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Labor-Management Relations Reports on Official Time

 

Overview

Section 7131 of title 5, United States Code, defines and authorizes official time for unions representing Federal employees. Official time, broadly defined, is paid time off from assigned Government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees.

Labor and management are equally accountable to the taxpayer and have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. To achieve greater accountability in this area, agencies report official time usage to OPM on an annual basis.

Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2011 Survey Responses

Introduction

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) includes the following Congressional finding:

(a) The Congress finds that--

  1. experience in both private and public employment indicates that the statutory protection of the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them-
    1. safeguards the public interest,
    2. contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and
    3. facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between employees and their employers involving conditions of employment; and 
  2. the public interest demands the highest standards of employee performance and the continued development and implementation of modern and progressive work practices to facilitate and improve employee performance and the efficient accomplishment of the operations of the Government. 

Therefore, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.  5 U.S.C. 7101(a)(emphasis supplied).

President Obama reinforced this Congressional finding through issuance of Executive Order 13522, “Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services.”  The order recognizes that “Federal employees and their union representatives are an essential source of front-line ideas and information about the realities of delivering Government services to the American people.”  Moreover, in addition to promoting effective labor relations, the President noted that “[a] non-adversarial forum for managers, employees, and employees’ union representatives to discuss Government operations will … improve the productivity and effectiveness of the Federal Government.”

The role of unions in the Federal sector is significantly different than it is in the private sector. Indeed, the CSRA establishes a collective bargaining system that is tailored to the unique concerns of the Federal Government, carefully balancing the interests of the public, agency management, and employees. Thus, Federal employees are prohibited by law from striking as a means to redress grievances with their employers. See 5 U.S.C. 7116(b)(7). Many of the terms and conditions of employment of a Federal employee (including pay and benefits for most employees) are set by law and not subject to bargaining. Others are taken off the bargaining table by a broad management rights provision. See 5 U.S.C. 7106(a). Finally, Federal sector unions must represent all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether the employees are dues-paying members of the union. See 5 U.S.C. 7114(a)(1). Membership in labor unions is therefore entirely voluntary for Federal employees and, as a result, there are fewer incentives for Federal employees to join and pay union dues than there are for private sector and many state and local government employees. This voluntary membership in Federal sector unions results in considerable reliance by unions on the volunteer work of bargaining unit employees, rather than paid union business agents, to represent the union in representational matters such as collective bargaining and grievances.

“Official time,” authorized by 5 U.S.C. 7131, is a core component of the Federal Government’s carefully crafted collective bargaining system. Official time is time spent by Federal employees performing representational work for a bargaining unit in lieu of their regularly assigned work. It allows unions to satisfy their duty of fair representation to members and non-members alike.

Official time is available for representational tasks only. It is therefore not available:

      • for conducting internal union business (such as union elections or conventions); or,
      • for any other purpose not tied directly to representation of bargaining unit employees in matters concerning conditions of employment.

Rather, union representatives use official time in the service of bargaining unit members, including:

      • to participate in labor-management workgroups;
      • to represent bargaining unit employees in meetings;
      • to facilitate implementation of new workplace initiatives that enhance employees’ ability to effectively serve the public;
      • to assist the agency in communicating important information about workplace matters to employees;
      • to negotiate contracts and other collective bargaining agreements; and,
      • to represent employees in grievances and disciplinary actions.

With the issuance of E.O. 13522 in 2009, which established labor-management forums across the Federal Government, both labor and management representatives have dedicated time to building better labor-management relationships and collaborating on workplace issues within their organizations. One of the central goals of the forums is to help agencies better accomplish their mission in delivering high quality products, services, and protection to the American public. In many agencies, the forums’ efforts are focusing on time and cost-saving initiatives. The forums also mirror private-sector initiatives in recent years to encourage strong labor-management relationships to drive better productivity and industry competitiveness.

Official Time Statistics for Fiscal Year 2011

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) emphasizes that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. OPM expects labor and management to develop sensible arrangements for official time that meet the needs and expectations of agencies, employees, and the ultimate customers – the American people.

OPM used figures gathered from automated time and attendance systems via the Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) system to collect official time data. Agencies were asked to verify the official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations, and to validate how those hours were used within four pre-defined categories (See Appendix A). Executive departments and agencies with employees represented by labor organizations, as well as the Government Printing Office and U.S. Capitol Police, are covered in this report.

Each agency that reported official time electronically received a consolidated report, encompassing all agency subcomponents, of their official time usage within each of the four categories. Since the EHRI system tracks individual records, it may not have accounted for changes to an employee’s bargaining unit status during the course of the fiscal year. Recognizing this system’s limitation, agencies were requested to authenticate this data against their internal records to ensure that the data reported for each agency was accurate and complete. Agencies that have not transitioned to an e-Payroll system were asked to submit their official time usage manually for FY 2011. All sixty-one agencies covered in this report confirmed or updated their official time data.

FY 2011 Survey Findings. During FY 2011, unions represented 1,202,733 non-Postal Federal civil service bargaining unit employees, an increase of 17,048 bargaining unit employees compared to FY 2010. Agencies reported that bargaining unit employees spent a total of 3,395,187 hours performing representational duties on official time, an increase of 9.66 percent compared to FY 2010. Government-wide, the number of official time hours used per bargaining unit employee on representational matters increased from 2.61 hours in FY 2010 to 2.82 hours during FY 2011. Factors contributing to the increase in official time used include:

      • The increased number of bargaining unit employees;
      • An increase in mid-term and term collective bargaining in several large agencies in FY 2011;
      • The increased use of labor-management forums to help find more effective and lower cost ways to deliver government services; and,
      • Increased emphasis in some agencies on accurately documenting official time compared to previous years.

Official time costs represented one tenth of one percent of the total cost of salary and benefits for Federal employees in FY 2011, yet can contribute in meaningful ways to the ability of Federal employees to carry out their duties on behalf of the American people.

TOTAL OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2007-2011
FY 2011FY 2010FY 2009FY 2008FY 2007
Total Official Time Hours 3,395,187 3,096,018 2,991,378 2,893,922 2,800,741
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.82 2.61 2.58 2.60 2.69

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The following table shows the hours reported by agency in FY 2010 and FY 2011, and the change in percentage between the two years. The data show wide variations in official time hours reported among agencies compared to the previous year. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year, however, have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translate into significant percentage changes for these agencies. Eighteen of the 61 agencies reported reductions in the number of official time hours used.

OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2011 vs. FY 2010
Department/
Agency
FY 2011
Official Time Hours
FY 2010
Official Time Hours
% ChangeDepartment/
Agency
FY 2011
Official Time Hours
FY 2010
Official Time Hours
% Change
Agencies with 1,000 or fewer bargaining unit employees
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Credit Union Administration 3,634.00 1,088.20 234.00%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 416.00 208.00 100.00% National Endowment for the Humanities 315.00 280.00 12.50%
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Gallery of Art 1,992.00 1,093.25 82.21%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 216.00 216.00 0% National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 0.00%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 460.00 97.75 370.59% National Science Foundation 1,153.50 1,619.25 -28.76%
Corporation for National and Community Service 90.00 200.50 -55.11% National Transportation Safety Board 161.50 133.00 21.43%
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 91.00 187.75 -51.53% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 315.00 258.00 22.09%
Export-Import Bank 30.00 30.80 -2.60% Peace Corps 363.00 1,195.00 -69.62%
Federal Election Commission 781.25 144.40 441.03% Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 1,810.50 462.75 291.25%
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 0.00% Presidio Trust 132.50 102.00 29.90%
Federal Trade Commission 105.00 318.00 -66.98% Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 1,221.75 544.50 124.38%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 0.00% Railroad Retirement Board 4,348.00 5,253.20 -17.23%
International Boundary and Water Commission 21.00 0.00 N/A U.S. Capitol Police 2,387.00 3,347.50 -28.69%
Merit Systems Protection Board 129.00 83.00 55.42% U.S. International Trade Commission 359.50 534.50 -32.74%
Agencies with 25,000 or fewer bargaining unit employees
Agency for International Development 5,480.00 4,080.00 34.31% Housing and Urban Development 47,501.75 40,978.25 15.92%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9,688.00 9,688.00 0.00% Interior 16,513.00 14,311.75 15.38%
Commerce 43,291.25 41,864.50 3.41% Labor 72,954.00 54,434.00 34.02%
Education 11,796.75 10,223.25 15.39% National Aeronautics and Space Administration 16,109.75 16,485.31 -2.28%
Energy 9,624.50 11,301.00 -14.83% National Archives and Records Administration 5,494.00 5,327.60 3.12%
Environmental Protection Agency 39,120.00 36,846.00 6.17% National Labor Relations Board 12,911.00 11,480.00 12.47%
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 15,101.25 12,841.75 17.59% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,925.25 2,985.00 -2.00%
Federal Communications Commission 2,317.00 1,366.25 69.59% Office of Personnel Management 6,992.00 6,180.00 13.14%
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 4,910.25 5,839.25 -15.91% Securities and Exchange Commission 5,842.75 4,321.50 35.20%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,623.00 825.00 96.73% Small Business Administration 4,421.75 4,243.50 4.20%
General Services Administration 38,442.20 40,133.00 -4.21% Smithsonian 77.75 172.80 -55.01%
Government Printing Office 7,407.00 7,292.00 1.58% State (includes AFSA unit) 11,117.00 10,989.00 1.16%
Agencies with more than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 135,700.00 124,223.00 9.24% Social Security Administration 229,195.00 229,311.00 -0.05%
Defense 355,029.48 348,703.71 1.81% Transportation 264,561.83 237,004.06 11.63%
Health and Human Services 28,633.35 38,618.69 -25.86% Treasury 625,704.00 649,170.00 -3.61%
Homeland Security 171,309.00 130,582.50 31.19% Veterans Affairs 998,483.00 809,740.47 23.31%
Justice 174,377.25 157,058.50 11.03% Government-wide 3,395,187 3,096,018 9.66%

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate, also referred to as the Hours Per Employee (HPE) rate, which indicates the number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The HPE rate may not show a change in total figures due to rounding. Although figures are rounded, slight variations in the HPE rate are reflected in the percentage of change. The average FY 2011 Government-wide HPE rate was 2.82 which is an increase to the FY 2010 HPE rate of 2.61.

OFFICIAL TIME RATE - FY 2011 vs. FY 2010
Department/
Agency
FY 2011 Official Time RateFY 2010 Official Time Rate% ChangeDepartment/
Agency
FY 2011 Official Time RateFY 2010 Official Time Rate% Change
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 0.00% Justice 5.08 4.63 9.69%
Agency for International Development 1.86 1.65 12.55% Labor 6.22 4.77 30.49%
Agriculture 4.03 3.56 13.27% Merit Systems Protection Board 1.68 1.05 59.46%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 3.30 1.58 109.52% National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1.67 1.66 0.78%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9.41 9.13 3.11% National Archives and Records Administration 2.71 1.83 48.48%
Commerce 2.05 2.09 -2.18% National Credit Union Administration 3.77 1.26 199.35%
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Endowment for the Humanities 10.16 7.18 41.53%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 3.38 3.32 1.56% National Gallery of Art 5.11 2.73 86.88%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 1.15 0.38 200.75% National Labor Relations Board 12.38 10.67 16.02%
Corporation for National and Community Service 0.24 0.52 -53.66% National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 0.00%
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 0.25 0.49 -49.57% National Science Foundation 1.19 1.67 -28.32%
Defense 0.79 0.79 -0.57% National Transportation Safety Board 0.56 0.52 8.27%
Education 4.16 3.90 6.65% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.06 1.06 0.06%
Energy 1.51 1.68 -9.77% Office of Personnel Management 5.26 4.74 10.84%
Environmental Protection Agency 3.04 2.97 2.28% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 3.12 2.58 20.88%
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 8.26 6.82 21.20% Peace Corps 0.76 2.66 -71.34%
Export-Import Bank 0.52 0.50 2.44% Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 2.96 0.78 279.74%
Federal Communications Commission 2.10 1.17 79.26% Presidio Trust 0.83 0.61 36.44%
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 0.79 0.95 -16.39% Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 4.18 1.82 129.76%
Federal Election Commission 3.81 0.68 459.51% Railroad Retirement Board 6.15 7.36 -16.41%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1.45 0.74 95.33% Securities and Exchange Commission 2.08 1.57 32.60%
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 0.00% Small Business Administration 3.02 3.23 -6.75%
Federal Trade Commission 0.34 1.04 -67.62% Smithsonian 0.03 0.07 -54.49%
General Services Administration 5.31 5.56 -4.37% Social Security Administration 4.39 4.18 5.12%
Government Printing Office 5.28 3.98 32.49% State (includes AFSA unit) 0.61 0.60 1.16%
Health and Human Services 0.93 1.26 -26.07% Transportation 6.76 6.04 11.89%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 0.00% Treasury 7.02 7.02 -0.03%
Homeland Security 2.51 2.04 23.25% U.S. Capitol Police 2.42 3.43 -29.49%
Housing and Urban Development 6.87 5.76 19.38% U.S. International Trade Commission 1.52 2.26 -32.74%
Interior 0.79 0.71 12.27% Veterans Affairs 4.02 3.37 19.34%
International Boundary and Water Commission 0.13 0.00 N/A Grand Total - all agencies 2.82 2.61 8.11%

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Categories

Agencies report official time by categories: Term Negotiations, Mid-Term Negotiations, Dispute Resolution, and General Labor-Management Relations. Official time usage for General Labor-Management Relations accounted for the greatest share of Government-wide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,576,303.86 hours in the General Labor-Management Relations category, representing 75.88 percent of all reported official time hours.

OFFICIAL TIME USE BY CATEGORY - FY 2011
Department/AgencyBargaining Unit Employees2011 Total HoursTerm NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Mgmt Relations
African Development Foundation 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Agency for International Development 2,944.00 5,480.00 20.00 10.00 625.00 4,825.00
Agriculture  33,631.00 135,700.00 3,875.50 2,355.00 13,760.75 115,708.75
Armed Forces Retirement Home 126.00 416.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 416.00
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,029.00 9,688.00 0.00 0.00 48.00 9,640.00
Commerce  21,143.00 43,291.25 1,005.50 1,691.75 14,401.50 26,192.50
Commission on Civil Rights 9.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 64.00 216.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 216.00
Consumer Product Safety Commission 399.00 460.00 0.00 0.00 148.00 312.00
Corporation for National and Community Service 370.00 90.00 0.00 0.00 33.50 56.50
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 370.00 91.00 0.00 0.00 16.00 75.00
Defense 450,999.00 355,029.48 43,067.17 4,566.50 98,891.57 208,504.24
Education 2,838.00 11,796.75 3,507.75 613.50 1,508.50 6,167.00
Energy 6,353.00 9,624.50 849.00 123.50 3,863.75 4,788.25
Environmental Protection Agency 12,883.00 39,120.00 289.00 50.00 6,758.00 32,023.00
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1,828.00 15,101.25 963.50 63.00 1,668.50 12,406.25
Export-Import Bank 58.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 30.00
Federal Communications Commission 1,105.00 2,317.00 1,189.25 78.50 555.50 493.75
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 6,189.00 4,910.25 300.50 105.50 1,100.00 3,404.25
Federal Election Commission 205.00 781.25 695.50 0.00 13.00 72.75
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,123.00 1,623.00 4.00 308.00 35.00 1,276.00
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 28.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 311.00 105.00 0.00 3.00 0.00 102.00
General Services Administration 7,236.00 38,442.20 978.00 3,815.12 16,824.50 16,824.50
Government Printing Office 1,403.00 7,407.00 80.00 0.00 2,074.00 5,253.00
Health and Human Services 30,837.00 28,633.35 6,667.25 1,095.20 7,153.55 13,717.35
Holocaust Memorial Museum 13.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Homeland Security 68,209.00 171,309.00 15,321.00 16,390.50 45,647.75 93,949.75
Housing and Urban Development 6,910.00 47,501.75 21,973.00 612.25 21,231.25 3,685.25
Interior 20,816.00 16,513.00 1,093.50 437.00 1,713.50 13,269.00
International Boundary and Water Commission 158.00 21.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 21.00
Justice  34,312.00 174,377.25 26,008.25 850.50 26,189.50 121,329.00
Labor 11,724.00 72,954.00 18,753.00 1,840.00 5,557.00 46,804.00
Merit Systems Protection Board 77.00 129.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 129.00
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 9,633.00 16,109.75 0.00 483.50 2,479.25 13,147.00
National Archives and Records Administration 2,026.00 5,494.00 0.00 62.40 315.70 5,115.90
National Credit Union Administration 964.00 3,634.60 2,594.30 96.00 445.00 499.30
National Endowment for the Humanities 31.00 315.00 0.00 0.00 3.00 312.00
National Gallery of Art 390.00 1,992.00 0.00 0.00 1,322.50 669.50
National Labor Relations Board 1,043.00 12,911.00 1,595.00 1,678.00 1,074.00 8,564.00
National Mediation Board 8.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Science Foundation 966.00 1,153.50 0.00 13.25 159.00 981.25
National Transportation Safety Board 286.00 161.50 0.00 0.00 2.00 159.50
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,754.00 2,925.25 0.00 9.50 762.00 2,153.75
Office of Personnel Management 1,330.00 6,992.00 0.00 832.00 2,080.00 4,080.00
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 101.00 315.00 0.00 0.00 20.00 295.00
Peace Corps 477.00 363.00 0.00 0.00 72.00 291.00
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 612.00 1,810.50 1,265.50 220.00 9.00 316.00
Presidio Trust 159.00 132.50 64.50 0.00 0.00 68.00
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 292.00 1,221.75 380.25 24.75 66.50 750.25
Railroad Retirement Board 707.00 4,348.00 0.00 0.00 2.50 4,345.50
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,811.00 5,842.75 533.00 751.50 747.25 3,811.00
Small Business Administration 1,466.00 4,421.75 902.50 0.75 2,562.25 956.25
Smithsonian 2,614.00 77.75 0.00 0.00 37.50 40.25
Social Security Administration 52,176.00 229,195.00 12,117.00 2,505.00 7,116.00 207,457.00
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,300.00 11,117.00 419.00 1,806.00 2,715.00 6,177.00
Transportation  39,131.00 264,561.83 6,973.68 2,730.23 12,851.10 242,006.82
Treasury 89,123.00 625,704.00 561.00 10,739.00 57,488.00 556,916.00
U.S. Capitol Police 987.00 2,387.00 8.00 12.00 84.00 2,283.00
U.S. International Trade Commission 236.00 359.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 359.50
Veterans Affairs 248,409.00 998,483.00 27,837.00 43,641.00 154,147.00 772,858.00
Grand Total – all agencies 1,202,733.00 3,395,187.21 201,891.40 100,613.70 516,378.17 2,576,303.86

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on September 2011 wage data provided through the Enterprise Human Resources Integration Statistical Data Mart (EHRI-SDM). The estimated total payroll costs, salary and benefits, for FY 2011 official time hours was $155,573,739.25. We estimate each agency’s official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency’s average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits. In comparing FY 2010 and FY 2011 data, the cost of official time hours increased by 11.86 percent. This increase reflects, in part, the increased number of bargaining unit employees and the corresponding increase in official time usage Government-wide.

OFFICIAL TIME COST BY AGENCY - FY 2011 vs. 2010
Department/
Agency
FY 11 CostFY 10 CostDepartment/
Agency
FY 11 CostFY 10 Cost
African Development Foundation $0.00 $0.00 Justice  $6,948,318.30 $6,207,833.41
Agency for International Development $364,424.74 $276,881.88 Labor $3,699,810.31 $2,723,717.60
Agriculture $4,621,024.67 $4,106,537.23 Merit Systems Protection Board $11,903.03 $7,570.73
Armed Forces Retirement Home $11,970.60 $6,007.46 National Aeronautics and Space Administration $1,184,404.81 $1,202,705.57
Broadcasting Board of Governors $563,732.61 $556,050.56 National Archives and Records Administration $205,644.91 $196,999.42
Commerce $2,384,855.98 $2,225,166.94 National Credit Union Administration $218,752.89 $64,155.26
Commission on Civil Rights $0.00 $0.00 National Endowment for the Humanities $17,838.39 $15,675.38
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $18,303.96 $17,804.05 National Gallery of Art $60,397.35 $32,925.90
Consumer Product Safety Commission $27,315.47 $5,758.84 National Labor Relations Board $768,465.14 $690,288.84
Corporation for National and Community Service $4,108.93 $9,077.73 National Mediation Board $0.00 $0.00
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency $4,624.04 $9,222.38 National Science Foundation $83,361.66 $115,538.69
Defense $13,996,108.85 $13,566,122.35 National Transportation Safety Board $11,659.04 $9,814.50
Education $727,089.24 $629,710.44 Nuclear Regulatory Commission $212,559.23 $213,668.42
Energy $587,090.29 $684,310.81 Office of Personnel Management $322,124.01 $278,916.47
Environmental Protection Agency $2,562,906.02 $2,379,429.11 Overseas Private Investment Corporation $19,904.34 $16,046.45
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission $759,554.14 $625,938.33 Peace Corps $15,665.51 $50,965.24
Export-Import Bank $1,305.68 $1,348.39 Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation $108,006.52 $27,559.40
Federal Communications Commission $170,569.04 $99,187.73 Presidio Trust $5,605.74 $4,137.31
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $344,502.42 $387,128.83 Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia $62,081.48 $26,746.12
Federal Election Commission $45,093.71 $8,238.77 Railroad Retirement Board $212,789.80 $257,131.47
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $112,569.69 $56,737.88 Securities and Exchange Commission $547,913.20 $394,705.49
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service $0.00 $0.00 Small Business Administration $241,128.61 $229,823.43
Federal Trade Commission $5,837.88 $17,181.14 Smithsonian $2,982.07 $6,935.92
General Services Administration $2,058,355.69 $2,103,475.38 Social Security Administration $9,913,668.14 $9,694,940.02
Government Printing Office $346,814.61 $333,197.88 State (includes AFSA unit) $622,587.80 $611,994.61
Health and Human Services $1,467,595.34 $1,944,579.35 Transportation  $17,712,397.98 $15,475,649.96
Holocaust Memorial Museum $0.00 $0.00 Treasury $27,314,928.23 $27,619,268.73
Homeland Security $7,816,239.51 $5,699,682.92 U.S. Capitol Police $119,642.50 $156,935.25
Housing and Urban Development $2,732,335.34 $2,313,019.78 U.S. International Trade Commission $24,315.27 $36,220.87
Interior $604,903.47 $513,474.14 Veterans Affairs $42,565,000.79 $34,137,767.50
International Boundary and Water Commission $650.28 $0.00 Grand Total -all agencies $155,573,739.25 $139,081,908.20

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Conclusion

Total official time hours across the Government have increased 9.66 percent from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2011. The hours expended per bargaining unit employee increased from 2.61 to 2.82 from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2011.

