Posts tagged official time

    State of the Unions: A New Normal

    January 23, 2023 // Agencies and unions alike are likely to encounter more resistance to expanded telework and other workplace flexibilities from the newly divided Congress. House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., announced last week that he has introduced legislation that would require agencies to revert to pre-pandemic telework policies as well as a study about how telework impacted government services and productivity. In addition to rolling back Trump-era policies targeting union activity in the federal government, the White House has recommended a number of measures to make it easier for federal employee unions to communicate with workers they represent, as well as expand into agencies whose workforces have historically remained unorganized.

    Op-ed: Congress should be wary of Labor agency’s plea for more cash

    December 21, 2022 // Still, even as the NLRB is claiming it does not have the resources to carry out its mission, Abruzzo through a series of memos has instructed the agency to pursue legal theories that take time to research instead of letting staffers simply enforce agreed-upon law. For instance, she issued a memo telling agents to guard against “ unlawful threats and coercive activity ” by employers, which sounds reasonable until one considers that Abruzzo views employee meetings on unionization, mandatory companywide meetings to discuss unionization where employees are fully compensated for their time, as borderline coercive. The NLRB could also cut down on the use of official time. Official time is when union workers are paid their taxpayer-funded salaries to do union work rather than the government jobs they were hired to do.

    Opinion: The NLRB Requests More Funding, But Does It Really Need More Money?

    December 16, 2022 // The Chair and General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently penned a letter to congressional appropriators, pleading for additional funding for the agency in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill, which Congress has not yet passed. The letter notes that its funding has remained at $274 million since 2014, but whether that should justify additional funding is worth scrutinizing. The NLRB letter declares that the agency needs “additional funding in FY2023 to simply maintain current operations without any investments in critical infrastructure and cybersecurity needs.” It further states that “we will be forced to reduce our operational capacity, including likely furloughs of the dedicated career employees at the agency, unless Congress provides funding to cover these costs.”

    SSA, AFGE renegotiate agreement to give employees more official time

    August 29, 2022 // After months of ongoing discussions, SSA and AFGE reached an agreement on July 25 to reinstate previous levels of official time for union activity, and the union’s use of SSA facilities, that existed in an earlier iteration of the national contract from 2012. Rich Couture, AFGE’s spokesperson for SSA, told Federal News Network that settlement discussions earlier this year ultimately led to the changes to the contract. The new provisions of the national agreement will raise the caps on the maximum hours that union representatives can use toward union time, and put more available hours in a bank for other SSA employees. The new provisions of the national agreement will raise the caps on the maximum hours that union representatives can use toward union time, and put more available hours in a bank for other SSA employees. SSA Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi,

    How to Make Official Time Even Worse

    August 10, 2022 // AFSCME Council 8 had included in its contract with Cincinnati that the city would divert the equivalent of four hours of annual vacation time from all city workers and give it to the union. Those funds would compensate the city for the official time used by union members. This didn’t save taxpayers anything, since they were still ultimately paying for the official time. Rather, what it did was take even more money away from the workers, who were already paying regular union dues. Most Cincinnati city workers had no idea this was happening. The practice has been discontinued following a lawsuit by the Freedom Foundation, which argued that the arrangement violated the Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus ruling, which said that government workers’ pay could only be diverted to unions with the workers’ affirmative consent.

    VA workers union ‘hammering away’ at negotiations for first new contract in 10 years

    June 21, 2022 // The articles touch on protections from employee disciplinary action and separation, the allocation of awards and the elimination of supplemental agreements for local unions. The American Federation of Government Employees National Veterans Affairs Council so far discussed four articles, two of which are in contention: discipline and awards. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, Thomas Dargon, health care, law enforcement, research, mechanics, corrections,