The Capital Research Center has released an overview, as of November, of what is now a regular part of federal activity: taxpayer-funded union activities. Yes, federal employees carry out this "official time," which can be unrelated to their jobs, and still collect their government salary.
According to the report, some employees have even devoted 100 percent of their time to union activities.
"In one instance [this year], John Reusing, a Social Security Administration employee who was also third vice president of [the American Federation of Government Employees] local 1923 in Baltimore, Maryland, reported that... 'senior union officials offered him 100 percent official time for the rest of his career' if he agreed to keep quiet about the abuse."
Silence is hardly necessary, though, since AFGE has acknowledged this activity, albeit in a less brazen form.
“For nearly 50 years, federal employees who serve as volunteer employee representatives have used official time to engage in representational activities while on duty status.”
CRC authors, Vincent Vernuccio and Trey Kovacs, point out that measurement of this activity is limited and avoided by many agencies. When pressured, however, the federal Office of Personnel Management has acknowledged 2,991,378 reported hours of official time in 2009. That comes to an estimated cost of $129,100,798—"equivalent to the salaries of a workforce of 1,500 full-time government employees, all working on union business but paid by the taxpayer."