“Official time” is the time spent by union representatives to enhance working conditions, improve workplace safety, and arrange for training and educational opportunities, among other activities. Under current law, employees on official time are prohibited from carrying out union-specific duties, such as solicitation of new members or electing officers. Nonetheless, emboldened anti-union lawmakers have taken dramatic steps to undercut the use of official time. Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed two bills, HR 1364 and HR 1385, sponsored by Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia and Virgina Foxx of North Carolina, respectively. The primary vehicle for this attack is an arbitrary cap on the amount of official time per day. The attack on official time also precludes certain federal employees from counting official time as creditable service toward retirement. Stick a pin in this development; there will likely be more patent efforts to undermine union activities to come.
Read more from the Washington Post here.