For further information regarding this report, please contact Partnership and Labor Relations at PLR@OPM.gov.

Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories— agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

      • Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
      • Mid-Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
      • Dispute Resolution— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
      • General Labor-Management Relations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization’s responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and a collective bargaining agreement.

Appendix B

OFFICIAL TIME SUMMARY BY AGENCY - FY 2011
Department/ Agency2011 BU Employees2011 Total Hours 1Term NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute Resolution
African Development Foundation 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Agency for International Development 2,944.00 5,480.00 20.00 10.00 625.00
Agriculture 33,631.00 135,700.00 3,875.50 2,355.00 13,760.75
Armed Forces Retirement Home 126.00 416.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,029.00 9,688.00 0.00 0.00 48.00
Commerce 21,143.00 43,291.25 1,005.50 1,691.75 14,401.50
Commission on Civil Rights 9.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 64.00 216.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consumer Product Safety Commission 399.00 460.00 0.00 0.00 148.00
Corporation for National and Community Service 370.00 90.00 0.00 0.00 33.50
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 370.00 91.00 0.00 0.00 16.00
Defense 450,999.00 355,029.48 43,067.17 4,566.50 98,891.57
Education 2,838.00 11,796.75 3,507.75 613.50 1,508.50
Energy 6,353.00 9,624.50 849.00 123.50 3,863.75
Environmental Protection Agency 12,883.00 39,120.00 289.00 50.00 6,758.00
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1,828.00 15,101.25 963.50 63.00 1,668.50
Export-Import Bank 58.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Federal Communications Commission 1,105.00 2,317.00 1,189.25 78.50 555.50
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 6,189.00 4,910.25 300.50 105.50 1,100.00
Federal Election Commission 205.00 781.25 695.50 0.00 13.00
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,123.00 1,623.00 4.00 308.00 35.00
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 28.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 311.00 105.00 0.00 3.00 0.00
General Services Administration 7,236.00 38,442.20 978.00 3,815.12 16,824.50
Government Printing Office 1,403.00 7,407.00 80.00 0.00 2,074.00
Health and Human Services 30,837.00 28,633.35 6,667.25 1,095.20 7,153.55
Holocaust Memorial Museum 13.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Homeland Security 68,209.00 171,309.00 15,321.00 16,390.50 45,647.75
Housing and Urban Development 6,910.00 47,501.75 21,973.00 612.25 21,231.25
Interior 20,816.00 16,513.00 1,093.50 437.00 1,713.50
International Boundary and Water Commission 158.00 21.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Justice 34,312.00 174,377.25 26,008.25 850.50 26,189.50
Labor 11,724.00 72,954.00 18,753.00 1,840.00 5,557.00
Merit Systems Protection Board 77.00 129.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 9,633.00 16,109.75 0.00 483.50 2,479.25
National Archives and Records Administration 2,026.00 5,494.00 0.00 62.40 315.70
National Credit Union Administration 964.00 3,634.60 2,594.30 96.00 445.00
National Endowment for the Humanities 31.00 315.00 0.00 0.00 3.00
National Gallery of Art 390.00 1,992.00 0.00 0.00 1,322.50
National Labor Relations Board 1,043.00 12,911.00 1,595.00 1,678.00 1,074.00
National Mediation Board 8.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Science Foundation 966.00 1,153.50 0.00 13.25 159.00
National Transportation Safety Board 286.00 161.50 0.00 0.00 2.00
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,754.00 2,925.25 0.00 9.50 762.00
Office of Personnel Management 1,330.00 6,992.00 0.00 832.00 2,080.00
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 101.00 315.00 0.00 0.00 20.00
Peace Corps 477.00 363.00 0.00 0.00 72.00
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 612.00 1,810.50 1,265.50 220.00 9.00
Presidio Trust 159.00 132.50 64.50 0.00 0.00
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 292.00 1,221.75 380.25 24.75 66.50
Railroad Retirement Board 707.00 4,348.00 0.00 0.00 2.50
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,811.00 5,842.75 533.00 751.50 747.25
Small Business Administration 1,466.00 4,421.75 902.50 0.75 2,562.25
Smithsonian 2,614.00 77.75 0.00 0.00 37.50
Social Security Administration 52,176.00 229,195.00 12,117.00 2,505.00 7,116.00
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,300.00 11,117.00 419.00 1,806.00 2,715.00
Transportation 39,131.00 264,561.83 6,973.68 2,730.23 12,851.10
Treasury 89,123.00 625,704.00 561.00 10,739.00 57,488.00
U.S. Capitol Police 987.00 2,387.00 8.00 12.00 84.00
U.S. International Trade Commission 236.00 359.50 0.00 0.00 0.00
Veterans Affairs 248,409.00 998,483.00 27,837.00 43,641.00 154,147.00
Grand Total - all agencies 1,202,733.00 3,395,187.21 201,891.40 100,613.70 516,378.17
OFFICIAL TIME SUMMARY BY AGENCY - FY 2011 - Continued
Department/ AgencyGeneral Labor-Mgmt RelationsHours per BU employeeHourly RateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cost
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 $32.27 $0.00 $0.00
Agency for International Development 4,825.00 1.86 $48.63 $266,470.27 $364,424.74
Agriculture 115,708.75 4.03 $24.90 $3,378,930.00 $4,621,024.67
Armed Forces Retirement Home 416.00 3.30 $21.04 $8,753.00 $11,970.60
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9,640.00 9.41 $42.55 $412,205.77 $563,732.61
Commerce 26,192.50 2.05 $40.28 $1,743,825.66 $2,384,855.98
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 $35.60 $0.00 $0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 216.00 3.38 $61.96 $13,384.00 $18,303.96
Consumer Product Safety Commission 312.00 1.15 $43.42 $19,973.29 $27,315.47
Corporation for National and Community Service 56.50 0.24 $33.38 $3,004.49 $4,108.93
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 75.00 0.25 $37.16 $3,381.13 $4,624.04
Defense 208,504.24 0.79 $28.83 $10,234,066.14 $13,996,108.85
Education 6,167.00 4.16 $45.07 $531,653.43 $727,089.24
Energy 4,788.25 1.51 $44.60 $429,285.09 $587,090.29
Environmental Protection Agency 32,023.00 3.04 $47.90 $1,874,017.27 $2,562,906.02
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 12,406.25 8.26 $36.78 $555,392.03 $759,554.14
Export-Import Bank 30.00 0.52 $31.82 $954.72 $1,305.68
Federal Communications Commission 493.75 2.10 $53.83 $124,721.44 $170,569.04
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 3,404.25 0.79 $51.30 $251,902.91 $344,502.42
Federal Election Commission 72.75 3.81 $42.21 $32,972.88 $45,093.71
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,276.00 1.45 $50.72 $82,311.85 $112,569.69
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 $32.65 $0.00 $0.00
Federal Trade Commission 102.00 0.34 $40.65 $4,268.70 $5,837.88
General Services Administration 16,824.50 5.31 $39.15 $1,505,086.06 $2,058,355.69
Government Printing Office 5,253.00 5.28 $34.24 $253,593.60 $346,814.61
Health and Human Services 13,717.35 0.93 $37.48 $1,073,117.39 $1,467,595.34
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 $27.88 $0.00 $0.00
Homeland Security 93,949.75 2.51 $33.36 $5,715,296.51 $7,816,239.51
Housing and Urban Development 3,685.25 6.87 $42.06 $1,997,905.34 $2,732,335.34
Interior 13,269.00 0.79 $26.79 $442,310.23 $604,903.47
International Boundary and Water Commission 21.00 0.13 $22.64 $475.49 $650.28
Justice 121,329.00 5.08 $29.14 $5,080,665.62 $6,948,318.30
Labor 46,804.00 6.22 $37.08 $2,705,330.73 $3,699,810.31
Merit Systems Protection Board 129.00 1.68 $67.47 $8,703.59 $11,903.03
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 13,147.00 1.67 $53.76 $866,046.22 $1,184,404.81
National Archives and Records Administration 5,115.90 2.71 $27.37 $150,369.20 $205,644.91
National Credit Union Administration 499.30 3.77 $44.01 $159,953.85 $218,752.89
National Endowment for the Humanities 312.00 10.16 $41.41 $13,043.57 $17,838.39
National Gallery of Art 669.50 5.11 $22.17 $44,163.02 $60,397.35
National Labor Relations Board 8,564.00 12.38 $43.52 $561,907.82 $768,465.14
National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 $31.16 $0.00 $0.00
National Science Foundation 981.25 1.19 $52.84 $60,954.71 $83,361.66
National Transportation Safety Board 159.50 0.56 $52.79 $8,525.18 $11,659.04
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,153.75 1.06 $53.13 $155,425.00 $212,559.23
Office of Personnel Management 4,080.00 5.26 $33.69 $235,539.64 $322,124.01
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 295.00 3.12 $46.20 $14,554.21 $19,904.34
Peace Corps 291.00 0.76 $31.56 $11,454.74 $15,665.51
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 316.00 2.96 $43.62 $78,975.23 $108,006.52
Presidio Trust 68.00 0.83 $30.94 $4,098.96 $5,605.74
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 750.25 4.18 $37.16 $45,394.47 $62,081.48
Railroad Retirement Board 4,345.50 6.15 $35.79 $155,593.60 $212,789.80
Securities and Exchange Commission 3,811.00 2.08 $68.57 $400,638.49 $547,913.20
Small Business Administration 956.25 3.02 $39.87 $176,315.16 $241,128.61
Smithsonian 40.25 0.03 $28.05 $2,180.51 $2,982.07
Social Security Administration 207,457.00 4.39 $31.63 $7,248,953.01 $9,913,668.14
State (includes AFSA unit) 6,177.00 0.61 $40.95 $455,241.15 $622,587.80
Transportation 242,006.82 6.76 $48.95 $12,951,446.32 $17,712,397.98
Treasury 556,916.00 7.02 $31.92 $19,972,892.83 $27,314,928.23
U.S. Capitol Police 2,283.00 2.42 $36.65 $87,483.55 $119,642.50
U.S. International Trade Commission 359.50 1.52 $49.46 $17,779.52 $24,315.27
Veterans Affairs 772,858.00 4.02 $31.17 $31,123,867.21 $42,565,000.79
Grand Total - all agencies 2,576,303.86 2.82 $33.51 $113,756,755.82 $155,573,739.25

1 Numbers may not total due to rounding.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2010 Survey Responses

Introduction

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 includes the following Congressional finding:

The Congress finds that

  • experience in both private and public employment indicates that the statutory protection of the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them
    • safeguards the public interest,
    • contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and
    • facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between employees and their employers involving conditions of employment; and
  • the public interest demands the highest standards of employee performance and the continued development and implementation of modern and progressive work practices to facilitate and improve employee performance and the efficient accomplishment of the operations of the Government.

Therefore, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.

5 U.S.C. 7101(a) (emphasis supplied).

President Obama reinforced this Congressional finding through issuance of Executive Order 13522, "Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services." The order recognizes that "Federal employees and their union representatives are an essential source of front-line ideas and information about the realities of delivering Government services to the American people." Moreover, in addition to promoting satisfactory labor relations, the President noted that "[a] non-adversarial forum for managers, employees, and employees' union representatives to discuss Government operations will ... improve the productivity and effectiveness of the Federal Government."

The role of unions in the Federal sector is significantly different than it is in the private sector. Indeed, the CSRA establishes a collective bargaining system that is tailored to the unique concerns of the Federal Government, carefully balancing the interests of the public, agency management, and employees. Thus, Federal employees are prohibited by law from striking. See 5 U.S.C. 7116(b)(7). Many of the terms and conditions of employment of a Federal employee (including pay and benefits for most employees) are set by law and not subject to bargaining. Others are taken off the bargaining table by a broad management rights provision. See 5 U.S.C. 7106(a). Finally, Federal sector unions must represent all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether the employee is a dues-paying member of the union or not. See 5 U.S.C. 7114(a)(1). Membership in labor unions is therefore totally voluntary for Federal employees and, as a result, there are fewer incentives for Federal employees to join and pay union dues than there are for private sector and many state and local government employees. This voluntary membership in Federal sector unions results in considerable reliance by unions on the volunteer work of bargaining unit employees, rather than paid union business agents, to represent the union in representational matters such as collective bargaining and grievances.

"Official time," authorized by 5 U.S.C. 7131, is a core component of the Federal government's carefully crafted collective bargaining system. Official time is time spent by Federal employees performing representational work for a bargaining unit in lieu of their regularly assigned work. It allows unions to satisfy their duty of fair representation to members and non-members alike.

Official time is available for representational tasks only. It is therefore not available:

  • for conducting internal union business (such as union elections or conventions); or
  • for any other purpose not tied directly to representation of bargaining unit employees in matters concerning conditions of employment.

Rather, union representatives use official time in the service of bargaining unit members, including

  • to participate in labor-management workgroups;
  • to represent bargaining unit employees in meetings;
  • to facilitate implementation of new workplace initiatives;
  • to assist the agency in communicating important information about workplace matters to employees;
  • to negotiate contracts and other collective bargaining agreements; and
  • to represent employees in grievances and disciplinary actions.

Official Time Statistics for Fiscal Year 2010

Annual reporting on official time was initiated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2002 to reinforce accountability on the part of both labor and management and to emphasize their shared responsibility that official time is authorized and used appropriately. OPM expects management and labor to develop sensible arrangements for official time that meet the needs and expectations of agencies, employees, and the ultimate customers - the American people.

OPM transmitted the call to report FY 2010 official time data in a June 28, 2011, memorandum to agencies. OPM used figures gathered from automated time and attendance systems via the Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) system to collect official time data. Agencies were asked to verify the official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations, and to validate how those hours were used within four pre-defined categories (See Appendix A). FY 2010 was the second consecutive year that OPM relied upon agency official time usage data extracted from the EHRI system. Executive departments and agencies with employees represented by labor organizations, as well as the Government Printing Office and U.S. Capitol Police, are covered in this report.

Each agency that reported official time electronically received a consolidated report, encompassing all agency subcomponents, of their official time usage within each of the four categories. Since the EHRI system tracks individual records, it may not have accounted for changes to an employee's bargaining unit status during the course of the fiscal year. Recognizing this system's limitation, agencies were requested to authenticate this data against their internal records to ensure that the data reported for each agency was accurate and complete. Agencies that have not transitioned to an e-Payroll system were asked to submit their official time usage manually for FY 2010. All sixty-one total agencies covered in this report confirmed or updated their official time data.

FY 2010 Survey Findings. Overall, FY 2010 brought an increase in the number of bargaining unit employees and official time used. During FY 2010, unions represented 1,185,685 non-Postal Federal civil service bargaining unit employees, an increase of 26,289 bargaining unit employees compared to 1,159,396 employees reported in FY 2009. Agencies reported that bargaining unit employees spent a total of 3,096,0181 hours performing representational duties on official time. This is a 3.50* percent increase in official time hours used in FY 2009. Finally, the number of official time hours used per bargaining unit employee on representational matters during FY 2010, on average across the government, increased from 2.58 hours in FY 2009 to 2.61* hours during FY 2010.

TOTAL OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2006-2010
FY 2010FY 2009FY 2008FY 2007FY 2006
Total Official Time Hours 3,096,018* 2,991,378 2,893,922 2,800,741 2,718,142
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.58 2.58 2.60 2.69 2.60

1 The Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Department of Labor have updated their agency official time figures previously published in our report. As a result, many figures have been modified throughout the report to reflect these updates. Total hours, the hours per bargaining unit employee rate, costs, and percentage changes for each respective category, have been changed to reflect updated data from the Broadcasting Board of Governors and Department of Labor and its impact government-wide. Please note each figure that has been corrected from the previously published figure will be annotated by an asterisk throughout the report.

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The following table shows the hours reported by agency in FY 2009 and FY 2010, and the change in percentage between the two years. The data show wide variations in official time hours reported among agencies compared to the previous year. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year, however, have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translate into significant percentage changes for these agencies. Seventeen* of the 61 agencies reported reductions in the number of official time hours used.

OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2010 vs. FY 2009
Department/
Agency
FY 2010
Official Time Hours
FY 2009
Official Time Hours
% ChangeDepartment/
Agency
FY 2010
Official Time Hours
FY 2009
Official Time Hours
% Change
Agencies with 1,000 or fewer bargaining unit employees
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Credit Union Administration 1,088.20 284.00 283.17%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 208.00 0.00 100.00%2 National Endowment for the Humanities 280.00 409.00 -31.54%
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Gallery of Art 1,093.25 475.00 130.16%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 216.00 142.00 52.11% National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 0.00%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 97.75 51.00 91.67% National Science Foundation 1,619.25 1,644.00 -1.51%
Corporation for National and Community Service 200.50 175.00 14.57% National Transportation Safety Board 133.00 12.00 1,000.83%
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 187.75 594.00 -68.39% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 258.00 300.00 -14.00%
Export-Import Bank 30.80 4.00 670.00% Peace Corps 1,195.00 165.00 624.24%
Federal Election Commission 144.40 609.000 -76.29% Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 462.75 241.00 92.01%
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 0.00% Presidio Trust 102.00 18.00 466.67%
Federal Trade Commission 318.00 203.00 56.65% Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 544.50 597.00 -8.79%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 0.00% Railroad Retirement Board 5,253.20 4,986.00 5.36%
International Boundary and Water Commission 0.00 0.00 0.00% U.S. Capitol Police 3,347.50 2,092.00 60.01%
Merit Systems Protection Board 83.00 16.00 418.75% U.S. International Trade Commission 534.50 35.00 1,427.14%
Agencies with 25,000 or fewer bargaining unit employees
Agency for International Development 4,080.00 4,472.00 -8.77% Housing and Urban Development 40,978.25 44,845.00 -8.62%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9,688.00* 4,811.00 101.37%* Interior 14,311.75 14,554.00 -1.66%
Commerce 41,864.50 38,079.00 9.94% Labor 54,434.00* 52,344.00 3.99%*
Education 10,223.25 5,217.00 95.96% National Aeronautics and Space Administration 16,485.31 18,694.00 -11.81%
Energy 11,301.00 9,472.00 19.31% National Archives and Records Administration 5,327.60 4,543.00 17.27%
Environmental Protection Agency 36,846.00 31,828.00 15.77% National Labor Relations Board 11,480.00 12,222.00 -6.07%
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 12,841.75 3,318.00 287.03% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,985.00 3,436.00 -13.13%
Federal Communications Commission 1,366.25 1,238.00 10.36% Office of Personnel Management 6,180.00 6,150.00 0.49%
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 5,839.25 4,640.00 25.85% Securities and Exchange Commission 4,321.50 2,629.00 64.38%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 825.00 414.00 99.28% Small Business Administration 4,243.50 3,616.00 17.35%
General Services Administration 40,133.00 33,440.00 20.01% Smithsonian 172.80 399.00 -56.69%
Government Printing Office 7,292.00 7,908.00 -7.79% State (includes AFSA unit) 10,989.00 13,359.00 -17.74%
Agencies with more than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 124,223.00 110,942.00 11.97% Social Security Administration 229,311.00 215,027.00 6.64%
Defense 348,703.71 370,149.00 -5.79% Transportation 237,004.06 199,569.00 18.76%
Health and Human Services 38,618.69 36,580.00 5.57% Treasury 649,170.00 670,357.00 -3.16%
Homeland Security 130,582.50 108,049.00 20.85% Veterans Affairs 809,740.47 801,294.00 1.05%
Justice 157,058.50 144,735.00 8.51% Government-wide 3,096,018* 2,991,378 3.50%*

2 The 100% increase in official time hours for the Armed Forces Retirement Home reflects the percentage of the change in hours from zero hours in FY 2009 to 208 hours in FY 2010.

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate, also referred to as the Hours Per Employee (HPE) rate, which indicates the average number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2010 government-wide HPE rate was 2.61* which is an increase to the FY 2009 HPE rate of 2.58.

OFFICIAL TIME RATE - FY 2010 vs. FY 2009
Department/
Agency
FY 2010 Official Time RateFY 2009 Official Time Rate% ChangeDepartment/
Agency
FY 2010 Official Time RateFY 2009 Official Time Rate% Change
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 0.00% Justice 4.63 4.37 6.02%
Agency for International Development 1.65 3.73 -55.66% Labor 4.77* 4.39 8.63%*
Agriculture 3.56 2.83 25.87% Merit Systems Protection Board 1.05 0.21 400.30%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 1.58 0.00 0.00% National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1.66 1.89 -12.20%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9.13* 4.45 105.19%* National Archives and Records Administration 1.83 2.31 -20.94%
Commerce 2.09 1.91 9.59% National Credit Union Administration 1.26 0.35 259.85%
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Endowment for the Humanities 7.18 5.17 38.87%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 3.32 0.71 368.04% National Gallery of Art 2.73 1.19 129.67%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 0.38 0.23 66.67% National Labor Relations Board 10.67 11.57 -7.79%
Corporation for National and Community Service 0.52 0.49 7.12% National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 0.00%
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 0.49 1.61 -69.71% National Science Foundation 1.67 1.78 -6.41%
Defense 0.79 0.88 -10.03% National Transportation Safety Board 0.52 0.05 943.14%
Education 3.90 2.08 87.38% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.06 1.24 -14.39%
Energy 1.68 1.29 30.15% Office of Personnel Management 4.74 5.97 -20.55%
Environmental Protection Agency 2.97 2.65 12.03% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 2.58 3.00 -14.00%
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 6.82 1.93 253.17% Peace Corps 2.66 0.40 563.89%
Export-Import Bank 0.50 0.06 741.53% Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 0.78 0.43 81.17%
Federal Communications Commission 1.17 1.06 10.35% Presidio Trust 0.61 0.11 455.25%
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 0.95 0.97 -2.18% Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 1.82 2.00 -8.95%
Federal Election Commission 0.68 2.68 -74.58% Railroad Retirement Board 7.36 7.07 4.07%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 0.74 0.37 99.98% Securities and Exchange Commission 1.57 1.00 56.75%
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 0.00% Small Business Administration 3.23 2.75 17.61%
Federal Trade Commission 1.04 0.60 73.77% Smithsonian 0.07 0.15 -56.43%
General Services Administration 5.56 4.51 23.18% Social Security Administration 4.18 4.10 1.92%
Government Printing Office 3.98 4.32 -7.76% State (includes AFSA unit) 0.60 0.72 -16.60%
Health and Human Services 1.26 0.943 33.61% Transportation 6.04 5.15 17.33%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 0.00% Treasury 7.02 7.35 -4.46%
Homeland Security 2.04 1.69 20.58% U.S. Capitol Police 3.43 2.14 60.27%
Housing and Urban Development 5.76 6.59 -12.62% U.S. International Trade Commission 2.26 0.14 1,517.74%
Interior 0.71 0.72 -1.86% Veterans Affairs 3.37 3.47 -2.93%
International Boundary and Water Commission 0.00 0.00 0.00% Grand Total - all agencies 2.61* 2.58 1.21%*

3This corrects the previous erroneous Department of Health and Human Services official time rate of 1.17 as listed in the FY 2009 Official Time Usage Report.

