House Approves Official Time Reporting Measure

Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives
Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives

Today, the House of Representatives approved an official time reporting measure. “Official time” is the time Union leaders and stewards spend conducting representational activities authorized by federal labor law and the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.

The measure, H.R. 1293, introduced by Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL-15), and advanced earlier this year by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, would require an annual report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on agencies’ use of official time. The bill passed the House floor on a voice vote under a procedure that allows bills to pass with a two-thirds vote.

H.R. 1293 creates new burdens and work for federal agencies by mandating various reporting requirements on official time including that the OPM annual report include a detailed description of the various activities, purposes, and outcomes granted for official time hours, the total compensation (salary plus benefits) for employees on official time which is not data already computed by agencies, and a description and specific size of the space made available for official time activities inside agencies.

Logically, NTEU opposes any attempt to limit or restrict official time; however, the Union’s main priority this Congress has been blocking legislation that places limits on official time and penalizes individual employee retirement credits—and therefore their income security—for having agreed to serve on allowable official time. NTEU has worked with our allies in the House and Senate, to keep such legislation from advancing further and being enacted into law.

To learn more and get involved, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.