Protecting Taxpayers’ Wallets Act

Matthew Jensen,  July 1, 2024

Attached is a legislative proposal under the working title “Protecting Taxpayers’ Wallets Act.” This proposal charges federal unions for using agency resources—principally employee duty time spent performing union activities.

If enacted, the proposal would have direct and significant fiscal effects in the budget window under a conventional scorekeeping basis.

Basis for Attestation

The FY 2019 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Report on “Taxpayer Funded Union Time Usage in the Federal Government” reported $163 million in agency subsidies to federal unions. This comprised $135 million in employee duty time for union activities (2.6 million hours at an average wage and benefit rate of $52 per hour) and $28 million in facilities and travel expenses.[1]

For FY 2016, before the Trump Administration imposed restrictions on union time, OPM reported 3.6 million hours of union time, which the federal government compensated at an approximate average wage and benefit rate of $49 per hour.[2] OPM did not estimate the value of facilities and travel subsidies that year.

In 2021, the Biden Administration revoked the Trump Administration’s restrictions,[3] and union time use rules today more closely mirror FY 2016 than FY 2019, indicating that a lower bound on 10-year fiscal effects would exceed $2 billion.

[1] Office of Personnel Management. Taxpayer-Funded Union Time Usage in the Federal Government: Fiscal Year 2019 (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, October 2020).

[2] United States Office of Personnel Management. Official Time Usage in the Federal Government: Fiscal Year 2016 (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, May 2018).

[3] Exec. Order No. 14003, 86 Fed. Reg. 7231 (January 27, 2021).

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