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Categories

Agencies report official time by categories: Term Negotiations, Mid-Term Negotiations, Dispute Resolution, and General Labor-Management Relations. Official time usage for General Labor-Management Relations accounted for the greatest share of government-wide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,389,825.10* hours in the General Labor-Management Relations category, representing 77.19* percent of all reported official time hours.

OFFICIAL TIME USE BY CATEGORY - FY 2010
Department/AgencyBargaining Unit Employees2010 Total HoursTerm NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Mgmt Relations
African Development Foundation 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Agency for International Development 2,467.00 4,080.00 20.00 10.00 425.00 3,625.00
Agriculture 34,872.00 124,223.00 7,636.50 2,632.25 14,263.75 99,699.50
Armed Forces Retirement Home 132.00 208.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 208.00
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,061.00 9,688.00* 0.00 0.00 48.00 9,640.00*
Commerce 20,000.00 41,864.50 1,645.50 2,278.50 18,439.00 19,501.50
Commission on Civil Rights 10.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 65.00 216.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 216.00
Consumer Product Safety Commission 255.00 97.75 21.00 0.25 54.25 22.25
Corporation for National and Community Service 382.00 200.50 0.00 9.00 22.50 169.00
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 385.00 187.75 23.00 0.00 33.00 131.75
Defense 440,452.00 348,703.71 45,879.82 6,250.30 95,537.55 201,036.04
Education 2,623.00 10,223.25 4,059.25 239.50 3,002.75 2,921.75
Energy 6,731.00 11,301.00 361.50 213.00 3,296.50 7,430.00
Environmental Protection Agency 12,411.00 36,846.00 302.00 8,272.00 27,195.00 1,077.00
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1,884.00 12,841.75 7.00 34.00 1,327.75 11,473.00
Export-Import Bank 61.00 30.80 0.00 0.00 7.00 23.80
Federal Communications Commission 1,168.00 1,366.25 0.00 93.50 627.50 645.25
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 6,154.00 5,839.25 1,260.50 18.00 779.50 3,781.25
Federal Election Commission 212.00 144.40 102.90 0.00 1.00 40.50
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,115.00 825.00 0.00 0.00 83.00 742.00
Federal Mediation Conciliation Service 34.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 305.00 318.00 0.00 49.00 117.50 151.50
General Services Administration 7,224.00 40,133.00 58.00 2,967.00 13,246.00 23,862.00
Government Printing Office 1,830.00 7,292.00 105.00 23.00 2,078.00 5,086.00
Health and Human Services 30,750.00 38,618.69 3,283.03 3,366.25 9,164.16 22,805.25
Holocaust Memorial Museum 13.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Homeland Security 64,080.00 130,582.50 14,658.00 11,488.00 33,024.00 71,412.50
Housing and Urban Development 7,116.00 40,978.25 14,495.25 1,549.50 20,459.25 4,474.25
Interior 20,255.00 14,311.75 3,361.50 1,063.00 1,715.25 8,172.00
International Boundary and Water Commission 169.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Justice 33,898.00 157,058.50 25,144.25 1,685.25 20,142.75 110,086.25
Labor 11,415.00 54,434.00* 1,779.00 643.00 5,231.00 46,781.00*
Merit Systems Protection Board 79.00 83.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 83.00
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 9,934.00 16,485.31 4.00 800.72 3,513.49 12,167.10
National Archives and Records Administration 2,917.00 5,327.60 0.00 65.80 389.90 4,871.90
National Credit Union Administration 864.00 1,088.20 93.50 218.50 181.00 595.20
National Endowment for the Humanities 39.00 280.00 21.00 3.00 42.50 213.50
National Gallery of Art 400.00 1,093.25 0.00 16.00 571.50 505.75
National Labor Relations Board 1,076.00 11,480.00 0.00 1,148.00 2,870.00 7,462.00
National Mediation Board 11.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Science Foundation 972.00 1,619.25 0.00 5.00 246.00 1,368.25
National Transportation Safety Board 255.00 133.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 131.25
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,812.00 2,985.00 2.00 11.00 814.25 2,157.75
Office of Personnel Management 1,303.00 6,180.00 0.00 500.00 1,880.00 3,800.00
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 100.00 258.00 0.00 8.00 20.00 230.00
Peace Corps 450.00 1,195.00 5.00 0.00 90.00 1,100.00
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 594.00 462.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 462.75
Presidio Trust 167.00 102.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 102.00
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 299.00 544.50 0.00 3.75 122.00 418.75
Railroad Retirement Board 714.00 5,253.20 0.00 0.00 90.40 5,162.80
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,757.00 4,321.50 0.00 0.00 718.75 3,602.75
Small Business Administration 1,312.00 4,243.50 1,322.00 16.50 593.75 2,311.25
Smithsonian 2,644.00 172.80 0.00 6.00 125.30 41.50
Social Security Administration 54,875.00 229,311.00 16,148.00 2,626.00 7,525.00 203,012.00
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,300.00 10,989.00 352.00 1,773.00 2,590.00 6,274.00
Transportation 39,223.00 237,004.06 3,056.19 3,876.51 19,624.55 210,446.81
Treasury 92,441.00 649,170.00 5,842.00 9,686.00 45,568.00 588,074.00
U.S. Capitol Police 976.00 3,347.50 640.50 0.00 83.00 2,624.00
U.S. International Trade Commission 236.00 534.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 534.50
Veterans Affairs 240,405.00 809,740.47 32,290.50 24,872.08 75,719.94 676,857.95
Grand Total - all agencies 1,185,685.00 3,096,017.99* 183,979.69 88,511.16 433,702.04 2,389,825.10*

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on September 2010 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). The total payroll costs, salary and benefits, for FY 2010 official time hours was $139,081,908*. We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits. In comparing FY 2009 and FY 2010 data, the cost of official time hours increased by 7.73* percent. This increase reflects, in part, the increased number of bargaining unit employees and the corresponding increase in official time usage government-wide. Official time costs represented less than two tenths of one percent of the total civilian personnel budget (salary and benefits) for Federal civil service bargaining unit employees.

OFFICIAL TIME COST BY AGENCY - FY 2010 vs. 2009
Department/
Agency
FY 10 CostFY 09 CostDepartment/
Agency
FY 10 CostFY 09 Cost
African Development Foundation $0.00 $0.00 Justice $6,207,833.41 $5,613,521.00
Agency for International Development $276,881.88 $289,203.00 Labor $2,723,717.60* $2,574,262.00
Agriculture $4,106,537.23 $3,597,265.00 Merit Systems Protection Board $7,570.73 $1,427.00
Armed Forces Retirement Home $6,007.46 $0.00 National Aeronautics and Space Administration $1,202,705.57 $1,325,172.00
Broadcasting Board of Governors $556,050.56* $267,147.00 National Archives and Records Administration $196,999.42 $163,182.00
Commerce $2,225,166.94 $1,899,827.00 National Credit Union Administration $64,155.26 $16,114.00
Commission on Civil Rights $0.00 $0.00 National Endowment for the Humanities $15,675.38 $22,108.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $17,804.05 $11,286.00 National Gallery of Art $32,925.90 $13,679.00
Consumer Product Safety Commission $5,758.84 $3,027.00 National Labor Relations Board $690,288.84 $733,622.00
Corporation for National and Community Service $9,077.73 $7,758.00 National Mediation Board $0.00 $0.00
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency $9,222.38 $27,879.00 National Science Foundation $115,538.69 $111,903.00
Defense $13,566,122.35 $13,988,798.00 National Transportation Safety Board $9,814.50 $810.00
Education $629,710.44 $320,132.00 Nuclear Regulatory Commission $213,668.42 $237,257.00
Energy $684,310.81 $557,555.00 Office of Personnel Management $278,916.47 $284,649.00
Environmental Protection Agency $2,379,429.11 $2,001,095.00 Overseas Private Investment Corporation $16,046.45 $17,951.00
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission $625,938.33 $163,548.00 Peace Corps $50,965.24 $7,024.00
Export-Import Bank $1,348.39 $168.00 Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation $27,559.40 $13,716.00
Federal Communications Commission $99,187.73 $86,075.00 Presidio Trust $4,137.31 $705.00
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $387,128.83 $297,298.00 Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia $26,746.12 $27,996.00
Federal Election Commission $8,283.77 $32,669.00 Railroad Retirement Board $257,131.47 $237,815.00
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $56,737.88 $27,243.00 Securities and Exchange Commission $394,705.49 $229,906.00
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service $0.00 $0.00 Small Business Administration $229,823.43 $190,487.00
Federal Trade Commission $17,181.14 $10,638.00 Smithsonian $6,935.92 $14,689.00
General Services Administration $2,103,475.38 $1,698,543.00 Social Security Administration $9,694,940.02 $8,890,079.00
Government Printing Office $333,197.88 $343,660.00 State (includes AFSA unit) $611,994.61 $708,166.00
Health and Human Services $1,944,579.35 $1,779,656.004 Transportation $15,475,649.96 $12,619,748.00
Holocaust Memorial Museum $0.00 $0.00 Treasury $27,619,268.73 $27,724,032.00
Homeland Security $5,699,682.92 $4,285,982.00 U.S. Capitol Police $156,935.255 $91,414.00
Housing and Urban Development $2,313,019.78 $2,515,084.00 U.S. International Trade Commission $36,220.87 $2,303.00
Interior $513,474.14 $509,847.00 Veterans Affairs $34,137,767.50 $32,505,688.00
International Boundary and Water Commission $0.00 $0.00 Grand Total - all agencies $139,081,908.20* $129,100,798.00

4This corrects the previous erroneous calculation of official time cost for the Department of Health and Human Services of $1,626,668 as listed in the FY 2009 Official Time Usage Report.

5 While U.S. Capitol Police provided time and attendance data on official time hours used for FY 2010, OPM did not receive the FY 2010 bargaining unit employee average salary figures. The FY 2009 bargaining unit employee average salary figures were used for FY 2010 for U.S. Capitol Police.

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Conclusion

Total official time hours across the government have increased 3.50* percent from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2010. The hours expended per bargaining unit employee increased from 2.58 to 2.61* from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2010.

For further information regarding this report, please contact Partnership and Labor Relations at PLR@OPM.gov.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories - agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

  • Term Negotiations - this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid-Term Negotiations - this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution - this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor-Management Relations - this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B

OFFICIAL TIME SUMMARY BY AGENCY - FY 2010
Department/ Agency2010 BU Employees2010 Total Hours 6Term NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute Resolution
African Development Foundation 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Agency for International Development 2,467.00 4,080.00 20.00 10.00 425.00
Agriculture 34,872.00 124,223.00 7,636.50 2,623.25 14,263.75
Armed Forces Retirement Home 132.00 208.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,061.00 9,688.00* 0.00 0.00 48.00
Commerce 20,000.00 41,864.50 1,645.50 2,278.50 18,439.00
Commission on Civil Rights 10.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 65.00 216.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Consumer Product Safety Commission 255.00 97.75 21.00 0.25 54.25
Corporation for National and Community Service 382.00 200.50 0.00 9.00 22.50
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 385.00 187.75 23.00 0.00 33.00
Defense 440,452.00 348,703.71 45,879.82 6,250.30 95,537.55
Education 2,623.00 10,223.25 4,059.25 239.50 3,002.75
Energy 6,731.00 11,301.00 361.50 213.00 3,296.50
Environmental Protection Agency 12,411.00 36,846.00 302.00 8,272.00 27,195.00
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1,884.00 12,841.75 7.00 34.00 1,327.75
Export-Import Bank 61.00 30.80 0.00 0.00 7.00
Federal Communications Commission 1,168.00 1,366.25 0.00 93.50 627.50
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 6,154.00 5,839.25 1,260.50 18.00 779.50
Federal Election Commission 212.00 144.40 102.90 0.00 1.00
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,115.00 825.00 0.00 0.00 83.00
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 34.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 305.00 318.00 0.00 49.00 117.50
General Services Administration 7,224.00 40,133.00 58.00 2,967.00 13,246.00
Government Printing Office 1,830.00 7,292.00 105.00 23.00 2,078.00
Health and Human Services 30,750.00 38,618.69 3,283.03 3,366.25 9,164.16
Holocaust Memorial Museum 13.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Homeland Security 64,080.00 130,582.50 14,658.00 11,488.00 33,024.00
Housing and Urban Development 7,116.00 40,978.25 14,495.25 1,549.50 20,459.25
Interior 20,255.00 14,311.75 3,361.50 1,063.00 1,715.25
International Boundary and Water Commission 169.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Justice 33,898.00 157,058.50 25,144.25 1,685.25 20,142.75
Labor 11,415.00 54,434.00* 1,779.00 643.00 5,231.00
Merit Systems Protection Board 79.00 83.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 9,934.00 16,485.31 4.00 800.72 3,513.49
National Archives and Records Administration 2,917.00 5,327.60 0.00 65.80 389.90
National Credit Union Administration 864.00 1,088.20 93.50 218.50 181.00
National Endowment for the Humanities 39.00 280.00 21.00 3.00 42.50
National Gallery of Art 400.00 1,093.25 0.00 16.00 571.50
National Labor Relations Board 1,076.00 11,480.00 0.00 1,148.00 2,870.00
National Mediation Board 11.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
National Science Foundation 972.00 1,619.25 0.00 5.00 246.00
National Transportation Safety Board 255.00 133.00 0.00 0.00 1.75
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,812.00 2,985.00 2.00 11.00 814.25
Office of Personnel Management 1,303.00 6,180.00 0.00 500.00 1,880.00
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 100.00 258.00 0.00 8.00 20.00
Peace Corps 450.00 1,195.00 5.00 0.00 90.00
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 594.00 462.75 0.00 0.00 0.00
Presidio Trust 167.00 102.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 299.00 544.50 0.00 3.75 122.00
Railroad Retirement Board 714.00 5,253.20 0.00 0.00 90.40
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,757.00 4,321.50 0.00 0.00 718.75
Small Business Administration 1,312.00 4,243.50 1,322.00 16.50 593.75
Smithsonian 2,644.00 172.80 0.00 6.00 125.30
Social Security Administration 54,875.00 229,311.00 16,148.00 2,626.00 7,525.00
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,300.00 10,989.00 352.00 1,773.00 2,590.00
Transportation 39,223.00 237,004.06 3,056.19 3,876.51 19,624.55
Treasury 92,441.00 649,170.00 5,842.00 9,686.00 45,568.00
U.S. Capitol Police 976.00 3,347.50 640.50 0.00 83.00
U.S. International Trade Commission 236.00 534.50 0.00 0.00 0.00
Veterans Affairs 240,405.00 809,740.47 32,290.50 24,872.08 75,719.94
Grand Total -
all agencies
1,185,685.00 3,096,017.99* 183,979.69 88,511.16 443,702.04

OFFICIAL TIME SUMMARY BY AGENCY - FY 2010 - Continued
Department/ AgencyGeneral Labor-Mgmt RelationsHours per BU employeeHourly RateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cost
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 $31.44 $0.00 $0.00
Agency for International Development 3,625.00 1.65 $49.62 $202,458.23 $276,881.88
Agriculture 99,699.50 3.56 $24.17 $3,002,732.69 $4,106,537.23
Armed Forces Retirement Home 208.00 1.58 $21.12 $4,392.70 $6,007.46
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9,640.00* 9.13* $41.97 $406,588.59* $556,050.56*
Commerce 19,501.50 2.09 $38.86 $1,627,059.77 $2,225,166.94
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 $34.80 $0.00 $0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 216.00 3.32 $60.27 $13,018.47 $17,804.05
Consumer Product Safety Commission 22.25 0.38 $43.08 $4,210.91 $5,758.84
Corporation for National and Community Service 169.00 0.52 $33.11 $6,637.71 $9.077.73
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency 131.75 0.49 $35.92 $6,743.47 $9,222.38
Defense 201,036.04 0.79 $28.45 $9,919,656.58 $13,566,122.35
Education 2,921.75 3.90 $45.04 $460,449.28 $629,710.44
Energy 7,430.00 1.68 $44.28 $500,373.51 $684,310.81
Environmental Protection Agency 1,077.00 2.97 $47.22 $1,739,857.49 $2,379,429.11
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 11,473.00 6.82 $35.64 $457,691.08 $625,938.33
Export-Import Bank 23.80 0.50 $32.01 $985.96 $1,348.39
Federal Communications Commission 645.25 1.17 $53.08 $72,526.86 $99,187.73
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 3,781.25 0.95 $48.48 $283,071.68 $387,128.83
Federal Election Commission 40.50 0.68 $41.72 $6,024.26 $8,238.77
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 742.00 0.74 $50.29 $41,487.19 $56,737.88
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0.00 0.00 $33.26 $0.00 $0.00
Federal Trade Commission 151.50 1.04 $39.51 $12,562.99 $17,181.14
General Services Administration 23,862.00 5.56 $38.32 $1,538,077.93 $2,103,475.38
Government Printing Office 5,086.00 3.98 $33.41 $243,636.94 $333,197.88
Health and Human Services 22,805.25 1.26 $36.82 $1,421,891.89 $1,944,579.35
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 $27.66 $0.00 $0.00
Homeland Security 71,412.50 2.04 $31.92 $4,167,653.49 $5,699,682.92
Housing and Urban Development 4,474.25 5.76 $41.27 $1,691,298.46 $2,313,019.78
Interior 8,172.00 0.71 $26.23 $375,456.38 $513,474.14
International Boundary and Water Commission 0.00 0.00 $22.51 $0.00 $0.00
Justice 110,086.25 4.63 $28.90 $4,539,217.18 $6,207,833.41
Labor 46,781.00* 4.77* $36.59 $1,991,603.98* $2,723,717.60*
Merit Systems Protection Board 83.00 1.05 $66.70 $5,535.78 $7,570.73
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 12,167.10 1.66 $53.35 $879,427.88 $1,202,705.57
National Archives and Records Administration 4,871.90 1.83 $27.04 $144,047.55 $196,999.42
National Credit Union Administration 595.20 1.26 $43.11 $46,910.84 $64,155.26
National Endowment for the Humanities 213.50 7.18 $40.94 $11,461.96 $15,675.38
National Gallery of Art 505.75 2.73 $22.02 $24,075.68 $32,925.90
National Labor Relations Board 7,462.00 10.67 $43.97 $504,744.69 $690,288.84
National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 $31.85 $0.00 $0.00
National Science Foundation 1,368.25 1.67 $52.17 $84,482.81 $115,538.69
National Transportation Safety Board 131.25 0.52 $53.96 $7,176.44 $9,814.50
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,157.75 1.06 $52.34 $156,236.05 $213,668.42
Office of Personnel Management 3,800.00 4.74 $33.00 $203,945.94 $278,916.47
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 230.00 2.58 $45.48 $11,733.29 $16,046.45
Peace Corps 1,100.00 2.66 $31.19 $37,266.19 $50,965.24
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 462.75 0.78 $43.55 $20,151.65 $27,559.40
Presidio Trust 102.00 0.61 $29.66 $3,025.23 $4,137.31
Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia 418.75 1.82 $35.92 $19,556.97 $26,746.12
Railroad Retirement Board 5,162.80 7.36 $35.79 $188,016.57 $257,131.47
Securities and Exchange Commission 3,602.75 1.57 $66.79 $288,611.79 $394,705.49
Small Business Administration 2,311.25 3.23 $39.60 $168,048.72 $229,823.43
Smithsonian 41.50 0.07 $29.35 $5,071.60 $6,935.92
Social Security Administration 203,012.00 4.18 $30.91 $7,089,017.27 $9,694,940.02
State (includes AFSA unit) 6,274.00 0.60 $40.72 $447,495.33 $611,994.61
Transportation 210,446.81 6.04 $47.75 $11,315,918.37 $15,475,649.96
Treasury 588,074.00 7.02 $31.11 $20,195,429.02 $27,619,268.73
U.S. Capitol Police 2,624.00 3.43 $34.287 $114,752.30 $156,935.25
U.S. International Trade Commission 534.50 2.26 $49.55 $26,484.99 $36,220.87
Veterans Affairs 676,857.95 3.37 $30.83 $24,961,807.18 $34,137,767.50
Grand Total -
all agencies
2,389,825.10* 2.61* $32.85* $101,697,797.75* $139,081,908.20*

6 Numbers may not total due to rounding.

7 While U.S. Capitol Police provided time and attendance data on official time hours used for FY 2010, OPM did not receive the FY 2010 bargaining unit employee average salary figures. The FY 2009 bargaining unit employee average salary figures were used for FY 2010 for U.S. Capitol Police.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2009 Survey Responses

Introduction

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 includes the following Congressional finding:

  1. The Congress finds that--
    1. experience in both private and public employment indicates that the statutory protection of the right of employees to organize, bargain collectively, and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions which affect them-
      1. safeguards the public interest,
      2. contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and
      3. facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between employees and their employers involving conditions of employment; and
    2. the public interest demands the highest standards of employee performance and the continued development and implementation of modern and progressive work practices to facilitate and improve employee performance and the efficient accomplishment of the operations of the Government.

Therefore, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.

