below the dignity of the United States Congress.
House Republicans are attempting to force unnecessary changes to the law and undercut federal employees’ rights in the workplace. For more than 40 years, official time has been an important tool for management and workers to address workplace concerns. Current law explicitly prohibits union activities while on official time, including any internal union business, solicitation of new members, election of union officers and any partisan political issues.
IAM government employees and National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) members currently use official time across the country, as prescribed by specific departments and agencies. Qualifying activity is restricted to government business and is regulated by management, which decides how much official time is reasonable, necessary and valuable to their operations.
No federal employee management or executive organizations support any further restriction on Official Time use. Do your part now and contact your representative today:
2) Send a text to Congress by texting “resist” to 50409. Enter your name, zip code and follow the prompts to send a letter to your representative.
3) Call the Congress switchboard today at 202-224-3121 and tell the operator you want to speak to your representative.
4) Visit the IAM Legislative Action Center to send a letter to your representative here.
Here is a sample prompt of what to say or text:
“Vote ‘NO’ on HR 1364, the Official Time Reform Act. The goal of this legislation is to eliminate the ability of federal employees to form and join a Union, and to viciously penalize federal employees who serve as union representatives, like stewards, by singling them out and retroactively cutting their pensions.”