House Republicans berated the Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday for allowing hundreds of employees to devote all their taxpayer-funded work hours to union activities instead of helping veterans.
VA records reveal that 290,000 employees spent around 1.1 million hours on union affairs in fiscal year 2015, with 346 of those employees devoting all of their hours to official time, the Daily Caller reported Friday.
Official time is, according to the Office of Personnel Management, "paid time off from assigned government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees," for which taxpayers foot the bill.
This discovery led Republicans and some Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations to demand that the VA provide a full account of how official time is spent at the VA.
The issue arose after a recent report from the Government Accountability Office showed that the VA does not have a standardized method of tracking hours and attendance. The department uses two different systems to record and calculate work hours and it has not properly trained employees on how to use them.
Sounds nice, but I can't see politicians keeping their hands off even if they allowed a contractor in the door. When the government awards contracts the contractor is beholden to people in the government, and then there is the issue of what is in the contract.Then there is the problem of oversight...who would provide it that is competent, qualified and honest?
oh sure phony outrage...are you as fed up with this as i am????
Sounds really bad, but 1.1 million hours divided by 290,000 employee is only 3.8 hours - per year, but one second using taxpayer money is too much.
union dues should be taxed
WHY WOULD YOU WANT UNION DUES TAXED ?? THE GOVT . GETS TO MUCH MONEY NOW THAT THEY END UP WAISTING !!!!!!!
As a Union laborer who does not spend work time on the job doing union activities I also am not pleased
that those people spent tax payer money on union activities. Those activities should be restricted to their
own time and not company or tax payer funded time. Union construction workers go to work to get it done
and not to be gold bricks. There will always be a few who take advantage of any system but as a rule
that does not happen in construction unions. We have done much for American infrastructure.
" But in the wake of January's GAO report, it is likely that if a correlation is not drawn between official time and improved veteran care, then Republicans will vie for official time to be eliminated.
William Lawrence Kovacs, a witness at Thursday's hearing and a labor policy analyst for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told lawmakers that Congress should eliminate official time.
"Union official time is an unwise use of limited tax dollars and serves the private interests of unions," he said. "The public does not directly benefit from the use of official time. Congress should eliminate the use of official time." "
Unions in government is not a good idea
Another one of Obama's bright idea's
this is part of the corruption that we have in our government...its like they are running their own Clinton foundation within the governmrnt.....and yet nobody puts a stop to this and they still get bonuses and raises...
That no doubt was part of their CONTRACT (which should not be approved next time around, and bargained away !!!!) So should the "BONUS" factor VA ( Upper echelon) Employees enjoy. Especially when an affected VA Facility has been judged incompetent, or failing in any respect. The VA, as is NOW being managed , HONORS FAILURE, WITH FINANCIAL REWARD !!! Which runs counter to any BONUS AWARD PROGRAM I have ever heard of !!!! Unless of course, those receiving the BONUSES, are in a position to alter records, hide actual figures, or lie to cover up abnormalities that indicate criminal behavior or sloppy book-keeping. CORRUPTION of ANY KIND is NOT ALLOWED !!! AND SHOULD, IN NO WAY, be CONDONED in ANY FACET OF THE US GOVERNMENT !!!!! VIOLATORS SHOULD BE FIRED, AND CRIMINALLY CHARGED, and do SUBSTANTIAL TIME IN PRISON COMMENSURATE with the CRIME COMMITTED !!!!
Just the tip of the Ice Berg. John McCain is to busy complaining because Trump didn't ask his permission. An example of just how the VA has been "USED" and is still being used. (Taking it private is not the answer, it's a weak attempt to put a patch on a NASCAR tire. It's also telling us that Union's in this country have long ago served their purpose. It's time to set "Term Limits on Congress and the Senate." There were a lot of Democrats/Career Politicions that got rich off the VA. It might be "The Clinton Foundation" also, since they got most of the "Tax Payer Dollars, but of course they said it was legal and after all they were broke when the left the White House. (that's why Hillary needed back in, she missed some stuff when they left.)
I am a conservative and years ago I was president on my local UAW union. Occasionally, the company would violate the contract and I would have to go in the office and try to straighten it out. In a years time, I probably spent 5 to 6 hours total on union work for which I was still paid my hourly rate. Back in the day, unions were important to protect workers and see that they were treated right. Today, unions are not needed nearly as much. There are still a few companies that need a union, but for the most part, companies treat their employees fairly.
Now 1.1 million hours spent on union affairs sounds like a lot, but there were 290,000 people involved. I assume they were all union representatives. If you do the math, that comes out to less than 4 hours per year per person. I don't think that is excessive. There are more problems with the VA that do need attention, such as the long waits to see or get help. I guarantee you that nearly every employee wastes at least 4 hours a year, which comes to just under 5 minutes a week. Now the 346 who spent all of their time on union work need to be investigated. We had full time union reps, but they were paid by the union, not the company.