5 U.S.C. 7101(a) (emphasis supplied).

President Obama reinforced this Congressional finding through issuance of Executive Order 13522, "Creating Labor-Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services." The order recognizes that "Federal employees and their union representatives are an essential source of front-line ideas and information about the realities of delivering Government services to the American people." Moreover, in addition to promoting satisfactory labor relations, the President noted that "[a] non-adversarial forum for managers, employees, and employees' union representatives to discuss Government operations will ... improve the productivity and effectiveness of the Federal Government."

The role of unions in the Federal sector is significantly different than it is in the private sector. Indeed, the CSRA establishes a collective bargaining system that is tailored to the unique concerns of the Federal Government, carefully balancing the interests of the public, agency management, and employees. Thus, Federal employees are prohibited by law from striking. See 5 U.S.C. 7116(b)(7). Many of the terms and conditions of employment of a Federal employee (including pay and benefits for most employees) are set by law and not subject to bargaining. Others are taken off the bargaining table by a broad management rights provision. See 5 U.S.C. 7106(a). Finally, Federal sector unions must represent all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether the employee is a dues-paying member of the union or not. See 5 U.S.C. 7114(a)(1). Membership in labor unions is therefore totally voluntary for Federal employees and, as a result, there are fewer incentives for Federal employees to join and pay union dues than there are for private sector and many state and local government employees. This voluntary membership in Federal sector unions results in considerable reliance by unions on the volunteer work of bargaining unit employees, rather than paid union business agents, to represent the union in representational matters such as collective bargaining and grievances.

"Official time," authorized by 5 U.S.C. 7131, is a core component of the Federal government's carefully crafted collective bargaining system. Official time is time spent by Federal employees performing representational work for a bargaining unit in lieu of their regularly assigned work. It allows unions to satisfy their duty of fair representation to members and non-members alike.

Official time is available for representational tasks only. It is therefore not available:

  • for conducting internal union business (such as union elections or conventions);
  • to pursue lawsuits against the Federal government; or
  • for any other purpose not tied directly to representation of bargaining unit employees in matters concerning conditions of employment.

Rather, union representatives use official time in the service of bargaining unit members, including

  • to participate in labor-management workgroups;
  • to represent bargaining unit employees in meetings;
  • to facilitate implementation of new workplace initiatives;
  • to assist the agency in communicating important information about workplace matters to employees;
  • to negotiate contracts and other collective bargaining agreements; and
  • to represent employees in grievances and disciplinary actions.

Official Time Statistics for 2009

OPM has produced reports on official time usage since 2002. Though there are no legal or regulatory requirements to publish any official time data, OPM chose to issue the call and guidance for reporting Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 official time data in an October 26, 2010 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies. Annual reporting on official time was initiated by OPM to reinforce accountability on the part of both labor and management, emphasizing their shared responsibility that official time is authorized and used appropriately. OPM expects management and labor to develop sensible arrangements for official time that meet the needs and expectations of agencies, employees, and the ultimate customers - the American people. There are no legal or regulatory requirements to publish this report

OPM continues to refine official time data collection, using figures gathered from automated time and attendance systems. FY 2009 was the first time that OPM relied upon agency official time usage data extracted from the Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) system. Agencies were asked to verify the official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations, and to validate how those hours were used within four pre-defined categories (See Appendix A).

Each agency that reported official time electronically received a consolidated report, encompassing all subcomponents, of their official time usage within each of the four categories. Since the EHRI system tracks individual records, it may not have accounted for changes to an employee's bargaining unit status during the course of the fiscal year. Recognizing this system's limitation, agencies were requested to authenticate this data against their internal records to ensure that the data reported for each agency was accurate and complete. Agencies that have not transitioned to an e-Payroll system were asked to submit their official time usage manually for FY 2009. Because FY 2009 was the first year for use of electronically collected data, additional time was required to compile and verify all the required information, causing a delay in developing the final report.

All 59 Executive departments and agencies that have employees represented by labor organizations, as well as the Government Printing Office and U.S. Capitol Police, confirmed or updated their official time data. Responding agencies and departments reported 2,991,378 official time hours used in FY 2009. The average number of official time hours used per bargaining unit employee (HPE) rate was 2.58 percent, a slight decrease from FY 2008. Compared to FY 2008, the total number of hours reported increased by 3.37 percent and the total number of employees in a bargaining unit increased by 3.91 percent in FY 2009 from 1,115,667 employees to 1,159,396 employees.

TOTAL OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2005-2009
 FY 2009FY 2008FY 2007FY 2006FY 2005
Total Official Time Hours 2,991,378 2,893,922 2,800,741 2,718,142 3,359,057
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.58 2.60 2.69 2.60 3.20

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The following table shows the hours reported by agency in FY 2008 and FY 2009, and the change in percentage between the two years. The data show wide variations in official time hours reported among agencies compared to the previous year. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year, however, have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translate into significant percentage changes for these agencies. Thirty-four of the 61 agencies reported reductions in the number of official time hours used.

OFFICIAL TIME HOURS - FY 2009 vs. FY 2008
Departments/
Agencies
FY 2009
Official Time Hours
FY 2008
Official Time Hours
% ChangeDepartments/
Agencies
FY 2009
Official Time Hours
FY 2008
Official Time Hours
% Change
Less than 1,000 bargaining unit employees
African Development Foundation 0 0 0.00% Merit Systems Protection Board 16 44 -63.64%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 0 5 -100.00% National Credit Union Association 284 742 -61.73%
Commission on Civil Rights 0 0 0.00% National Endowment for the Humanities 409 242 69.01%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 142 391 -63.68% National Gallery of Art 475 659 -27.92%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 51 389 -86.89% National Mediation Board 0 0 0.00%
Corporation for National and Community Service 175 65 169.23% National Science Foundation 1,644 1,066 54.22%
CSOSA 594 1,235 -51.90% National Transportation Safety Board 12 44 -72.73%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 597 455 31.21% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 300 12 2,400.00%
Export-Import Bank 4 61 -93.44% Peace Corps 165 125 32.00%
Federal Election Commission 609 290 110.00% Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 241 1,525 -84.20%
Federal Trade Commission 203 1,180 -82.80% Presidio Trust 18 337 -94.66%
FMCS 0 53 -100.00% Railroad Retirement Board 4,986 5,030 -0.87%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 0 0.00% U.S. Capitol Police 2,092 2,049 2.10%
International Boundary & Water Commission 0 0 0.00% U.S. International Trade Commission 35 4,460 -99.22%
1,000 to 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agency for International Development 4,472 4,370 2.33% Housing & Urban Development 44,845 33,525 33.77%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 4,811 6,400 -24.83% Interior 14,554 15,885 -8.38%
Commerce 38,079 41,603 -8.47% Labor 52,344 53,621 -2.38%
Education 5,217 6,117 -14.71% NASA 18,694 15,613 19.73%
EEOC 3,318 15,998 -79.26% National Archives and Records Administration 4,543 6,544 -30.58%
Energy 9,472 16,903 -43.96% National Labor Relations Board 12,222 13,447 -9.11%
EPA 31,828 35,364 -9.99% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 3,436 4,019 -14.51%
FCC 1,238 1,504 -17.69% Office of Personnel Management 6,150 6,170 -0.32%
FDIC 4,640 4,258 8.97% SEC 2,629 3,590 -26.77%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 414 507 -18.34% Small Business Administration 3,616 3,927 -7.92%
General Services Administration 33,440 32,352 3.36% Smithsonian 399 800 -50.13%
Government Printing Office 7,908 6,950 13.78% State (includes AFSA unit) 13,359 12,314 8.49%
More than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 110,942 117,934 -5.93% Social Security Administration 215,027 229,141 -6.16%
Defense 370,149 331,099 11.79% Transportation 199,569 188,048 6.13%
Health & Human Services 36,580 25,371 44.18% Treasury 670,357 634,191 5.70%
Homeland Security 108,049 87,787 23.08% Veterans Affairs 801,294 774,679 3.44%
Justice 144,735 143,438 0.90% Government-wide 2,991,378 2,893,922 3.37%

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate, also referred to as the Hours Per Employee (HPE) rate, which indicates the average number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2009 government-wide HPE rate was 2.58 which represents a less than one percent decrease from the FY 2008 HPE rate. Changes in an agency's official time rate must be viewed together with the number of total official time hours used.

OFFICIAL TIME RATE - FY 2009 vs. FY 2008
Departments/
Agencies
FY 2009 Official Time RateFY 2008 Official Time Rate% ChangeDepartments/
Agencies
FY 2009 Official Time RateFY 2008 Official Time Rate% Change
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.00 0.00% International Boundary & Water Commission 0.00 0.00 0.00%
Agency for International Development 3.73 2.23 67.26% Justice 4.37 4.63 -5.62%
Agriculture 2.83 2.94 -3.74% Labor 4.39 4.90 -10.41%
Armed Forces Retirement Home 0.00 0.03 -100.00% Merit Systems Protection Board 0.21 0.55 -61.82%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 4.45 5.84 -23.80% NASA 1.89 1.60 18.13%
Commerce 1.91 2.14 -10.75% National Archives and Records Administration 2.31 3.39 -31.86%
Commission on Civil Rights 0.00 0.00 0.00% National Credit Union Association 0.35 0.98 -64.29%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 0.71 2.61 -72.80% National Endowment for the Humanities 5.17 2.44 111.89%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 0.23 1.21 -80.99% National Gallery of Art 1.19 1.65 -27.88%
Corporation for National and Community Service 0.49 0.20 145.00% National Labor Relations Board 11.57 12.18 -5.01%
CSOSA 1.61 3.54 -54.52% National Mediation Board 0.00 0.00 0.0%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 2.00 1.68 19.05% National Science Foundation 1.78 1.20 48.33%
Defense 0.88 0.80 10.00% National Transportation Safety Board 0.05 0.17 -70.59%
Education 2.08 2.38 -12.61% Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.24 1.45 -14.48%
EEOC 1.93 10.05 -80.80% Office of Personnel Management 5.97 5.67 5.29%
Energy 1.29 2.19 -41.10% Overseas Private Investment Corporation 3.00 0.12 2,400.00%
EPA 2.65 2.99 -11.37% Peace Corps 0.40 0.36 11.11%
Export-Import Bank 0.06 0.84 -92.86% Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 0.43 3.05 -85.90%
FCC 1.06 1.28 -17.19% Presidio Trust 0.11 2.03 -94.58%
FDIC 0.97 1.25 -22.40% Railroad Retirement Board 7.07 7.13 -0.84%
Federal Election Commission 2.68 1.26 112.70% SEC 1.00 1.36 -26.47%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 0.37 0.52 -28.85% Small Business Administration 2.75 3.40 -19.12%
Federal Trade Commission 0.60 3.31 -81.87% Smithsonian 0.15 0.30 -50.00%
FMCS 0.00 1.77 -100.00% Social Security Administration 4.10 4.63 -11.45%
General Services Administration 4.51 4.66 -3.22% State (includes AFSA unit) 0.72 0.75 -4.00%
Government Printing Office 4.32 3.78 14.29% Transportation 5.15 5.10 0.98%
Health & Human Services 0.94 0.99 18.18% Treasury 7.35 7.21 1.94%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.00 0.00 0.00% U.S. Capitol Police 2.14 1.62 32.10%
Homeland Security 1.69 1.49 13.42% U.S. International Trade Commission 0.14 2.28 -93.86%
Housing & Urban Development 6.59 4.91 34.22% Veterans Affairs 3.47 3.47 0.00%
Interior 0.72 0.80 -10.00% Grand Total - all agencies 2.58 2.60 -0.77%

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Categories

Agencies report official time by categories: Term Bargaining, Mid-Term Bargaining, Dispute Resolution, and General Labor-Management issues. Official time usage for General Labor-Management issues accounted for the greatest share of government-wide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,309,371 hours in the General Labor-Management category, representing 77.20 percent of all reported official time hours.

OFFICIAL TIME USE BY CATEGORY - FY 2009
DEPARTMENT/AGENCYBargaining Unit EmployeesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Mgmt2009 Total Hours
African Development Foundation 1 - - - - -
Agency for International Development 1,200 624 260 572 3,016 4,472
Agriculture 39,153 5,695 1,816 11,138 92,293 110,942
Armed Forces Retirement Home 152 - - - - -
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,082 - 29 161 4,621 4,811
Commerce 19,971 8,022 2,288 7,916 19,853 38,079
Commission on Civil Rights 12 - - - - -
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 200 - - - 142 142
Consumer Product Safety Commission 222 2 9 40 - 51
Corporation for National and Community Service 358 - 1 10 164 175
CSOSA 370 545 - 6 44 594
CSOSA - Pre Trial 299 10 7 83 497 597
Defense 419,589 45,349 4,774 110,000 210,026 370,149
Education 2,514 154 71 2,867 2,126 5,217
EEOC 1,723 18 19 276 3,005 3,318
Energy 7,368 71 8 3,178 6,215 9,472
EPA 12,011 46 250 8,987 22,545 31,828
Export-Import Bank 68 - - - 4 4
FCC 1,169 - 75 557 607 1,238
FDIC 4,780 270 16 447 3,909 4,640
Federal Election Commission 227 - 85 - 525 609
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,106 5 - 7 402 414
Federal Trade Commission 336 12 36 9 146 203
FMCS 24 - - - - -
General Services Administration 7,420 151 1,333 13,814 18,142 33,440
Government Printing Office 1,830 - - 2,373 5,535 7,908
Health & Human Services 39,005 1,608 2,478 6,320 26,174 36,580
Holocaust Memorial Museum 9 - - - - -
Homeland Security 64,038 10,562 10,783 30,849 55,855 108,049
Housing & Urban Development 6,806 19,262 1,244 21,648 2,692 44,845
Interior 20,283 1,403 688 1,450 11,013 14,554
International Boundary & Water Commission 192 - - - - -
Justice 33,097 18,596 3,670 15,901 106,569 144,735
Labor 11,927 337 581 6,221 45,205 52,344
Merit Systems Protection Board 75 - - - 16 16
NASA 9,913 207 684 7,158 10,645 18,694
National Archives and Records Administration 1,969 - 16 728 3,799 4,543
National Credit Union Association 817 - 91 133 60 284
National Endowment for the Humanities 79 13 37 66 293 409
National Gallery of Art 400 - 4 33 438 475
National Labor Relations Board 1,056 - 1,140 5,568 5,514 12,222
National Mediation Board 14 - - - - -
National Science Foundation 922 248 9 19 1,369 1,644
National Transportation Safety Board 253 - - 6 6 12
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,764 17 14 862 2,544 3,436
Office of Personnel Management 1,031 - 580 1,820 3,750 6,150
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 100 - - 90 210 300
Peace Corps 412 - - 15 150 165
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 555 - 119 - 123 241
Presidio Trust 168 - - - 18 18
Railroad Retirement Board 705 2 - 491 4,494 4,986
SEC 2,625 - 15 748 1,867 2,629
Small Business Administration 1,316 2,093 26 1,275 222 3,616
Smithsonian 2,621 - - 359 40 399
Social Security Administration 52,507 967 2,213 9,574 202,273 215,027
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,500 1,043 1,869 2,352 8,095 13,359
Transportation 38,725 3,684 2,181 12,791 180,913 199,569
Treasury 91,180 10,646 14,641 49,478 595,592 670,357
U.S. Capitol Police 976 32 - 89 1,971 2,092
U.S. International Trade Commission 257 - - - 35 35
Veterans Affairs 230,914 37,582 30,391 89,708 643,613 801,294
Grand Total - all agencies 1,159,396 169,272 84,546 428,190 2,309,371 2,991,378

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on September 2008 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits. In comparing those agencies that reported in both FY 2007 and FY 2008, we find the cost of official time hours increased by 5.97 percent. This increase follows general governmentwide wage increases.

OFFICIAL TIME COST BY AGENCY - FY 2009 vs. 2008
DEPARTMENT/
AGENCY
FY 09 CostFY 08 CostDEPARTMENT/
AGENCY
FY 09 CostFY 08 Cost
African Development Foundation $0 $0 International Boundary & Water Commission $0 $0
Agency for International Development $289,203 $274,302 Justice $5,613,521 $5,401,108
Agriculture $3,597,265 $3,725,576 Labor $2,574,262 $2,553,118
Armed Forces Retirement Home $0 $139 Merit Systems Protection Board $1,427 $3,729
Broadcasting Board of Governors $267,147 $339,728 NASA $1,325,172 $1,052,839
Commerce $1,899,827 $2,051,189 National Archives and Records Administration $163,182 $225,693
Commission on Civil Rights $0 $0 National Credit Union Association $16,114 $41,414
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $11,286 $29,730 National Endowment for the Humanities $22,108 $12,422
Consumer Product Safety Commission $3,027 $21,580 National Gallery of Art $13,679 $22,304
Corporation for National and Community Service $7,758 $2,797 National Labor Relations Board $733,622 $772,632
CSOSA $27,879 $54,994 National Mediation Board $0 $0
CSOSA - Pre Trial $27,996 $20,247 National Science Foundation $111,903 $67,920
Defense $13,988,798 $12,141,699 National Transportation Safety Board $810 $2,966
Education $320,132 $355,290 Nuclear Regulatory Commission $237,257 $263,865
EEOC $163,548 $781,160 Office of Personnel Management $284,649 $273,130
Energy $557,555 $981,303 Overseas Private Investment Corporation $17,951 $669
EPA $2,001,095 $2,131,330 Peace Corps $7,024 $5,416
Export-Import Bank $168 $2,408 Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation $13,716 $79,977
FCC $86,075 $98,273 Presidio Trust $705 $12,655
FDIC $297,298 $272,534 Railroad Retirement Board $237,815 $232,405
Federal Election Commission $32,669 $14,588 SEC $229,906 $296,288
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $27,243 $29,434 Small Business Administration $190,487 $200,313
Federal Trade Commission $10,638 $52,513 Smithsonian $14,689 $27,087
FMCS $0 $1,987 Social Security Administration $8,890,079 $9,190,073
General Services Administration $1,698,543 $1,595,486 State (includes AFSA unit) $708,166 $606,131
Government Printing Office $343,660 $285,141 Transportation $12,619,748 $11,801,306
Health & Human Services $1,779,656 $1,181,762 Treasury $27,724,032 $25,402,860
Holocaust Memorial Museum $0 $0 U.S. Capitol Police $91,414 $81,796
Homeland Security $4,285,982 $3,346,755 U.S. International Trade Commission $2,303 $280,985
Housing & Urban Development $2,515,084 $1,792,687 Veterans Affairs $32,505,688 $29,970,114
Interior $509,847 $538,929 Grand Total - all agencies $129,100,798 $120,730,471

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Conclusion

Total official time hours across the government have increased 3.37 percent from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2009. The hours expended per bargaining unit employee fell at a marginal rate of less than one percent from 2.60 to 2.58 percent from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2009.

For further information regarding this report, please contact Partnership and Labor Relations at PLR@OPM.gov.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories— agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

  • Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid-Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor-Management Relations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B

OFFICIAL TIME SUMMARY BY AGENCY - FY 2009
Department/ Agency2009 BU Employ- eesTerm Bargain- ingMid-Term Bargain- ingDispute Resolut- ionGeneral Labor- Mgmt2009 Total Hours 1Hours per B/U employeeHourly RateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cost
African Development Foundation 1 - - - - - 0.00 30.70 $0 $0
Agency for International Development 1,200 624 260 572 3,016 4,472 3.73 47.46 $212,259 $289,203
Agriculture 39,153 5,695 1,816 11,138 92,293 110,942 2.83 23.80 $2,640,194 $3,597,265
Armed Forces Retirement Home 152 - - - - - 0.00 21.24 $0 $0
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,082 - 29 161 4,621 4,811 4.45 40.75 $196,071 $267,147
Commerce 19,971 8,022 2,288 7,916 19,853 38,079 1.91 36.62 $1,394,369 $1,899,827
Commission on Civil Rights 12 - - - - - 0.00 34.51 $0 $0
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 200 - - - 142 142 0.71 58.54 $8,283 $11,286
Consumer Product Safety Commission 222 2 9 40 - 51 0.23 43.56 $2,222 $3,027
Corporation for National and Community Service 358 - 1 10 164 175 0.49 32.54 $5,694 $7,758
CSOSA 370 545 - 6 44 594 1.61 34.43 $20,462 $27,879
CSOSA - Pre Trial 299 10 7 83 497 597 2.00 34.43 $20,548 $27,996
Defense 419,589 45,349 4,774 110,000 210,026 370,149 0.88 27.74 $10,267,008 $13,988,798
Education 2,514 154 71 2,867 2,126 5,217 2.08 45.04 $234,959 $320,132
EEOC 1,723 18 19 276 3,005 3,318 1.93 36.18 $120,036 $163,548
Energy 7,368 71 8 3,178 6,215 9,472 1.29 43.20 $409,214 $557,555
EPA 12,011 46 250 8,987 22,545 31,828 2.65 46.14 $1,468,694 $2,001,095
Export-Import Bank 68 - - - 4 4 0.06 30.87 $123 $168
FCC 1,169 - 75 557 607 1,238 1.06 51.02 $63,174 $86,075
FDIC 4,780 270 16 447 3,909 4,640 0.97 47.03 $218,200 $297,298
Federal Election Commission 227 - 85 - 525 609 2.68 39.37 $23,977 $32,669
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 1,106 5 - 7 402 414 0.37 48.30 $19,995 $27,243
Federal Trade Commission 336 12 36 9 146 203 0.60 38.46 $7,808 $10,638
FMCS 24 - - - - - 0.00 28.54 $0 $0
General Services Administration 7,420 151 1,333 13,814 18,142 33,440 4.51 37.28 $1,246,637 $1,698,543
Government Printing Office 1,830 - - 2,373 5,535 7,908 4.32 31.90 $252,227 $343,660
Health & Human Services 39,005 1,608 2,478 6,320 26,174 36,580 0.94 35.71 $1,306,170 $1,779,656
Holocaust Memorial Museum 9 - - - - - 0.00 27.78 $0 $0
Homeland Security 64,038 10,562 10,783 30,849 55,855 108,049 1.69 29.11 $3,145,675 $4,285,982
Housing & Urban Development 6,806 19,262 1,244 21,648 2,692 44,845 6.59 41.16 $1,845,933 $2,515,084
Interior 20,283 1,403 688 1,450 11,013 14,554 0.72 25.71 $374,200 $509,847
International Boundary & Water Commission 192 - - - - - 0.00 21.97 $0 $0
Justice 33,097 18,596 3,670 15,901 10,769 144,735 4.37 28.47 $4,120,016 $5,613,521
Labor 11,927 337 581 6,221 45,205 52,344 4.39 36.10 $1,889,367 $2,574,262
Merit Systems Protection Board 75 - - - 16 16 0.21 65.48 $1,048 $1,427
NASA 9,913 207 684 7,158 10,645 18,694 1.89 52.03 $972,604 $1,325,172
National Archives and Records Administration 1,969 - 16 728 3,799 4,543 2.31 26.37 $119,767 $163,182
National Credit Union Association 817 - 91 133 60 284 0.35 41.66 $11,826 $16,114
National Endowment for the Humanities 79 13 37 66 293 409 5.17 39.72 $16,226 $22,108
National Gallery of Art 400 - 4 33 438 475 1.19 21.14 $10,039 $13,679
National Labor Relations Board 1,056 - 1,140 5,568 5,514 12,222 11.57 44.05 $538,438 $733,622
National Mediation Board 14 - - - - - 0.00 30.26 $0 $0
National Science Foundation 922 248 9 19 1,369 1,644 1.78 49.95 $82,130 $111,903
National Transportation Safety Board 253 - - 6 6 12 0.05 51.68 $594 $810
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,764 17 14 862 2,544 3,436 1.24 50.68 $174,134 $237,257
Office of Personnel Management 1,031 - 580 1,820 3,750 6,150 5.97 33.97 $208,917 $284,649
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 100 - - 90 210 300 3.00 43.92 $13,175 $17,951
Peace Corps 412 - - 15 150 165 0.40 31.24 $5,155 $7,024
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 555 - 119 - 123 241 0.43 41.73 $10,067 $13,716
Presidio Trust 168 - - - 18 18 0.11 28.74 $517 $705
Railroad Retirement Board 705 2 - 491 4,494 4,986 7.07 35.00 $174,543 $237,815
SEC 2,625 - 15 748 1,867 2,629 1.00 64.18 $168,738 $229,906
Small Business Administration 1,316 2,093 26 1,275 222 3,616 2.75 38.67 $139,807 $190,487
Smithsonian 2,621 - - 359 40 399 0.15 27.02 $10,781 $14,689
Social Security Administration 52,507 967 2,213 9,574 202,273 215,027 4.10 30.34 $6,524,829 $8,890,079
State (includes AFSA unit) 18,500 1,043 1,869 2,352 8,095 13,359 0.72 38.91 $519,755 $708,166
Transportation 38,725 3,684 2,181 12,791 180,913 199,569 5.15 46.41 $9,262,200 $12,619,748
Treasury 91,180 10,646 14,641 49,478 595,592 670,357 7.35 30.35 $20,347,913 $27,724,032
U.S. Capitol Police 976 32 - 89 1,971 2,092 2.14 34.28 $71,714 $91,414
U.S. International Trade Commission 257 - - - 35 35 0.14 48.29 $1,690 $2,303
Veterans Affairs 230,914 37,582 30,391 89,708 643,613 801,294 3.47 29.77 $23,857,386 $32,505,688
Grand Total -
all agencies
1,159,396 169,272 84,546 428,190 2,309,371 2,991,378 2.58   $94,757,501 $129,100,798

