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December 22, 2014
Official Time Talking Points
Posted On: Jun 12, 2013
...All...Talking Points on Official Time for using to call your Congressman is listed below and attached so you can print out the attached pdf and hand it out to membership so they can make the calls...this NEEDS to be done TOMORROW (Thursday June 13th)...call the Capitol Switch Board at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Congressman's office and then ask to speak to the legislative aide and tell them you oppose Mr. Gingrey’s amendment to HR 1960...Talking Points below...thanks & KTF, Terry

Background on Official Time:

In exchange for the legal responsibility of providing services to those who pay as well as those who refuse to pay, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 incorporated the concept of “official time.” (5 U.S.C. § 7131.)

The official time law provides three separate rights:

  1. A right to use official time for collective bargaining;
  2. A right to have the FLRA determine the amount of official time that will be allowed for FLRA proceedings; and
  3. A right to negotiate agreements providing official time for both collective bargaining and other representational duties—such as investigating and pursuing employee grievances, participating in labor-management forums under Executive Order 13522, and representing federal employees in discrimination cases. 

Uses of Official Time:

  • Employee groups use official time to represent employees in discrimination and merit principle proceedings, conflict resolution, and implementation of workplace policies.

  • Official time for representational duties allows employee representatives to handle sensitive workplace issues faster than the normal bureaucratic process would allow, resolving issues more efficiently.

  • Unions participate in national and agency-level partnership councils which work together to improve the efficiency and delivery of government services to the American people.


Why Official Time is Necessary:

  • By law, federal unions are obligated to represent bargaining unit members regardless of their status as dues-payers or not. Without the resources available to effectively represent all employees, official time becomes a critical element in performing representational duties.

  • Targeting official time would severely restrict, and eventually eliminate, employees’ collective bargaining rights in the federal sector as we currently understand them. This would lead not only to a loss of rights for federal workers, but also greater inefficiency in the delivery of government services to the taxpayer.

Official Time is a Good Deal for the Taxpayers:

  • Federal employees and their union representatives improve efficiency and boost employee morale in the federal workplace.

  • Strong employee-employer communication is a necessary precondition for good government. Official time allows both labor and management to work constructively toward a more efficient and accountable federal workplace.

  • When federal workers are allowed to bargain collectively, they speak their concerns with one voice, lending itself to a more organized and efficient employer-employee dynamic.

Download:
Union Official Time Talking Points Memo.pdf

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This Week in Labor History

This Week in Labor History

December 19

An explosion in the Darr Mine in Westmoreland Co., Pa., kills 239 coal miners. Seventy-one of the dead share a common grave in Olive Branch Cemetery. December 1907 was the worst month in U.S. coal mining history, with more than 3,000 dead - 1907

A 47-day strike at Greyhound Bus Lines ends with members of the Amalgamated Transit Union accepting a new contract containing deep cuts in wages and benefits. Striker Ray Phillips died during the strike, run over on a picket line by a scab Greyhound trainee - 1983

Twenty-six men and one woman are killed in the Wilberg Coal Mine Disaster near Orangeville, Utah. The disaster has been termed the worst coal mine fire in the state’s history. Federal mine safety officials issued 34 safety citations after the disaster but had inspected the mine only days before and declared it safe - 1984

(Inventory of American Labor Landmarks: This attractive booklet offers a nice selection from the Labor Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive, ongoing inventory of labor landmarks across the country. Nearly 200 monuments, plaques and other markers are described here, from 33 states and the District of Columbia, accompanied by historical summaries and, often, by photographs.)

December 20

Delegates to the AFL convention in Salt Lake City endorse a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote - 1899

The first group of 15 Filipino plantation workers recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association arrive in Hawaii. By 1932 more than 100,000 Filipinos will be working in the fields - 1906

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) takes effect today - 1970

Thousands of workers began what was to be a 2-day strike of the New York City transit system over retirement, pension and wage issues. The strike violated the state’s Taylor Law; TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint was jailed for ten days and the union was fined $2.5 million - 2005

December 21

Powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory goes into production in Pawtucket, R.I., launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week - 1790

Supreme Court rules that picketing is unconstitutional. Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft declared that picketing was, in part, "an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance..." - 1921

— Compiled and edited by David Prosten, Union Communication Services

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