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November 27, 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

November 26 

Six young women burn to death and 19 more die when they leap from the fourth-story windows of a blazing factory in Newark, N.J. The floors and stairs were wooden; the only door from which the women could flee was locked - 1910 

November 27 

Some 1,200 workers sit down at Midland Steel, forcing recognition of the United Auto Workers, Detroit - 1936 

The pro-labor musical revue, “Pins & Needles,” opens on Broadway with a cast of Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union members. The show ran on Friday and Saturday nights only, because of the cast’s regular jobs. It ran for 1,108 performances before closing - 1937 

November 28 

A total of 154 men die in a coal mine explosion at Marianna, Pa. Engineer and General Superintendent A.C. Beeson tells the local newspaper he had been in the mine a few minutes before the blast and had found it to be in perfect condition - 1908 

Some 400 New York City photoengravers working for the city’s newspapers, supported by 20,000 other newspaper unionists, begin what is to become an 11-day strike, shutting down the papers - 1953

November 29 

Clerks, teamsters and building service workers at Boston Stores in Milwaukee strike at the beginning of the Christmas rush. The strike won widespread support—at one point 10,000 pickets jammed the sidewalks around the main store—but ultimately was lost. Workers returned to the job in mid-January with a small pay raise and no union recognition - 1934 

The SS Daniel J. Morrell, a 603-foot freighter, breaks in two during a strong storm on Lake Huron. Twenty-eight of its 29 crewmen died; survivor Daniel Hale was found the next day, near frozen and floating in a life raft with the bodies of three of his crewmates. He had survived for nearly 40 hours in frigid temperatures wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, a lifejacket, and a pea coat - 1966

November 30 

“Fighting Mary” Eliza McDowell, also known as the “Angel of the Stockyards,” born in Chicago. As a social worker she helped organize the first women’s local of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union in 1902 - 1854 

Mother Jones died at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, Md.; “I’m not a lady, I’m a hell-raiser!” - 1930 

(Her rallying cry was famous: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." A century ago, Mother Jones was a celebrated organizer and agitator, the very soul of the modern American labor movement. At coal strikes, steel strikes, railroad, textile, and brewery strikes, Mother Jones was always there, stirring the workers to action and enraging the powerful. In Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America, Elliott J. Gorn proves why, in the words of Eugene V. Debs, Mother Jones "has won her way into the hearts of the nation's toilers, and... will be lovingly remembered by their children and their children's children forever.")

— Compiled and edited by David Prosten, Union Communication Services

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