1 Numbers may not total due to rounding.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2008 Survey Responses

Introduction

OPM issued the call and guidance for reporting Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 official time data in a November 3, 2008 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies. All 61 Executive departments and agencies that have employees represented by labor organizations, as well as the Government Printing Office and U.S. Capitol Police, provided their official time data, increasing the response rate by 15 percent over FY 2007. Responding agencies and departments reported 2,893,922 official time hours used in FY 2008. The average number of official time hours used per bargaining unit employee (HPE) rate was 2.60 percent. The total number of hours reported rose by 3.3 percent over FY 2007, however, among those agencies reporting in both FY 2007 and FY 2008, the increase in hours reported was 2.9 percent.

Table 1. Total Official Time Hours - FY 2004-2008
 FY 2008FY 2007FY 2006FY 2005FY 2004
Total Official Time Hours 2,893,922 2,800,741 2,718,142 3,359,057 3,870,460
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.60 2.69 2.60 3.20 3.70

Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The following table shows the hours reported by agency in FY 2007 and FY 2008 and the percentage of change between the two years. The data shows wide variations among agencies, with changes from the previous year ranging from a decrease of 100 percent to increases of more than 200 percent. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year, however, have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translate into significant percentage changes for these agencies.

The agency reporting the most significant change is Department of State. The number of bargaining unit employees increased more than 63 percent. State reported an increase of official time hours of more than 150 percent, however they continue to have one of the lowest hours-per -bargaining unit employee rate at .75. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported a large increase in its dispute resolution hours for an increase of 10,166 total hours which is a 40 percent increase.

Twenty-two of the 61 agencies, reported reductions in both the number of official time hours used which resulted in a reduction in the number of hours used per bargaining unit employee. Among agencies with 1,000 or more bargaining unit employees, the U.S. Capitol Police had the largest decrease (-38.3 percent) in official time hours which also reduced their number of hours per employee by more than 40 percent (see discussion in next section).

Table 2. Official Time Hours - FY 2008 vs. FY 2007
Departments/AgenciesFY 2008 Official Time HoursFY 2007 Official Time Hours% Decrease/Increase
Less than 1,000 bargaining unit employees
African Development Foundation 0 3 -100.0%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 391 276 41.7%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 389 585 -33.6%
Corporation for National Service 65 63 3.2%
CSOSA 1,235 2,288 -46.0%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 455 1,441 -68.5%
Export-Import Bank 61 19 221.1%
Federal Election Commission 290 337 -13.9%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 507 596 -14.9%
Federal Trade Commission 1,180 692 70.6%
FMCS 53 18 194.4%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 0 N/A
International Trade Commission 0 N/R N/A
Merit Systems Protection Board 44 33 33.3%
National Credit Union Association 742 1,308 -43.3%
National Endowment for the Humanities 242 220 9.8%
National Gallery of Art 659 365 80.7%
National Labor Relations Board 13,447 12,742 5.5%
National Mediation Board 0 2 -100%
National Transportation Safety Board 44 55 -19.6%
National Science Foundation 1,066 1,161 -8.2%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 12 138 -91.3%
Peace Corps 125 70 78.6%
Railroad Retirement Board 5,030 4,823 4.3%
1,000 to 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Broadcasting Board of Governors 6,400 5,730 11.7%
Commerce 41,603 36,205 14.9%
Education 6,117 7,105 -13.9%
EEOC 15,998 13,135 21.8%
Energy 16,903 19,645 -14.0%
Environmental Protection Agency 35,364 25,198 40.3%
FCC 1,504 1,598 -5.9%
FDIC 4,258 4,593 -7.3%
General Services Administration 32,352 31,702 2.1%
Government Printing Office 6,950 6,897 0.8%
Housing & Urban Development 33,525 31,823 5.3%
Interior 15,885 19,732 -19.5%
Labor 53,621 56,069 -4.4%
NASA 15,613 14,340 8.9%
National Archives and Records Administration 6,544 7,053 -7.2%
National Labor Relations Board 13,447 12,742 9.8%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 4,019 3,943 1.9%
Office of Personnel Management 6,170 4,772 29.3%
SEC 3,590 N/R N/A
Small Business Administration 3,927 1,230 219.3%
Smithsonian 800 700 14.3%
State (includes AFSA unit) 12,314 4,792 157.0%
U.S. Capitol Police 2,049 3,321 -38.3%
More than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 117,934 91,725 28.6%
Defense 331,099 315,092 5.1%
Health & Human Services 25,371 29,106 -12.8%
Homeland Security 87,787 87,847 -0.1%
Justice 143,438 132,466 8.3%
Social Security Administration 229,141 221,007 3.7%
Transportation 188,047 162,421 15.8%
Treasury 634,191 611,759 3.7%
Veterans Affairs 774,679 822,506 -5.8%
Governmentwide 2,893,922 2,800,747 3.3%1

1 Among all agencies that reported in both FY 2007 and FY 2008, the increase is 2.9 percent.

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate also referred to as the Hours Per Employee (HPE) rate, which indicates the average number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2008 governmentwide HPE rate was 2.60 percent, representing a 3.3 percent decrease. Ironically, this returns the HPE rate to that of FY 2006 thus continuing the downward trend in the HPE rate observed since FY 2002 after being interrupted by the FY 2007 increase in this rate.

Changes in an agency's official time rate must be viewed together with the number of total official time hours used. For example, the Export-Import Bank reported a 225.5 percent increase in its HPE rate, but it only increased from .19 to .41, which continues to be one of the lowest rates among all agencies. At just over 219 percent, the Small Business Administration experienced the largest percentage increase in both total hours and HPE. The agency reported most of the increase within the General Labor-Management category.

Among Departments, Treasury reported the greatest HPE rate at 7.21, while Department of Defense, which employs over 411,000 bargaining unit employees, reported only .80 hours per bargaining unit employee

The National Labor Relations Board continues to report the highest rate among all agencies at 12.18. The EEOC which accomplished significant reductions in FY 2007 experienced a significant increase in FY 2008 returning it to the second highest HPE rate at 10.05.

Table 3. Official Time Rate - FY 2008 vs. FY 2007
Departments/AgenciesFY 2008 Official Time RateFY 2007 Official Time Rate% Decrease/
Increase
African Development Foundation 0.00 0.38 N/A
Agriculture 2.94 2.72 8.2%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5.84 5.19 12.7%
Commerce 2.14 1.65 30.2%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 2.61 2.09 24.7%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 1.21 2.85 -57.6%
Corporation for National Service 0.20 0.18 9.5%
CSOSA 3.54 6.39 -46.0%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 1.68 5.34 -68.6%
Defense 0.80 0.79 1.3%
Education 2.38 2.80 -14.8%
EEOC 10.05 8.32 20.8%
Energy 2.19 2.96 -26.0%
Environmental Protection Agency 2.99 2.25 33.2%
Export-Import Bank 0.84 0.26 225.5%
FCC 1.28 1.36 -5.4%
FDIC 1.25 1.45 -13.4%
Federal Election Commission 1.26 1.42 -11.7%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 0.52 0.61 -14.6%
Federal Trade Commission 3.31 1.99 66.3%
FMCS 1.77 0.60 194.4%
General Services Administration 4.66 4.97 -6.2%
Government Printing Office 3.78 3.85 -1.8%
Health & Human Services 0.99 1.14 -12.8%
Holocaust Memorial Museum - - N/A
Homeland Security 1.49 1.64 -9.1%
Housing & Urban Development 4.91 4.06 20.9%
Interior 0.80 1.08 -26.1%
Justice 4.63 4.73 -2.2%
Labor 4.90 5.07 -3.3%
Merit Systems Protection Board 0.55 0.39 40.0%
NASA 1.60 1.44 10.7%
National Archives and Records Administration 3.39 3.34 1.7%
National Credit Union Association 0.98 1.73 -43.4%
National Endowment for the Humanities 2.44 2.34 4.2%
National Gallery of Art 1.65 0.91 80.7%
National Labor Relations Board 12.18 11.54 5.5%
National Mediation Board 0.00 0.15 N/A
National Science Foundation 1.20 1.37 -12.4%
National Transportation Safety Board 0.17 0.22 -23.3%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.45 1.60 -9.3%
Office of Personnel Management 5.67 4.38 29.5%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 0.12 1.68 -92.7%
Peace Corps 0.36 0.23 53.1%
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 3.05 N/R N/A
Presidio Trust 2.03 N/R N/A
Railroad Retirement Board 7.13 6.59 8.3%
SEC 1.36 N/R N/A
Small Business Administration 3.40 1.07 218.5%
Smithsonian 0.30 0.28 8.6%
Social Security Administration 4.63 4.61 0.6%
State (includes AFSA unit) 0.63 0.46 36.1%
Transportation 5.10 4.50 13.5%
Treasury 7.21 7.13 1.1%
U.S. Capitol Police 1.62 2.71 -40.3%
U.S. International Trade Commission 2.28 N/R N/A
Veterans Affairs 3.47 4.11 -15.7%
Grand Total - all agencies 2.60 2.69 -3.3%

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Categories

Agencies report official time by categories which allow greater analysis of official time use and variations from year to year. The General Labor-Management Relations category again accounted for the greatest share of governmentwide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,151,366 hours in this category, representing 74.3 percent of all reported official time hours, a 2.3 percent decrease from FY 2007. As we have noted in previous years, anecdotal information from agencies indicates this category is often used to report hours for activities not specifically identified by union officials or tracked by supervisors. This is particularly prevalent when the union official is on 100 percent official time. The high percentages reported in this category by many agencies, when viewed within the context of total hours reported, indicates an opportunity for some agencies to strengthen the integrity of their data and, perhaps, the management of official time.

Table 4. Official Time Use By Category - FY 2008
DEPARTMENT/AGENCYBargaining
Unit
Employees
Term
Bargaining
Mid-Term BargainingDispute
Resolution
General
Labor-Mgmt
2008 Total
Hours
African Development Foundation 1 - - - - -
Agency for International Development 1,960 208 208 936 3,018 4,370
Agriculture 40,122 3,294 1,508 96,839 16,293 117,934
Armed Forces Retirement Home 151 - - - 5 5
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,095 900 450 1,890 3,160 6,400
Commerce 19,399 5,369 1,758 11,584 22,893 41,603
Commission on Civil Rights 15 - - - - -
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 150 - - - 391 391
Consumer Product Safety Commission 321 - - 24 365 389
Corporation for National Service 326 - 2 13 50 65
CSOSA 349 1,099 24 87 25 1,235
CSOSA - Pre Trial 271 263 6 76 110 455
Defense 411,575 29,799 12,316 96,852 192,132 331,099
Education 2,568 - 183 3,249 2,685 6,117
EEOC 1,592 118 304 3,135 12,442 15,998
Energy 7,719 4,231 422 3,623 8,628 16,903
Environmental Protection Agency 11,822 52 953 10,657 23,702 35,364
Export-Import Bank 73 - - 20 41 61
FCC 1,171 - 156 762 586 1,504
FDIC 3,397 - 69 557 3,632 4,258
Federal Election Commission 231 - 45 116 130 290
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 974 - - 17 490 507
Federal Trade Commission 356 496 577 7 100 1,180
FMCS 30 - 3 32 18 53
General Services Administration 6,941 502 968 9,515 21,367 32,352
Government Printing Office 1,840 948 1,366 4,204 432 6,950
Health & Human Services 25,600 3,632 621 4,957 16,160 25,371
Holocaust Memorial Museum 10 - - - - -
Homeland Security 58,871 8,464 5,618 46,935 26,770 87,787
Housing & Urban Development 6,833 2,035 2,482 20,219 8,789 33,525
Interior 19,885 3,366 623 1,458 10,439 15,885
International Boundary & Water Commission: US and Mexico 189 - - - - -
Justice 31,000 21,141 4,240 14,276 103,781 143,438
Labor 10,934 - 1,316 5,983 46,322 53,621
Merit Systems Protection Board 80 - - - 44 44
NASA 9,761 78 995 4,888 9,653 15,613
National Archives and Records Administration 1,929 76 39 1,100 5,329 6,544
National Credit Union Association 756 252 162 73 256 742
National Endowment for the Humanities 99 0 16 68 158 242
National Gallery of Art 400 - 8 9 642 659
National Labor Relations Board 1,104 - 1,539 4,189 7,719 13,447
National Mediation Board 15 - - - - -
National Science Foundation 891 - 12 73 982 1,066
National Transportation Safety Board 263 - - - 44 44
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,763 44 1,017 804 2,153 4,019
Office of Personnel Management 1,088 - 584 1,828 3,758 6,170
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 98 - - 1 11 12
Peace Corps 350 45 10 - 70 125
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation 500 - 426 396 703 1,525
Presidio Trust 166 292 - - 45 337
Railroad Retirement Board 705 249 51 436 4,294 5,030
SEC 2,640 36 50 970 2,534 3,590
Small Business Administration 1,155 294 53 355 3,225 3,927
Smithsonian 2,630 - - 300 500 800
Social Security Administration 49,464 322 1,647 15,750 211,422 229,141
State (includes AFSA unit) 19,500 1,397 1,418 2,060 7,439 12,314
Transportation 36,850 6,124 1,335 12,934 167,655 188,048
Treasury 87,954 5,627 12,559 21,088 594,917 634,191
U.S. Capitol Police 1,267 329 251 1,001 468 2,049
U.S. International Trade Commission 1,960 208 208 936 3,108 4,460
Veterans Affairs 223,508 28,560 26,672 120,163 599,284 774,679
Grand Total - all agencies 1,115,667 129,847 85,267 527,442 2,151,366 2,893,922

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on September 2008 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits. In comparing those agencies that reported in both FY 2007 and FY 2008, we find the cost of official time hours increased by 5.97 percent. This increase follows general governmentwide wage increases.

Table 5. Official Time Cost By Agency - FY 2008 vs. 2007
DEPARTMENT/AGENCYFY 08 CostFY 07 Cost
Agency for International Development $274,302 N/R
Agriculture $3,725,576 $2,837,373
Armed Forces Retirement Home $139 N/R
Broadcasting Board of Governors $339,728 $292,757
Commerce $2,051,189 $1,705,678
Commission on Civil Rights $0 N/R
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $29,730 $20,055
Consumer Product Safety Commission $21,580 $32,783
Corporation for National Service $2,797 $2,614
CSOSA $54,994 $97,343
CSOSA - Pre Trial $20,247 $61,307
Defense $12,141,699 $11,286,005
Education $355,290 $391,380
EEOC $781,160 $632,146
Energy $981,303 $1,103,076
Environmental Protection Agency $2,131,330 $1,470,405
Export-Import Bank $2,408 $715
FCC $98,273 $100,277
FDIC $272,534 $290,220
Federal Election Commission $14,588 $16,428
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $29,434 $33,438
Federal Trade Commission $52,513 $29,011
FMCS $1,987 $643
General Services Administration $1,595,486 $1,502,161
Government Printing Office $285,141 $265,823
Health & Human Services $1,181,762 $1,297,616
Holocaust Memorial Museum $0 0
Homeland Security $3,346,755 $3,285,399
Housing & Urban Development $1,792,687 $1,666,839
Interior 538,929$ $647,462
Justice 5,401,108 4,819,2434,
Labor $2,553,118 $2,573,402
Merit Systems Protection Board $3,729 $2,702
NASA $1,052,839 $930,053
National Archives and Records Administration $225,693 $232,943
National Credit Union Association $41,414 $69,375
National Endowment for the Humanities $12,422 $11,257
National Gallery of Art $22,304 $11,952
National Labor Relations Board $772,632 $701,903
National Mediation Board $0 $63
National Science Foundation $67,920 $70,087
National Transportation Safety Board $2,966 $3,556
Nuclear Regulatory Commission $263,865 $248,625
Office of Personnel Management $273,130 $202,608
Overseas Private Investment Corporation $669 $7,670
Peace Corps $5,416 $2,722
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation $79,977 N/R
Presidio Trust $12,655 N/R
Railroad Retirement Board $232,405 $212,832
SEC $296,288 N/R
Small Business Administration $200,313 $60,894
Smithsonian $27,087 $22,953
Social Security Administration $9,190,073 $8,701,283
State (includes AFSA unit) $606,131 $229,303
Transportation $11,801,306 $10,242,307
Treasury $25,402,860 $23,970,831
U.S. Capitol Police $81,796 $151,534
U.S. International Trade Commission $280,985 N/R
Veterans Affairs $29,970,114 $30,489,047
Grand Total -all agencies $120,730,471 $113,038,094

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Conclusion

The FY 2008 increase in use of official time hours is similar to that observed in FY 2007 while the number of hours per employee has returned to the same level reported in FY 2006.

There are favorable trends among many agencies that should not be overlooked. Several agencies have been making major strides in managing and recording the use of official time, often resulting in a reduction of the hours used. We continue to have concerns that the large percentage of hours reported under the General Labor-Management category may not accurately reflect the purposes for which official time is actually being used. This may indicate a need for better understanding among supervisors and union officials of the activities that are included in each category. This is especially reflective of agencies that employ full time union officials. This may also serve as a viable opportunity for agencies to address the reporting requirements when they negotiate future collective bargaining agreements.

