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May 24, 2015
Action Center
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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Today's Labor History

May 11 

Nationwide railway strike begins at Pullman, Ill. Nearly 260,000 railroad workers ultimately joined the strike to protest wage cuts by the Pullman Palace Car Co. - 1894 

Seventeen crewmen on the iron ore freighter Henry Steinbrenner die when the ship, carrying nearly 7,000 tons of ore, sinks during a violent storm on Lake Erie. Another 16 crewmen survived - 1953

May 12 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raid the Agriprocessors, Inc. slaughterhouse and meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, arresting nearly 400 immigrant workers. Some 300 are convicted on document fraud charges. The raid was the largest ever until that date. Several employees and lower and mid-level managers were convicted on various charges, but not the owner—although he later was jailed for bank fraud and related crimes - 2008

(Mobilizing Against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism: Are immigrant workers themselves responsible for low wages and shoddy working conditions? Should unions expend valuable time and energy organizing undocumented workers? Unions in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States have taken various approaches to confront the challenges of this significant segment of the workforce. As U.S. immigration policy is debated, readers will gain insight into how all workers benefit when wages and working conditions for immigrant workers are improved.) 

— Selected from the complete labor history posts compiled and edited by David Prosten, Union Communication Services

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