Thursday, May 17, 2018
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), a union representing 110,000 federal employees across the country, reacts to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) misleading report on official time usage for FY16 that was issued today. The union took exception to the report – and OPM’s press release accompanying the report – because of its gross mischaracterization of what official time is, how it is used, and what value it provides federal agencies and the American people.
OPM’s report continuously referred to official time as “Taxpayer Funded Union Time,” in an obvious attempt to mislead the public. The report fails to mention that official time is an essential tool that has been used by federal agencies for decades in which federal managers and employees work together to make our government more efficient, productive, and just. The law prohibits the use of official time for internal union business, like union elections and recruitment of new members. Official time must be used in a manner that is “reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.” OPM misleadingly characterized official time quite differently.
“I am shocked that OPM would issue a report and make public statements about official time that are this misleading,” said Randy Erwin, NFFE National President. “Official time is essential for our federal government to run smoothly and efficiently, and it is without question a benefit to the American people. It is shameful that this kind of anti-union sentiment has infected this Administration and that reports like this are being used to pursue an anti-union agenda. The American people deserve better than this.”