For further information regarding this report, please contact the Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy at (202) 606-2930 or CWRAP@OPM.gov.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories— agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

  • Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid-Term Negotiations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor-Management Relations— this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B: Categories of Use by Agency - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004

Table 6. Official Time Summary By Agency - FY 2008
Department/ Agency2008 BU EmployeesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Mgmt
African Development Foundation 1
Agency for International Development 1,960 208 208 936 3,018
Agriculture 40,122 3,294 1,508 96,839 16,293
Armed Forces Retirement Home 151 5
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,095 900 450 1,890 3,160
Commerce 19,399 5,369 1,758 11,584 22,893
Commission on Civil Rights 15
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 150 391
Consumer Product Safety Commission 321 24 365
Corporation for National Service 326 2 13 50
CSOSA 349 1,099 24 87 25
CSOSA – Pre Trial 271 263 6 76 110
Defense 411,575 29,799 12,316 96,852 192,132
Education 2,568 183 3,249 2,685
EEOC 1,592 118 304 3,135 12,442
Energy 7,719 4,231 422 3,623 8,628
Environmental Protection Agency 11,822 52 953 10,657 23,702
Export–Import Bank 73 20 41
FCC 1,171 156 762 586
FDIC 3,397 69 557 3,632
Federal Election Commission 231 45 116 130
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 974 17 490
Federal Trade Commission 356 496 577 7 100
FMCS 30 3 32 18
General Services Administration 6,941 502 968 9,515 21,367
Government Printing Office 1,840 948 1,366 4,204 432
Health & Human Services 25,600 3,632 621 4,957 16,160
Holocaust Memorial Museum 10
Homeland Security 58,871 8,464 5,618 46,935 26,770
Housing & Urban Development 6,833 2,035 2,482 20,219 8,789
Interior 19,885 3,366 623 1,458 10,439
International Boundary & Water Comm: US & Mexico 189
Justice 31,000 21,141 4,240 14,276 103,781
Labor 10,934 1,316 5,983 46,322
Merit Systems Protection Board 80 44
NASA 9,761 78 995 4,888 9,653
National Archives and Records Administration 1,929 76 39 1,100 5,329
National Credit Union Association 756 252 162 73 256
National Endowment for the Humanities 99 16   68 158
National Gallery of Art 400 8 9 642
National Labor Relations Board 1,104 1,539 4,189  7,719
National Mediation Board 15
National Science Foundation 891 12 73 982
National Transportation Safety Board 263 44
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,763 44 1,017 804 2,153
Office of Personnel Management 1,088 584 1,828 3,758
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 98 1 11
Peace Corps 350 45 10 - 70
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. 500 - 426 396 703
Presidio Trust 166 292 - - 45
Railroad Retirement Board 705 249 51 436 4,294
SEC 2,640 36 50 970 2,534
Small Business Administration 1,155 294 53 355 3,225
Smithsonian 2,630 - - 300 500
Social Security Administration 49,464 322 1,647 15,750 211,422
State (includes AFSA unit) 16,326 1,397 1,418 2,060 7,439
Transportation 36,850 6,124 1,335 12,934 167,655
Treasury 87,954 5,627 12,559 21,088 594,917
U.S. Capitol Police 1,267 329 251 1,001 468
U.S. International Trade Commission 1,960 208 208 936 3,108
Veterans Affairs 223,508 28,560 26,672 120,163 599,284
Grand Total - all agencies 1,115,667 129,847 85,267 527,442 2,151,366

Table 6. Official Time Summary By Agency - FY 2008 -- Continued
Department/ Agency2008 Total Hours2Hours per B/U employeeHourly RateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cos
African Development Foundation

-

-

29.30

$0

$0

Agency for International Development 4,370 2.23

46.07

$201,323

$274,302

Agriculture 117,934 2.94

23.19

$2,734,368

$3,725,576

Armed Forces Retirement Home 5 0.03

20.40

$102

$139

Broadcasting Board of Governors 6,400 5.84

38.96

$249,342

$339,728

Commerce 41,603 2.14

36.19

$1,505,460

$2,051,189

Commission on Civil Rights - -

30.72

$0

$0

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

391

2.61

55.81

$21,820

$29,730

Consumer Product Safety Commission 389 1.21

40.77

$15,839

$21,580

Corporation for National Service 65 0.20

31.82

$2,053

$2,797

CSOSA 1,235 3.54

32.70

$40,362

$54,994

CSOSA - Pre Trial 455 1.68

32.70

$14,860

$20,247

Defense 331,099 0.80

26.91

$8,911,339

$12,141,699

Education 6,117 2.38

42.63

$260,764

$355,290

EEOC 15,998 10.05

35.84

$573,328

$781,160

Energy 16,903  2.19

42.61

$720,222

$981,303

Environmental Protection Agency 35,364 2.99

44.23

$1,564,279

$2,131,330

Export-Import Bank 61 0.84

28.98

$1,768

$2,408

FCC 1,504 1.28

47.97

$72,127

$98,273

FDIC 4,258 1.25

46.98

$200,025

$272,534

Federal Election Commission 290 1.26

36.92

$10,707

$14,588

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 507 0.52

42.61

$21,603

$29,434

Federal Trade Commission 1,180 3.31

32.66

$38,542

$52,513

FMCS 53 1.77

27.52

$1,459

$1,987

General Services Administration 32,352 4.66

36.20

$1,170,999

$1,595,486

Government Printing Office 6,950 3.78

30.11

$209,278

$285,141

Health & Human Services

25,371

0.99

34.19

$867,349

$1,181,762

Holocaust Memorial Museum - -

26.64

$0

$0

Homeland Security 87,787 1.49

27.98

$2,456,334

$3,346,755

Housing & Urban Development 33,525 4.91

39.25

$1,315,734

$1,792,687

Interior 15,885 0.80

24.90

$395,544

$538,929

International Boundary & Water Comm: US & Mexico - -

21.30

$0

$0

Justice  143,438 4.63

27.64

$3,964,116

$5,401,108

Labor 53,621 4.90

34.95

$1,873,848

$2,553,118

Merit Systems Protection Board 44 0.55

62.20

$2,737

$3,729

NASA 15,613 1.60

49.49

$772,726

$1,052,839

National Archives and Records Administration 6,544 3.39

25.31

$165,646

$225,693

National Credit Union Association 742 0.98

40.96

$30,395

$41,414

National Endowment for the Humanities 242 2.44

37.75

$9,117

$12,422

National Gallery of Art 659 1.65

24.85

$16,370

$22,304

National Labor Relations Board 13,447 12.18

42.17

$567,069

$772,632

National Mediation Board - -

33.54

$0

$0

National Science Foundation 1,066 1.20

46.76

$49,849

$67,920

National Transportation Safety Board 44 0.17

49.47

$2,177

$2,966

Nuclear Regulatory Commission 4,019 1.45

48.19

$193,663

$263,865

Office of Personnel Management 6,170 5.67

32.49

$200,462

$273,130

Overseas Private Investment Corporation 12 0.12

40.94

$491

$669

Peace Corps 125 0.36

31.80

$3,975

$5,416

Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. 1,525 3.05

38.49

$58,699

$79,977

Presidio Trust 337 2.03

27.60

$9,288

$12,655

Railroad Retirement Board 5,030 7.13

33.91

$170,573

$232,405

SEC 3,590 1.36

60.57

$217,459

$296,288

Small Business Administration 3,927 3.40

37.44

$147,018

$200,313

Smithsonian 800 0.30

24.85

$19,880

$27,087

Social Security Administration 229,141 4.63

29.44

$6,745,008

$9,190,073

State (includes AFSA unit) 12,314 0.75

36.13

$444,867

$606,131

Transportation 188,048 5.10

46.06

$8,661,509

$11,801,306

Treasury 634,191 7.21

29.40

$18,644,301

$25,402,860

U.S. Capitol Police 2,049 1.62

29.30

$60,034

$81,796

U.S. International Trade Commission 4,460 2.28

46.24

$206,228

$280,985

Veterans Affairs 774,679 3.47

28.39

$21,996,414

$29,970,114

Grand Total - all agencies 2,893,922 2.59

 

$88,609,520

$120,730,471

2 Numbers may not total due to rounding.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2007 Survey Responses

Introduction

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) established an annual reporting requirement in FY 2002 to strengthen accountability and agency focus on the use, authorization and tracking of official time. In FY 2004, we refined and expanded the reporting requirements by asking agencies to report official time hours in four categories of use: term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution, and general labor-management relations. See Appendix A for a description of each category.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 was to be the first year in which OPM would rely on official time data transmitted through agency payroll providers to the Enterprise Human Resources Integration system (EHRI). However, EHRI did not begin receiving the relevant data until January 2007. As a result, agencies were required to calculate and submit their official time data directly to OPM.1

OPM issued the call and guidance for reporting FY 2007 official time data in a January 14, 2008 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies. Fifty four of 63 departments and agencies that have employees represented by labor organizations as well as the Government Printing Office and U.S. Capitol Police provided their official time data, constituting an increase of 11 percent over those responding for FY 2006.2 Responding agencies and departments reported 2,800,747 official time hours for FY 2007. Reversing a four year trend, the average number of official time hours used per bargaining unit employee (HPE) increased by 3.6 percent. This is partly due to an increase of almost 12 percent in the number of hours used for negotiating collective bargaining agreements. The total number of hours reported rose 3.04 percent, which is partially due to the increase in the number of reporting agencies. Among those agencies reporting in both FY 2006 and FY 2007, the increase in hours reported was 2.78 percent.

Table 1. Total Official Time Hours FY 2003-2007
 FY 2007FY 2006FY 2005FY 2004FY 2003
Total Official Time Hours 2,800,747 2,718,142 3,359,057 3,870,460 4,722,347
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.69 2.60 3.2 3.7 4.4

1Preliminary data collected by EHRI for FY 2008 indicates that most agencies are now reporting their official time hours electronically through their payroll providers.

2 Data was not received from the Presidio Trust, Securities and Exchange Commission, International Trade Commission, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Agency for International Development, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, Commission on Civil Rights, Office of Government Ethics and the International Boundary & Water Commission: US and Mexico.

Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The following table shows the hours reported by agency in FYs 2006 and 2007 and the percentage of any change between the two years. The data shows wide variations among agencies, with changes from the previous year ranging from a decrease of 75 percent to increases of more than 800 percent. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translate into significant percentage changes for these agencies.

The agency reporting the most significant change is Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency's Pre-Trial Services. FY 2007 was its first full year after being organized and the year in which it negotiated its first collective bargaining agreement which accounted for more than 60 percent of their official time hours. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported a 63 percent drop in official time hours from FY 2006, a year in which its use of official time hours more than doubled from FY 2005. The General Services Administration (GSA) reported a large increase in its term bargaining hours as it negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement. However, GSA also had a larger decrease in Dispute Resolution hours, and reduced its overall reported official time hours as well as its official time rate per bargaining unit employee even while reporting 300 less employees.

Among Departments, Transportation experienced the largest percentage increase in both total hours and hours per employee at 55 percent while Treasury continues to report the highest number of hours per employee. The majority of Departments, however, reported reductions in both the number of official time hours used and in their hours per employee.

Table 2. Official Time Hours – FY 2007 vs. FY 2006
Departments/Agencies2007 Official Time Hours2006 Official Time Hours% Decrease/ Increase
Less than 1,000 bargaining unit employees
African Development Foundation 3 N/R N/A
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 276 241 14.5%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 585 N/R N/A
Corporation for National Service 63 125 -49.6%
CSOSA 2,288 2,460 -7.0%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 1,441 158 812%
Export-Import Bank 19 82 -76.8%
Federal Election Commission 337 390 -13.6%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 596 396 50.5%
Federal Trade Commission 692 260 166.2%
FMCS 18 6 200.0%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 N/R N/A
International Trade Commission N/R 307 N/A
Merit Systems Protection Board 33 109 -69.7%
National Credit Union Association 1,308 1,143 14.4%
National Endowment for the Humanities 220 336 -34.5%
National Gallery of Art 365 430 -15.1%
National Labor Relations Board 12,742 12,042 5.8%
National Mediation Board 2 N/R N/A
National Transportation Safety Board 55 81 -32.1%
National Science Foundation 1,161 1,465 -20.8%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 138 210 -34.3%
Peace Corps 70 N/R N/A
Railroad Retirement Board 4,823 7,653 -37.0%
1,000 to 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5,730 5,312 7.4%
Commerce 36,205 33,816 7.1%
Education 7,105 7,096 0.1%
EEOC 13,135 35,482 -63.0%
Energy 19,645 15,120 29.9%
Environmental Protection Agency 25,198 12,489 101.8%
FCC 1,598 1,593 0.3%
FDIC 4,593 7,096 -35.3%
General Services Administration 31,702 33,037 -4.0%
Government Printing Office 6,897 6,224 10.8%
Housing & Urban Development 31,823 37,682 -15.5%
Interior 19,732 20,332 -3.0%
Labor 56,069 66,825 -16.1%
NASA 14,340 15,076 -4.9%
National Archives and Records Administration 7,053 N/R N/A
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 3,943 4,319 -8.7%
Office of Personnel Management 4,772 7,318 -34.8%
SEC N/R 4,321 N/A
Small Business Administration 1,230 3,183 -61.3%
Smithsonian 700 N/R N/A
State (includes AFSA unit) 4,792 9,597 -50.1%
U.S. Capitol Police 3,321 N/R N/A
More than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 91,725 105,021 -12.7%
Defense 315,092 264,303 19.2%
Health & Human Services 29,106 32,548 -10.6%
Homeland Security 87,847 98,267 -10.6%
Justice 132,466 113,655 16.6%
Social Security Administration 221,007 191,495 15.4%
Transportation 162,421 103,951 56.2%
Treasury 611,759 673,223 -9.1%
Veterans Affairs 822,506 781,846 5.2%
Government-wide 2,800,747 2,718,142 3.04%3

3 Among all agencies that reported in both FY 2006 and FY 2007, the increase is 2.78%.

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate, which indicates the average number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2007 government-wide official time rate was 2.69 official time hours per bargaining unit employee, representing a 3.6 percent increase in the official time rate. Changes in an agency's official time rate must be viewed together with the number of hours used. For example, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service reported a 200 percent increase in its official time rate but it only increased from .20 to .60 hours per employee, which is one of the lowest rates among all agencies.

Despite a reduction from FY 2006, the Department of Treasury continues to report the highest number of official time hours per employee among all Departments with 95 percent of its hours reported in the General Labor-Management category. The Department of State led all Departments in reducing their hours by 50 percent. Although it reported a decrease in bargaining unit employees, its reported rate of decrease in hours still resulted in a reduced official time rate.

Among Independent Agencies, the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Export-Import Bank led with reductions in excess of 60 percent. The National Labor Relations Board reported the highest rate at 11.5 hours per employee, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Despite an 18 percent reduction in the size of its bargaining unit, there was no concurrent reduction in the number of official time hours.

Table 3. Official Time Rate - FY 2007 vs. FY 2006
Departments / Agencies2007 Official Time Rate2006 Official Time Rate% Decrease/ Increase
African Development Foundation 0.38 N/R N/A
Agriculture 2.72 2.86 -5.2%
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5.19 4.89 6.0%
Commerce 1.65 1.93 -14.7%
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 2.09 1.76 18.9%
Consumer Product Safety Commission 2.85 N/R N/A
Corporation for National Service 0.18 0.36 -49.4%
CSOSA 6.39 6.61 -3.4%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 5.34 0.65 722.1%
Defense 0.79 0.63 26.3%
Education 2.80 2.89 -3.3%
EEOC 8.32 22.43 -62.9%
Energy 2.96 2.47 19.7%
Environmental Protection Agency 2.25 1.25 79.9%
Export-Import Bank 0.26 1.03 -75.0%
FCC 1.36 1.35 0.3%
FDIC 1.45 2.24 -35.3%
Federal Election Commission 1.42 1.65 -14.0%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 0.61 0.40 53.8%
Federal Trade Commission 1.99 0.95 109.7%
FMCS 0.60 0.20 200.0%
General Services Administration 4.97 4.99 -0.5%
Government Printing Office 3.85 3.69 4.1%
Health & Human Services 1.14 1.27 -10.6%
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 N/R N/A
Homeland Security 1.64 2.06 -20.4%
Housing & Urban Development 4.06 5.45 -25.6%
Interior 1.08 0.92 17.0%
Justice  4.73 4.06 16.6%
Labor 5.07 6.05 -16.2%
Merit Systems Protection Board 0.39 1.31 -70.1%
NASA 1.44 1.51 -4.0%
National Archives and Records Administration 3.34 N/R N/A
National Credit Union Association 1.73 1.51 14.6%
National Endowment for the Humanities 2.34 3.23 -27.6%
National Gallery of Art 0.91 1.08 -15.2%
National Labor Relations Board 11.54 10.03 29.1%
National Mediation Board 0.15 N/R N/A
National Science Foundation 1.37 1.79 -23.7%
National Transportation Safety Board 0.22 0.32 -32.2%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.60 1.86 -13.8%
Office of Personnel Management 4.38 6.53 -33.0%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 1.68 2.31 -27.1%
Peace Corps 0.23 0.08 204.3%
Presidio Trust N/R N/R  N/A
Railroad Retirement Board 6.59 10.43 -36.8%
SEC N/R 1.69 N/A
Small Business Administration 1.07 1.42 -25.0%
Smithsonian 0.28 N/R N/A
Social Security Administration 4.61 3.86 19.2%
State (includes AFSA unit) 0.46 0.67 -30.3%
Transportation 4.50 2.89 55.7%
Treasury 7.13 7.51 -5.1%
U.S. Capitol Police 2.71 N/R N/A
U.S. International Trade Commission N/R 1.08 N/A
Veterans Affairs 4.11 4.31 -4.6%
Grand Total - All Agencies 2.69 2.60 3.6%

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Categories

Agencies report official time by categories which allow greater analysis of official time use and variations from year to year. The General Labor-Management Relations category again accounted for the greatest share of government-wide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,145,398 hours in this category, representing 76.6 percent of all reported official time hours, an increase over FY 2006. As we have noted in previous years, anecdotal information from agencies indicates that this category is often used to report hours for activities not specifically identified by union officials. This is particularly prevalent when the union official is on 100 percent official time. The high percentages reported in this category by many agencies, when viewed within the context of total hours reported, indicates an opportunity for some agencies to strengthen the integrity of their data and, perhaps, the management of official time.

Table 4. Categories
DEPARTMENT/
AGENCY
Bargaining Unit EmployeesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management2007 Total Hours
African Development Foundation 8 3 0 0 0 3
Agriculture 33,765 2,852 1,153 28,899 58,821 91,725
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,105 720 360 1,690 2,960 5,730
Commerce 21,976 3,894 3,290 10,460 18,561 36,205
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 132 0 0 0 276 276
Consumer Product Safety Commission 205 8 2 7 568 585
Corporation for National Service 346 0 1 36 26 63
CSOSA 358 1,948 176 56 108 2,288
CSOSA - Pre Trial 270 911 11 147 372 1,441
Defense 396,893 30,401 10,563 82,931 191,197 315,092
Education 2,540 0 347 2,386 4,372 7,105
EEOC 1,579 0 104 1,828 11,203 13,135
Energy 6,640 5,198 744 3,513 10,190 19,645
Environmental Protection Agency 11,216 139 420 5,403 19,236 25,198
Export-Import Bank 74 0 0 0 19 19
FCC 1,177 0 221 824 553 1,598
FDIC 3,173 0 54 1,174 3,365 4,593
Federal Election Commission 237 26 133 22 156 337
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 977 0 0 99 497 596
Federal Trade Commission 347 466 29 4 193 692
FMCS 30 0 0 12 6 18
General Services Administration 6,381 3,469 2,816 4,543 20,874 31,702
Government Printing Office 1,793 2,284 387 3,796 430 6,897
Health & Human Services 25,600 4,645 924 6,456 17,081 29,106
Holocaust Memorial Museum 11 0 0 0 0 0
Homeland Security 53,552 5,555 3,368 54,411 24,513 87,847
Housing & Urban Development 7,844 5,119 2,227 1,909 22,568 31,823
Interior 18,252 2,445 758 3,148 13,381 19,732
Justice 28,000 18,015 7,116 12,543 94,792 132,466
Labor 11,059 0 678 7,370 48,021 56,069
Merit Systems Protection Board 84 0 0 0 33 33
NASA 9,926 102 403 4,927 8,908 14,340
National Archives and Records Administration 2,114 134 24 998 5,897 7,053
National Credit Union Association 755 1,308 0 0 0 1,308
National Endowment for the Humanities 94 0 0 4 216 220
National Gallery of Art 400 6 0 233 126 365
National Labor Relations Board 1,104 1,005 2,888 4,743 4,106 12,742
National Mediation Board 10 0 0 0 2 2
National Science Foundation 850 0 14 233 914 1,161
National Transportation Safety Board 251 0 4 1 50 55
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,458 0 2,316 435 1,192 3,943
Office of Personnel Management 1,090 55 610 1,383 2,724 4,772
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 82 0 0 86 52 138
Peace Corps 300 30 15 5 20 70
Presidio Trust 177         N/R
Railroad Retirement Board 732 0 54 1,928 2,841 4,823
SEC           N/R
Small Business Administration 1152 0 586 413 231 1,230
Smithsonian 2,500 0 0 300 400 700
Social Security Administration 47,980 72 3,039 14,547 203,349 221,007
State (includes AFSA unit) 10,326 0 920 650 3,222 4,792
Transportation 36,127 5,194 2,469 14,528 140,230 162,421
Treasury 85,783 2,117 7,015 19,613 583,014 611,759
U.S. Capitol Police 1,226 116 24 68 3,113 3,321
U.S. International Trade Commission 270         N/R
Veterans Affairs 200,077 19,933 36,784 145,370 620,419 822,506
Grand Total - All Agencies 1,041,408 118,170 93,047 444,132 2,145,398 2,800,747

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on December 2007 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits.4 In comparing those agencies that reported in both FY 2006 and FY 2007, we find the cost of official time hours increased by 12.7 percent. This increase follows general wage increases, the increase in the use of official time and the number of agencies reporting.

Table 5. Cost - FY 2007 vs. FY 2006
DEPARTMENT/AGENCYFY 07 CostFY 06 Cost
Agriculture $2,837,373 $3,308,020
Broadcasting Board of Governors $292,757 $238,597
Commerce $1,705,678 $1,518,428
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $20,055 $16,969
Consumer Product Safety Commission $32,783 N/R
Corporation for National Service $2,614 $5,492
CSOSA $97,343 $97,661
CSOSA - Pre Trial $61,307 $6,262
Defense $11,286,005 $8,904,569
Education $391,380 $367,950
EEOC $632,146 $1,648,422
Energy $1,103,076 $811,123
Environmental Protection Agency $1,470,405 $691,360
Export-Import Bank $715 $2,893
FCC $100,277 $94,154
FDIC $290,220 $429,590
Federal Election Commission $16,428 $17,771
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $33,438 $22,711
Federal Trade Commission $29,011 $10,522
FMCS $643 $202
General Services Administration $1,502,161 $1,483,923
Government Printing Office $265,823 $231,344
Health & Human Services $1,297,616 $1,355,558
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 N/R
Homeland Security $3,285,399 $3,607,033
Housing & Urban Development $1,666,839 $1,868,259
Interior $647,462 $648,806
Labor $2,573,402 $2,923,427
Merit Systems Protection Board $2,702 $8,465
NASA $930,053 $921,309
National Archives and Records Administration $232,943 N/R
National Credit Union Association $69,375 $58,416
National Endowment for the Humanities $11,257 $16,253
National Gallery of Art $11,952 $11,031
National Labor Relations Board $701,903 $620,555
National Mediation Board $63 N/R
National Science Foundation $70,087 $82,638
National Transportation Safety Board $3,556 $4,904
Nuclear Regulatory Commission $248,625 $261,586
Office of Personnel Management $202,608 $295,159
Overseas Private Investment Corporation $7,670 $10,707
Peace Corps $2,722 N/R
Presidio Trust N/R N/R
Railroad Retirement Board $212,832 $324,938
SEC N/R $291,213
Small Business Administration $60,894 $150,539
Smithsonian $22,953 N/R
Social Security Administration $8,701,283 $7,186,831
State (includes AFSA unit) $229,303 $445,472
Transportation $10,242,307 $6,467,172
Treasury $23,970,831 $24,747,405
U.S. Capitol Police $151,534 N/R
U.S. International Trade Commission N/R $17,366
Veterans Affairs $30,489,047 $25,977,447
Grand Total - All Agencies5 $113,038,094 $102,157,337

4The full fringe benefit factor is 32.85 percent of the position's basic pay. The 32.85 percent civilian position full fringe benefit cost factor is the sum of the standard civilian position retirement benefit cost factor (24.0 percent), insurance and health benefit cost factor (5.7 percent), Medicare benefit cost factor (1.45 percent), and miscellaneous fringe benefit cost factor (1.7 percent).

