Official Time is Not Union Time

Federal employees (NFFE-IAM) members need your help now.

The IAM and the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), is asking everyone to contact their Representatives and urge them to Vote No on the Veterans, Employees, and Taxpayers Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1461). This legislation does not help veterans or taxpayers. Rather, it serves only to weaken federal employee unions. 

Jeff Shapiro, president of the NFFE Veteran Affairs Council, recently highlighted how this legislation would break the independent voice of unions and employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read: A true labor-management partnership at the VA

The truth about official time:              

  • Official time is not “union time.” Activities such as political action, political fundraising and internal union business like membership organizing are already prohibited. When these activities do take place, union officials and members are required to be on their personal time or on leave. 
  • Official time is used to address important workplace concerns, including issues regarding safety, efficiency, mission effectiveness, employee engagement and supporting management in the implementation of new initiatives.
  • Official time is used to advise employees and to represent them in personnel matters, often saving the agency time and money by avoiding costly litigation.
  • Official time is carefully tracked by agency representatives to ensure it is used prudently and only to benefit the workforce and agency mission. Union representatives can only use the amount of official time that agencies and unions agree is necessary and in the public interest.

Click here to read the letter from the Federal Workers Alliance (19 unions collectively representing over 300,000 federal employees).

This bill could go to the House Floor soon so NOW is the time to contact your Representative to tell them to say “NO” to H.R. 1461.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your Representative to Vote “NO” on H.R. 1461.

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