5 For agencies reporting in FY 2007.  For agencies reporting in both FY 2006 and FY 2007, the total costs were $101,848,758 and $112,597,819 respectively.

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Conclusion

The FY 2007 increase in use of official time hours reverses the trend observed since OPM began collecting official time data for FY 2002, although we continue to observe favorable trends among many agencies. We continue to have concerns that the large percentage of hours reported under the General Labor-Management category may indicate a need for better understanding among supervisors and union officials of the activities that are included in each category. There also may be an opportunity for agencies to address the reporting requirements when they negotiate future collective bargaining agreements.

OPM continues to refine official time data collection as agencies transition to automated tracking and reporting through their time and attendance systems. We expect that e-Payroll tracking and reporting will further enhance the accuracy of reported official time data while reducing the administrative burden of collecting that data. Full implementation, scheduled to begin during the FY 2007 reporting year has essentially been accomplished and will allow us to collect and examine agency and government-wide official time use on a near real-time basis for analysis during the year.

For further information regarding this report, please contact the Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy at (202) 606-2930 or CWRAP@OPM.gov.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories – agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

  • Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid-Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor-Management Relations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B: Raw Data Reported for Official Time

Table 6. Raw Data Reported for Official Time
Department/ Agency2007 BU EmployeesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management
African Development Foundation 8 3 0 0 0
Agriculture 33765 2852 1153 28899 58821
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1105 720 360 1690 2960
Commerce 21976 3894 3290 10460 18561
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 132 0 0 0 276
Consumer Product Safety Commission 205 8 2 7 568
Corporation for National Service 346 0 1 36 26
CSOSA 358 1948 176 56 108
CSOSA - Pre Trial 270 911 11 147 372
Defense 396893 30401 10563 82931 191197
Education 2540 0 347 2386 4372
EEOC 1579 0 104 1828 11203
Energy 6640 5198 744 3513 10190
Environmental Protection Agency 11216 139 420 5403 19236
Export-Import Bank 74 0 0 0 19
FCC 1177 0 221 824 553
FDIC 3173 0 54 1174 3365
Federal Election Commission 237 26 133 22 156
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 977 0 0 99 497
Federal Trade Commission 347 466 29 4 193
FMCS 30 0 0 12 6
General Services Administration 6381 3469 2816 4543 20874
Government Printing Office 1793 2284 387 3796 430
Health & Human Services 25600 4645 924 6456 17081
Holocaust Memorial Museum 11 0 0 0 0
Homeland Security 53552 5555 3368 54411 24513
Housing & Urban Development 7844 5119 2227 1909 22568
Interior 18252 2445 758 3148 13381
Justice 28000 18015 7116 12543 94792
Labor 11059 0 678 7370 48021
Merit Systems Protection Board 84 0 0 0 33
NASA 9926 102 403 4927 8908
National Archives and Records Administration 2114 134 24 998 5897
National Credit Union Association 755 1308 0 0 0
National Endowment for the Humanities 94 0 0 4 216
National Gallery of Art 400 6 0 233 126
National Labor Relations Board 1104 1005 2888 4743 4106
National Mediation Board 10 0 0 0 2
National Science Foundation 850 0 14 233 914
National Transportation Safety Board 251 0 4 1 50
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2458 0 2316 435 1192
Office of Personnel Management 1090 55 610 1383 2724
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 82 0 0 86 52
Peace Corps 300 30 15 5 20
Presidio Trust 177        
Railroad Retirement Board 732 0 54 1928 2841
SEC 0        
Small Business Administration 1152 0 586 413 231
Smithsonian 2500 0 0 300 400
Social Security Administration 47980 72 3039 14547 203349
State (includes AFSA unit) 10326 0 920 650 3222
Transportation 36127 5194 2469 14528 140230
Treasury 85783 2117 7015 19613 583014
U.S. Capitol Police 1226 116 24 68 3113
U.S. International Trade Commission 270        
Veterans Affairs 200,077 19,933 36,784 145,370 620,419
Grand Total - All Agencies 1,039,809 118,170 93,047 444,132 2,145,398

 

Table 6. Raw Data Reported for Official Time - Continued

Table 6. Raw Data Reported for Official Time - Continued
Department/ Agency2007 Total Hours6 Hours per B/U employeeHourly RateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cost
African Development Foundation 3 0.38 47.66 $143 $195
Agriculture 91725 2.72 22.67 $2,079,423 $2,837,373
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5730 5.19 37.44 $214,553 $292,757
Commerce 36205 1.65 34.53 $1,250,039 $1,705,678
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 276 2.09 53.25 $14,697 $20,055
Consumer Product Safety Commission 585 2.85   $0 $0
Corporation for National Service 63 0.18 30.66 $1,916 $2,614
CSOSA 2288 6.39 31.18 $71,339 $97,343
CSOSA - Pre Trial 1441 5.34 31.18 $44,930 $61,307
Defense 315092 0.79 26.25 $8,271,165 $11,286,005
Education 7105 2.80 40.37 $286,831 $391,380
EEOC 13135 8.32 35.27 $463,280 $632,146
Energy 19645 2.96 41.15 $808,411 $1,103,076
Environmental Protection Agency 25198 2.25 42.77 $1,077,614 $1,470,405
Export-Import Bank 19 0.26 27.56 $524 $715
FCC 1598 1.36 45.99 $73,490 $100,277
FDIC 4593 1.45 46.31 $212,693 $290,220
Federal Election Commission 337 1.42 35.73 $12,039 $16,428
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 596 0.61 41.15 $24,505 $33,438
Federal Trade Commission 692 1.99 30.74 $21,261 $29,011
FMCS 18 0.60 26.18 $471 $643
General Services Administration 31702 4.97 34.73 $1,100,887 $1,502,161
Government Printing Office 6897 3.85 28.25 $194,813 $265,823
Health & Human Services 29106 1.14 32.67 $950,983 $1,297,616
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0 0 25.42 $0 $0
Homeland Security 87847 1.64 27.41 $2,407,768 $3,285,399
Housing & Urban Development 31823 4.06 38.39 $1,221,575 $1,666,839
Interior 19732 1.08 24.05 $474,505 $647,462
Justice 132466 4.73 26.66 $3,531,875 $4,819,243
Labor 56069 5.07 33.64 $1,885,967 $2,573,402
Merit Systems Protection Board 33 0.39 60.01 $1,980 $2,702
NASA 14340 1.44 47.53 $681,607 $930,053
National Archives and Records Administration 7053 3.34 24.20 $170,717 $232,943
National Credit Union Association 1308 1.73 38.87 $50,843 $69,375
National Endowment for the Humanities 220 2.34 37.50 $8,250 $11,257
National Gallery of Art 365 0.91 24.03 $8,759 $11,952
National Labor Relations Board 12742 11.54 40.37 $514,403 $701,903
National Mediation Board 2 0.15 30.61 $46 $63
National Science Foundation 1161 1.37 44.25 $51,365 $70,087
National Transportation Safety Board 55 0.22 47.60 $2,606 $3,556
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 3943 1.60 46.22 $182,210 $248,625
Office of Personnel Management 4772 4.38 31.12 $148,485 $202,608
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 138 1.68 40.73 $5,621 $7,670
Peace Corps 70 0.23 28.50 $1,995 $2,722
Presidio Trust 0 N/R 26.76 $0 $0
Railroad Retirement Board 4823 6.59 32.34 $155,978 $212,832
SEC 0 N/R   $0 $0
Small Business Administration 1230 1.07 36.28 $44,627 $60,894
Smithsonian 700 0.28 24.03 $16,822 $22,953
Social Security Administration 221007 4.61 28.85 $6,376,902 $8,701,283
State (includes AFSA unit) 4792 0.46 35.07 $168,049 $229,303
Transportation 162421 4.50 46.21 $7,506,271 $10,242,307
Treasury 611759 7.13 28.72 $17,567,483 $23,970,831
U.S. Capitol Police 3321 2.71 33.44 $111,054 $151,534
U.S. International Trade Commission 0 N/R 44.61 $0 $0
Veterans Affairs 822,506 4.11 27.17 $22,344,483 $30,489,047
Grand Total - All Agencies 2,800,747 2.69   $82,818,110 $113,005,311

6 Numbers may not total due to rounding.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2006 Survey Responses

Introduction

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) established an annual reporting requirement in FY 2002 to strengthen accountability and agency focus on the use, authorization and tracking of official time. In FY 2004, we refined and expanded the reporting requirements by asking agencies to report official time hours in four categories of use: term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution, and general labor-management relations. See Appendix A for a description of each category.

OPM continues to work on enhancing the accuracy of official time data and reducing the administrative burden on agencies by integrating official time tracking into the e-Payroll Initiative. With e-Payroll data collection, official time hours are captured electronically through agency time and attendance systems on a pay-period basis. Most agencies began updating their internal data systems and transitioning to time and attendance e-Payroll tracking in FY 2004. Full implementation, allowing us to collect and examine data on government-wide official time usage on a near real-time basis, currently is scheduled for the FY 2007 reporting year.

OPM issued the call and guidance for reporting FY 2006 official time data in a December 13, 2006 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies. Forty seven of 65 departments and agencies that have employees represented by labor organizations responded to OPM's FY 2006 official time survey. The non-responding agencies, however, are relatively small and do not significantly impact the findings of this report. Responding agencies and departments reported 2,718,119 official time hours for FY 2006. This is the fourth consecutive year in which reported official time hours decreased, which may reflect improved reporting as agencies increase the use of electronic time and attendance systems to capture this information.

Table 1. Total Official Time Hours FY 2003-2006
 FY 2006FY 2005FY 2004FY 2003
Total Official Time Hours 2,718,119 3,359,0571 3,870,460 4,722,347
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) 2.60 3.2  3.7 4.4

1 Number adjusted from FY 2005 report to reflect agencies that did not report for FY 2006.

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The FY 2006 survey responses show a 19.1 percent government-wide decrease in reported official time from those reported in FY 2005. The following table shows the hours reported by each agency in FYs 2005 and 2006 and the percentage of any change between the two years. The table shows wide variation among agencies, with changes from the previous year ranging from a decrease of 82.7 percent to increases of over 4700 percent. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year have a small number of bargaining unit employees. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translated into significant percentage changes for these agencies. On the other hand, other agencies which had a significant percentage increase also had a significant increase in hours. The agency reporting the most significant change is EEOC. They have indicated that their increase was due to additional hours spent on dispute resolution and hours spent by union officials to lobby Congress against continuing the agency's National Contact Center and the agency's repositioning of personnel.

Table 2. Official Time Hours - FY 2006 vs. FY 2005
Departments / Agencies2006 Official Time Hours2005 Official Time Hours% Decrease/ Increase
Less than 1000 bargaining unit employees
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 241 5 4720%
Corporation for National Service 125 594 -79.0%
CSOSA 2,460 1,943 26.6%
CSOSA - Pre Trial 158 New unit  
Export-Import Bank 82 149 -45.0%
Federal Election Commission 390 170 129.4%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 396 391 1.4%
Federal Trade Commission 260 206 26.3%
FMCS 6    
International Trade Commission 307 485 -36.7%
Merit Systems Protection Board 109 227 -52.0%
National Credit Union Association 1,143 No report  
National Endowment for the Humanities 336 238 41.5%
National Gallery of Art 430 594 -27.6%
National Science Foundation 1,465 1,393 5.2%
National Transportation Safety Board 81 53 52.4%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 210 336 -37.5%
Railroad Retirement Board 7,653 7,706 -0.7%
Between 1,000 and 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5312 No report  
Commerce 33816 17,290 95.6%
Education 7,096 11,613 -38.9%
Energy 15,120 14,223 6.3%
EEOC 35,482 14,405 146.3%
Environmental Protection Agency 12,489 72,324 -82.7%
FCC 1,593 1,682 -5.3%
FDIC 7,096 9,223 -23.1%
General Services Administration 33,037 33,814 -2.3%
Government Printing Office 6,224 8,303 -25.0%
Housing & Urban Development 37,682 70,946 -46.9%
Interior 20,332 20,176 0.8%
Labor 66,825 76,928 -13.1%
NASA 15,076 15,427 -2.3%
National Labor Relations Board 12,042 13,674 -11.9%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 4,319 4,497 -3.9%
Office of Personnel Management 7,318 7,821 -6.4%
SEC 4,321 4,196 3.0%
Small Business Administration 3,183 4,795 -33.6%
State (includes AFSA unit) 9,597 9,492 1.1%
More than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 105,021 108,185 -2.9%
Defense 264,303 561,122 -52.9%
Health & Human Services 32,548 24,501 32.8%
Homeland Security 98,267 99,395 -1.1%
Justice 113,655 102,173 11.2%
Social Security Administration 191,495 349,352 -45.2%
Transportation 103,951 230,629 -54.9%
Treasury 673,223 703,802 -4.3%
Veterans Affairs 781,846 744,242 5.1%
Governmentwide 2,718,119 3,353,983 -19.1%

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate, which indicates the average number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2006 government-wide official time rate was 2.60 official time hours per bargaining unit employee, representing an 18.75 percent decrease in the official time rate. Changes in the annual rate must be viewed together with actual hours used. For example, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission experienced more than a 5500 percent increase in their rate but the actual rate only rose from a meager .03 to 1.76 hours per employee which is still far below the national average. EEOC had an extraordinarily high rate for the reasons discussed in the previous section.

Table 3. Official Time Rate - FY 2006 vs. FY 2005
Departments / Agencies2006 Official Time Rate2005 Official Time Rate% Decrease/ Increase
Less than 1000 bargaining unit employees
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 1.76 0.03 5599.6%
Corporation for National Service .36 1.46 -75.6%
CSOSA 6.61 5.24 26.3%
CSOSA - Pre Trial .65 New unit  
Export-Import Bank 1.03 1.64 -37.4%
Federal Election Commission 1.65 0.76 118.7%
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission .40 0.44 -10.3%
Federal Trade Commission .95 0.46 108.1%
FMCS .20 No report  
International Trade Commission 1.08 1.82 -40.7%
Merit Systems Protection Board 1.31 2.58 -49.1%
National Credit Union Association 1.51 No report  
National Endowment for the Humanities 3.23 2.10 53.7%
National Gallery of Art 1.08 1.61 -33.2%
National Science Foundation 1.79 1.77 1.2%
National Transportation Safety Board 0.32 0.19 66.9%
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 2.31 3.65 -36.8%
Railroad Retirement Board 10.43 7.72 35.0%
Between 1,000 and 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Broadcasting Board of Governors 4.89 No report  
Commerce 1.93 1.15 67.4%
Education 2.89 3.53 -18.1%
Energy 2.47 1.96 26.2%
EEOC 22.43 6.94 223.1%
Environmental Protection Agency 1.25 5.78 -78.4%
FCC 1.35 1.22 10.9%
FDIC 2.24 2.12 5.5%
General Services Administration 4.99 4.56 9.4%
Government Printing Office 2.84 3.79 -25.0%
Housing & Urban Development 5.45 10.62 -48.6%
Interior 0.92 0.92 0.7%
Labor 6.05 6.97 -13.1%
NASA 1.51 1.46 3.2%
National Labor Relations Board 10.03 10.78 -6.9%
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1.86 2.28 -18.3%
Office of Personnel Management 6.53 3.95 65.2%
SEC 1.69 1.91 -11.2%
Small Business Administration 1.42 2.14 -33.6%
State (includes AFSA unit) 0.67 0.73 -9.3%
More than 25,000 bargaining unit employees
Agriculture 2.86 2.64 8.7%
Defense 0.63 1.33 -52.7%
Health & Human Services 1.27 0.83 53.6%
Homeland Security 2.06 2.04 0.9%
Justice 4.06 4.11 -1.1%
Social Security Administration 3.86 6.71 -42.4%
Transportation 2.89 5.72 -49.6%
Treasury 7.51 7.73 -2.8%
Veterans Affairs 4.31 4.59 -6.0%
Governmentwide 2.60 3.20 -18.7%

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Categories

Agencies report categories of official time which allows greater analysis of official time use and variations from year to year. While there were decreases in each of the reported categories as compared to FY 2005, the General Labor-Management Relations category once again accounted for the greatest share of government-wide official time hours. Agencies reported 1,989,351 hours in this category, representing 73.9 percent of all reported official time hours. Anecdotal information from agencies indicates that this category is often used to report hours for activities not specifically identified by union officials. This is particularly prevalent when the union official is on 100% official time. The high percentages reported in this category by many agencies, when viewed within the context of total hours reported, indicates an opportunity for some agencies to strengthen the integrity of their data. See Exhibits 1 through 5.

Table 4. Categories
Departments / AgenciesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management2006 Total Hours
Agriculture 4116 1649 19667 79,589 105,021
Broadcasting Board of Governors 360 480 1,618 2,854 5,312
Commerce 1573 6146 8146 17,951 33,816
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 0 0 0 241 241
Corporation for National Service 0 25 48 52 125
CSOSA 2,002 100 99 258 2,460
CSOSA - Pre Trial   18 68 71 158
Defense 22,418 8,120 167,839 65,926 264,303
Education 0 547 2,682 3,868 7,096
EEOC 448 0 3,594 31,441 35,482
Energy 1,803 146 2,253 10,919 15,120
Environmental Protection Agency 11 227 1,434 10,817 12,489
Export-Import Bank 0 0 5 77 82
FCC 0 211 902 480 1,593
FDIC 825 43 2,308 3,920 7096
Federal Election Commission 40 120 100 130 390
Federal Trade Commission 28 8 72 150 260
FMCS   6     6
General Services Administration 26 3,170 11,776 18,066 33,037
Government Printing Office 780 1,363 3,910 172 6,224
Health & Human Services 4,579 1,703 6,609 19,658 32,548
Homeland Security 6,270 3,416 62,796 25,785 98,267
Housing & Urban Development 0 22,412 1,253 14,017 37,682
Interior 1,045 702 2,656 15,929 20,332
International Trade Commission 0 0 0 307 307
Justice 16,358 3,022 12,988 81,286 113,655
Labor2 885 1,138 7,907 56,895 66,825
Merit Systems Protection Board 0 16 8 85 109
NASA 290 2,912 4,006 7,869 15,076
National Credit Union Association 1,143       1,143
National Endowment for the Humanities 0 29 55 252 336
National Gallery of Art 67 0 316 47 430
National Labor Relations Board 1,922 0 3,982 6,138 12,042
National Science Foundation 0 284 203 978 1,465
National Transportation Safety Board 0 2 15 64 81
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 0 1,082 2,354 883 4,319
Office of Personnel Management 96 1,951 2,079 3,192 7,318
Overseas Private Investment Corporation     160 50 210
Railroad Retirement Board 0 832 1,615 5,206 7,653
SEC 450 1,110 340 2,421 4,321
Small Business Administration 35 0 1,472 1,676 3,183
Social Security Administration 1,106 4,175 12,695 173,519 191,495
State (includes AFSA unit) 864 1,050 1,895 5,788 9,597
Transportation 3,509 11,857 21,849 66,736 103,951
Treasury 2,067 18,838 18,927 633,391 673,223
Veterans Affairs 2,6018 20,009 86,847 648,972 781,846
Grand Total - All Agencies 101,132 118,918 479,598 2,018,471 2,718,119

2Department of Labor reported 29,120 hours as 'Other'. This reflects official time hours attributable to union representatives on 100% official time and that could not be identified by activity. Those hours are reported in General Labor-Management but not included in category calculations.

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on December 2006 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage plus fringe benefits.3   In comparing those agencies that reported in both FY 05 and FY 06, we find the cost of official time hours decreased by almost 20 percent. We believe that this continuing trend to report lower costs each year is due to improved reporting and improved labor-management relations and less mid-term bargaining.

Table 5. Cost - FY 2006 vs. FY 2005
Departments / AgenciesFY 06 CostFY 05 Cost
Agriculture $3,308,020 $3,129,094
Broadcasting Board of Governors $238,597 N/R
Commerce $1,518,428 $657,189
Commodity Futures Trading Commission $16,969 $
Corporation for National Service $5,492 $22,878
CSOSA $97,661 $70,506
CSOSA - Pre Trial $6,262 N/A
Defense $8,904,569 $18,978,079
Education $367,950 $550,234
EEOC $1,648,422 $813,532
Energy $811,123 $725,798
Environmental Protection Agency $691,360 $3,822,972
Export-Import Bank $2,893 $7,514
FCC $94,154 $94,893
FDIC $52,509 $551,439
Federal Election Commission $17,771 $5,619
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission $22,711 $16,575
Federal Trade Commission $10,522 $8,535
FMCS $202 N/R
General Services Administration $1,483,923 $1,429,527
Government Printing Office $231,344 $318,981
Health & Human Services $1,355,558 $1,056,466
Homeland Security $3,607,033 $3,317,789
Housing & Urban Development $1,868,259 $1,157,048
Interior $648,806 $642,583
International Trade Commission $17,366 $19,819
Justice  $3,946,887 $3,575,630
Labor $2,923,427 $3,875,060
Merit Systems Protection Board $8,465 $10,140
NASA $921,309 $872,348
National Credit Union Association $58,416 N/R
National Endowment for the Humanities $16,253 $10951
National Gallery of Art $11,031 $17,504
National Labor Relations Board $620,555 $669,449
National Science Foundation $82,638 $75,424
National Transportation Safety Board $4,904 $2,947
Nuclear Regulatory Commission $261,586 $264,435
Office of Personnel Management $295,159 $237,743
Overseas Private Investment Corporation $10,707 $16,305
Railroad Retirement Board $324,938 $316,090
SEC $291,213 $290,878
Small Business Administration $150,539 $168,800
Social Security Administration $7,186,831 $12,426,656
State (includes AFSA unit) $445,472 $417,910
Transportation $6,467,172 $13,706,267
Treasury $24,747,405 $25,039,595
Veterans Affairs $25,977,447 $25,128,363
Governmentwide $102,157,337 $124,540,459

3The full fringe benefit factor is 32.85 percent of the position's basic pay. The 32.85 percent civilian position full fringe benefit cost factor is the sum of the standard civilian position retirement benefit cost factor (24.0 percent), insurance and health benefit cost factor (5.7 percent), Medicare benefit cost factor (1.45 percent), and miscellaneous fringe benefit cost factor (1.7 percent).

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Conclusion

The FY 2006 decrease in use of official time hours continues the trend observed since OPM began collecting official time data for FY 2002.

OPM continues to refine official time data collection as agencies transition to automated tracking and reporting through their time and attendance systems. We expect that e-Payroll tracking and reporting will further enhance the accuracy of reported official time data while reducing the administrative burden of collecting that data. Full implementation, currently scheduled to begin during the FY 2007 reporting year, will allow us to collect and examine agency and government-wide official time use on a near real-time basis.

For further information regarding this report, please contact the Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy at 202-606-2930 or CWRAP@OPM.gov.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time, regardless of agency nomenclature, granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

  • Official Time Reporting Categories – agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.
  • Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid–Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor–Management Relations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the labor organization or fulfilling the organization's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B: Categories of Use by Agency - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004

Table 6. Raw Data Reported for Official Time
Department/Agency2006 BU EmployeesTerm BargainingMid-Term BargainingDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Mgmt
Agriculture 36,660 4,116 1,649 19,667 79,589
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,086 360 480 1,618 2,854
Commerce 17,502 1,573 6,146 8,146 17,951
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 137 0 0 0 241
Corporation for National Service 350 0 25 48 52
CSOSA 372 2,002 100 99 258
CSOSA - Pre Trial 243   18 68 71
Defense 420,583 22,418 8,120 167,839 65,926
Education 2,453 0.00 547 2,682 3,868
EEOC 1,582 448 0 3,594 31,441
Energy 6,118 1,803 146 2,253 10,919
Environmental Protection Agency 10,000 11 227 1,434 10,817
Export-Import Bank 80 0 0 5 77
FCC 1,177 0 211 902 480
FDIC 3,173 825 43 2,308 3,920
Federal Election Commission 236 40 120 100 130
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 999 0 0 50 346
Federal Trade Commission 273 28 8 72 150
FMCS 30   6    
General Services Administration 6,616 26 3,170 11,776 18,066
Government Printing Office 1,685 780 1,363 3,910 172
Health & Human Services 25,600 4,579 1,703 6,609 19,658
Homeland Security 47,698 6,270 3,416 62,796 25,785
Housing & Urban Development 6,912 0 22,412 1,253 14,017
Interior 22,000 1,045 702 2,656 15,929
International Trade Commission 284 0 0 0 307
Justice 28,000 16,358 3,022 12,988 81,286
Labor 11,040 885 1,138 7,907 56,895
Merit Systems Protection Board 83 0 16 8 85
NASA 10,015 290 2,912 4,006 7,869
National Credit Union Association 756 1,143      
National Endowment for the Humanities 104 0 29 55 252
National Gallery of Art 400 67 0 316 47
National Labor Relations Board 1,201 1,922 0 3,982 6,138
National Science Foundation 819 0 284 203 978
National Transportation Safety Board 251 0 2 15 64
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2,321 0 1,082 2,354 883
Office of Personnel Management 1,120 96 1,951 2,079 3,192
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 91     160 50
Railroad Retirement Board 734 0 832 1,615 5,206
SEC 2,550 450 1,110 340 2,421
Small Business Administration 2,237 35 0 1,472 1,676
Social Security Administration 49,564 1,106 4,175 12,695 173,519
State (includes AFSA unit) 14,420 864 1,050 1,895 5,788
Transportation  36,010 3,509 11,857 21,849 66,736
Treasury 89,610 2,067 18,838 18,927 633,391
Veterans Affairs 181,398 26,018 20,009 86,847 648,972
Grand Total - all agencies 1,046,573 101,132 118,918 479,598 2,018,471
Percentage of hours used in each category   3.76% 4.42% 17.84% 73.98%

 

Table 6. Raw Data Reported for Official Time - Continued
Department/Agency2006 Total HoursHours per B/U employeeHourly rateSalary CostSalary + Benefits Cost
Agriculture 105,021 2.86 $ 23.71 $2,490,042 $3,308,020
Broadcasting Board of Governors 5,312 4.89 $ 33.81 $179,599 $238,597
Commerce 33,816 1.93 $ 33.80 $1,142,964 $1,518,428
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 241 1.76 $ 53.00 $12,773 $16,969
Corporation for National Service 125 0.36 $ 33.07 $4,134 $5,492
CSOSA 2,460 6.61 $ 29.88 $73,512 $97,661
CSOSA - Pre Trial 158 0.65 $ 29.88 $4,714 $6,262
Defense 264,303 0.63 $ 25.36 $6,702,724 $8,904,569
Education 7,096 2.89 $ 39.03 $276,967 $367,950
EEOC 35,482 22.43 $ 34.97 $1,240,814 $1,648,422
Energy 15,120 2.47 $ 40.38 $610,556 $811,123
Environmental Protection Agency 12,489 1.25 $ 41.67 $520,406 $691,360
Export-Import Bank 82 1.03 $ 26.56 $2,178 $2,893
FCC 1,593 1.35 $ 44.49 $70,873 $94,154
FDIC 7,096 2.24 $ 45.57 $323,365 $429,590
Federal Election Commission 390 1.65 $ 34.30 $13,377 $17,771
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 396 0.40 $ 43.17 $17,095 $22,711
Federal Trade Commission 260 0.95 $ 30.52 $7,920 $10,522
FMCS 6 0.20 $ 25.35 $152 $202
General Services Administration 33,037 4.99 $ 33.81 $1,116,991 $1,483,923
Government Printing Office 6,224 3.69 $ 27.98 $174,139 $231,344
Health & Human Services 32,548 1.27 $ 31.35 $1,020,367 $1,355,558
Homeland Security 98,267 2.06 $ 27.63 $2,715,117 $3,607,033
Housing & Urban Development 37,682 5.45 $ 37.32 $1,406,292 $1,868,259
Interior 20,332 0.92 $ 24.02 $488,375 $648,806
International Trade Commission 307 1.08 $ 42.58 $13,072 $17,366
Justice 113,655 4.06 $ 26.14 $2,970,935 $3,946,887
Labor 66,825 6.05 Actual4 $2,200,547 $2,923,427
Merit Systems Protection Board 109 1.31 $ 58.46 $6,372 $8,465
NASA 15,076 1.51 $ 46.00 $693,496 $921,309
National Credit Union Association 1,143 1.51 $ 38.47 $43,971 $58,416
National Endowment for the Humanities 336 3.23 $ 36.41 $12,234 $16,253
National Gallery of Art 430 1.08 $ 19.31 $8,303 $11,031
National Labor Relations Board 12,042 10.03 $ 38.79 $467,109 $620,555
National Science Foundation 1,465 1.79 $ 42.46 $62,204 $82,638
National Transportation Safety Board 81 0.32 $ 45.71 $3,691 $4,904
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 4,319 1.86 $ 45.59 $196,903 $261,586
Office of Personnel Management 7,318 6.53 $ 30.36 $222,174 $295,159
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 210 2.31 $ 38.38 $8,060 $10,707
Railroad Retirement Board 7,653 10.43 $ 31.96 $244,590 $324,938
SEC 4,321 1.69 $ 50.73 $219,204 $291,213
Small Business Administration 3,183 1.42 $ 35.60 $113,315 $150,539
Social Security Administration 191,495 3.86 $ 28.25 $5,409,734 $7,186,831
State (includes AFSA unit) 9,597 0.67 $ 34.94 $335,319 $445,472
Transportation  103,951 2.89 $ 46.83 $4,868,025 $6,467,172
Treasury 673,223 7.51 $ 27.67 $18,628,080 $24,747,405
Veterans Affairs 781,846 4.31 $ 25.01 $19,553,968 $25,977,447
Grand Total - all agencies 2,718,119 2.60 $ 34.75 $76,896,753 $102,157,337
Percentage of hours used in each category          

4 DOL uses a tracking system that captures the actual salary cost of the employee charging hours to official time. 

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2005 Survey Responses

Introduction

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) established an annual reporting requirement in FY 2002 to strengthen accountability and agency focus on the use, authorization and tracking of official time. We reported the results and findings of our FY 2002 and FY 2003 annual surveys in two reports: Summary Report - Official Time for Representational Activities, Fiscal Year 2002 and Official Time Usage in the Federal Government, Fiscal Year 2003. In FY 2004, we refined and expanded the reporting requirements by asking agencies to report official time hours in four categories of use: term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution, and general labor-management relations. See Appendix A for a description of each category.

OPM also is working to further enhance the accuracy of official time data and reduce the administrative burden on agencies by integrating official time tracking into the e-Payroll Initiative. With e-Payroll data collection, official time hours will be captured electronically through time and attendance records on a pay-period basis. Agencies have updated their internal data systems and began transitioning to time and attendance e-Payroll tracking in FY 2004. Full implementation, allowing us to collect and examine data on governmentwide official time usage on a near real-time basis, currently is scheduled for the FY 2007 reporting year.

OPM issued the call and guidance for reporting FY 2005 official time data in a February 8, 2006 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies. In addition to asking agencies to report the official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations, they were also asked to report how those hours were used within the four pre-defined categories. This report provides the results of our fourth annual survey of Federal departments and agencies.

Fifty of 59 departments and agencies that have employees represented by unions responded to OPM's FY 2005 official time survey, resulting in a response rate of 85 percent. These responding agencies employ 1,051,372, or 99 percent of all Federal bargaining unit employees. The non - responsive agencies are small, employing a total of 5,860 bargaining unit employees, and the lack of their data, therefore, has a negligible impact on this governmentwide analysis. Responding agencies and departments reported 3,359,057 official time hours for FY 2005. This is the third consecutive year in which reported official time hours decreased, culminating in an overall 32.2 percent decrease since FY 2002.

Table 1. Total Official Time Hours - Percent Change - FY 2002-2005
 % ChangeFY 2005FY 2004FY 2003FY 2002
Total Official Time Hours -32.2% 3,359,057 3,870,460 4,722,347 4,956,715
Rate (Hours per BU Employee) -30.8% 3.2 3.7 4.4 4.6

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

The FY 2005 survey responses show a 13.2 percent governmentwide decrease in reported official time from the 3,870,460 hours reported in FY 2004. The following table shows the hours reported by each agency in FYs 2004 and 2005 and the percentage of any change between the two years. The table shows wide variation among agencies, with changes from the previous year ranging from a decrease of 90.5 percent to increases of over 200 percent. Many of the agencies showing the widest variation from the previous year were of small size. Thus, modest numerical changes in reported hours translated into significant percentage changes for these agencies. Larger agencies reporting wide variations generally started or completed term negotiations during the reporting year. Mid-term negotiations also accounted for significant changes in the larger agencies' reported hours.

Table 2. Official Time Hours - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004
Departments / Agencies2005 Official Time Hours2004 Official Time Hours% Decrease/Increase
African Dev. Foundation 15 153 -90.5%
NTSB 53 514 -89.7%
CFTC 5 31 -83.9%
FEC 170 689 -75.3%
FTC 206 822 -75.0%
Commerce 17,290 44,276 -60.9%
Transportation 230,629 452,379 -49.0%
HHS 24,501 46,407 -47.2%
Nat'l Gallery of Art 594 1,030 -42.3%
EEOC 14,405 24,013 -40.0%
Court Services 1,943 3,154 -38.4%
MSPB 227 364 -37.6%
Homeland Security 99,395 145,653 -31.8%
NARA 5,265 6,704 -21.5%
Labor 76,928 93,011 -17.3%
SBA 4,795 5,746 -16.6%
Defense 561,122 668,104 -16.0%
Justice 102,173 120,591 -15.3%
Education 11,613 13,114 -11.4%
Agriculture 108,185 120,644 -10.3%
Interior 20,176 22,468 -10.2%
SSA 349,352 388,455 -10.1%
NLRB 13,674 14,857 -8.0%
SEC 4,196 4,525 -7.3%
Treasury 703,802 735,566 -4.3%
FDIC 9,223 9,637 -4.3%
Veterans Affairs 744,242 772,403 -3.6%
NSF 1,393 1,434 -2.9%
RRB 7,706 7,916 -2.7%
AID 4,170 4,275 -2.5%
Corp. for Nat’l Svc. 594 594 0.0%
FMCS 0 0 0.0%
Holocaust Museum 0 0 0.0%
NRC 4,497 4,475 0.5%
Energy 14,223 13,731 3.6%
OPM 7,821 7,465 4.8%
NASA 15,427 14,444 6.8%
GSA 33,814 31,402 7.7%
GPO 8,303 7,602 9.2%
State 9,492 8,238 15.2%
ITC 485 403 20.3%
OPIC 336 234 43.6%
CPSC 213 147 44.9%
Export-Import Bank 149 80 86.3%
FERC 391 206 89.6%
PBGC 485 251 93.6%
Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities 238 112 112.1%
EPA 72,324 30,442 137.6%
FCC 1,682 556 202.9%
HUD 70,946 23,286 204.7%
Governmentwide 3,359,057 3,870,460 -13.2%

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Official Time Rates

The official time rate indicates the number of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, which allows for meaningful comparisons of official time usage among agencies. The average FY 2005 governmentwide official time rate was 3.2 official time hours per bargaining unit employee, representing a 14.3 percent decrease in the official time rate as compared to the 13.2 percent decrease in total hours reported.

Table 3. Official Time Rate - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004
Departments / Agencies2005 Official Time Rate2004 Official Time Rate% Decrease/ Increase
NTSB 0.2 1.9 -89.7%
CFTC 0.0 0.2 -87.1%
African Dev. Foundation 1.5 10.2 -85.8%
FEC 0.8 3.1 -75.3%
FTC 0.5 1.8 -75.0%
Commerce 1.2 3.0 -60.9%
HHS 0.8 1.6 -49.2%
Transportation 5.7 11.2 -49.0%
Nat'l Gallery of Art 1.6 2.8 -42.3%
EEOC 6.9 11.6 -40.0%
Court Services 5.2 8.5 -38.4%
MSPB 2.6 4.1 -37.6%
Homeland Security 2.0 3.0 -31.5%
Defense 1.3 1.6 -19.3%
SBA 2.1 2.6 -16.6%
Justice 4.1 4.8 -15.3%
Labor 7.0 8.2 -14.7%
Education 3.5 4.0 -11.4%
Agriculture 2.6 3.0 -10.7%
Interior 0.9 1.0 -10.5%
SSA 6.7 7.5 -10.5%
OPM 4.0 4.3 -9.1%
NLRB 10.8 11.7 -8.0%
SEC 1.9 2.1 -7.3%
NARA 2.7 2.8 -6.3%
FDIC 2.1 2.2 -4.3%
Veterans Affairs 4.6 4.8 -3.6%
NSF 1.8 1.8 -2.9%
RRB 7.7 7.9 -2.7%
AID 2.1 2.2 -2.5%
Corp. for Nat'l Service 1.5 1.5 0.0%
FMCS 0.0 0.0 0.0%
Holocaust Museum 0.0 0.0 0.0%
Treasury 7.7 7.7 0.3%
NRC 2.3 2.3 0.5%
Energy 2.0 1.9 0.8%
NASA 1.5 1.4 6.8%
GSA 4.6 4.2 8.4%
GPO 3.8 3.5 9.2%
State 0.7 0.6 15.2%
ITC 1.8 1.5 20.3%
OPIC 3.7 2.5 43.6%
CPSC 0.6 0.4 44.9%
Export-Import Bank 1.6 0.9 86.3%
FERC 0.4 0.2 89.6%
PBGC 1.0 0.5 93.6%
Nat'l Endowment for Humanities 2.1 1.0 110.2%
EPA 5.8 2.4 137.8%
FCC 1.2 0.4 202.9%
HUD 10.6 3.2 228.0%
Governmentwide 3.2 3.7 -14.3%

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Categories

Agencies reported categories of official time for the first time in FY 2004, and this year's categorical reporting allows for greater analysis of the uses of official time and variations from year to year. The General Labor-Management Relations category once again accounted for the greatest share of governmentwide official time hours. Agencies reported 2,272,453 hours in this category, representing 67.7 percent of all reported official time hours.

Table 4. Official Time Categories - FY 2005
 Term NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management RelationsOtherTotal Official Time Hours
Cabinet Departments
Agriculture 2,468 1,691 19,183 84,844   108,185
Commerce 2,654 442 6,978 7,217   17,290
Defense 29,686 23,938 374,164 133,334   561,122
Education 0 652 5,807 5,154   11,613
Energy 596 282 2,290 11,055   14,223
HHS 786 1,019 3,590 19,106   24,501
Homeland Security 10,359 5,535 61,510 21,991   99,395
HUD 0 22,521 8,184 40,241   70,946
Interior 1,189 763 2,506 15,719   20,176
Justice 18,452 2,473 12,061 69,189   102,173
Labor 524 2,761 13,308 31,215 29,120 76,928
State 0 826 3,503 5,163   9,492
Transportation 13,417 2,651 18,360 196,201   230,629
Treasury 4,986 15,891 23,448 659,477   703,802
Veterans Affairs 6,871 16,445 93,833 627,093   744,242
Major Agencies
AID 0 345 1,150 2,675   4,170
EPA 2,592 1,272 4,676 63,784   72,324
EEOC 0 725 1,447 12,234   14,405
FDIC 451 169 3,020 5,583   9,223
GSA 345 1,492 9,286 22,276 415 33,814
GPO 1,283 1,701 4,938 381   8,303
NASA 979 2,086 2,791 9,572   15,427
NARA 0 1,900 2,078 1,287   5,265
NRC 0 512 3,585 400   4,497
OPM 0 1,288 1,266 5,268   7,821
SEC 0 629 2,098 1,469   4,196
SBA 44 0 2,070 2,682   4,795
SSA 9,087 82,012 53,847 204,406   349,352
AID 0 345 1,150 2,675   4,170
All Other Agencies 1,394 8,462 6,968 13,440   30,748
Governmentwide 108,161 200,481 747,942 2,272,453 29,535 3,359,057
% of All Official Time Hours 3.2% 6.0% 22.3% 67.7% 0.9%  

There were decreases in each of the reported categories as compared to FY 2004. For detailed information by agency, please refer to Appendix B.

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Cost

Costs were estimated based on September 2005 wage data provided through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF). We estimate each agency's official time wage costs by multiplying the reported official time hours by each agency's average bargaining unit employee hourly wage. FY 2005 estimated costs decreased 13 percent from the previous year, and they have decreased 25.8 percent since FY 2002. Note: Data for previous years indicated wage costs only. Data for FY 2004 and FY 2005 has been calculated to reflect total costs, including fringe benefits.1

Table 5. Official Time Costs - FY 2003-2005
 FY 2005 Total CostsFY 2005FY 2004 Total CostsFY 2004FY 2003
Cabinet Departments          
Agriculture 3,129,094 2,355,359 3,343,209 2,516,529 2,663,648
Commerce 657,189 495,159 1,673,646 1,259,801 1,280,415
Defense 18,978,079 14,285,343 21,768,552 16,385,813 28,318,283
Education 550,234 414,177 593,192 446,513 473,939
Energy 725,798 546,329 676,721 509,387 807,612
HHS 1,056,466 795,232 1,946,928 1,465,508 1,363,185
Homeland Security 3,317,789 2,497,395 4,638,698 3,491,681 3,580,949
HUD 1,157,048 870,943 986,312 742,426 896,653
Interior 642,583 483,691 688,136 517,980 615,342
Justice 3,575,630 2,691,479 4,078,154 3,069,743 2,195,055
Labor 3,875,060 2,916,869 4,614,714 3,473,627 3,008,375
State 417,910 314,573 350,061 263,501 412,646
Transportation 1,3706,267 10,317,100 25,740,093 19,375,306 27,725,746
Treasury 2,5039,595 18,848,021 25,067,984 18,869,390 18,517,651
VA 2,5128,363 18,914,839 25,010,619 18,826,209 18,482,152
Major Agencies          
AID 233,204 175,539 233,213 175,546 187,902
EPA 3,822,972 2,877,661 1,531,451 1,152,767 1,895,742
EEOC 813,532 612,369 1,046,668 787,857 558,878
FDIC 551,439 415,084 552,704 416,036 378,635
GSA 1,429,527 1,076,046 1,265,897 952,877 1,171,535
GPO 318,981 240,106 259,762 195,530 239,635
NASA 872,348 656,641 782,607 589,091 452,640
NARA 145,281 109,357 177,688 133,750 116,877
NRC 264,435 199,048 255,214 192,107 215,182
OPM 237,743 178,956 215,219 162,001 142,778
SEC 290,878 218,953 297,833 224,188 143,050
SBA 168,800 127,061 205,589 154,752 182,574
Smithsonian Institution n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
SSA 12,426,656 9,353,900 13,401,497 10,087,691 10,389,034
All Other Agencies 1,419,453 1,068,463 2,154,632 1,621,853 1,461,683
Governmentwide Costs $124,952,985 $94,055,691 $143,640,082 $108,122,004 $127,877,794
% Decrease/Increase -13.0% -13.0%   -15.4% 0.1 %
% Decrease FY 2002-2005 -25.8% -25.8%      

1The full fringe benefit factor is 32.85 percent of the position’s basic pay. The 32.85 percent civilian position full fringe benefit cost factor is the sum of the standard civilian position retirement benefit cost factor (24.0 percent), insurance and health benefit cost factor (5.7 percent), Medicare benefit cost factor (1.45 percent), and miscellaneous fringe benefit cost factor (1.7 percent).

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Conclusion

The FY 2005 decline in use of official time hours and cost continues the trend observed in FY 2003 and FY 2004. The reduction in hours used has been significant enough to result in reduced costs despite general increases in employee wages.

OPM continues to refine official time data collection as agencies continue transitioning to automated tracking and reporting through their time and attendance systems. We expect that e-Payroll tracking and reporting will further enhance the accuracy of reported official time data while reducing the administrative burden of collecting that data. Full implementation, currently scheduled to begin with the FY 2007 reporting year, will allow us to collect and examine agency and governmentwide official time use on a near real-time basis.

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Appendix A: Definitions and Terminology

Official Time means all time regardless of agency nomenclature granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or by collective bargaining agreement when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status.

Official Time Reporting Categories – agencies are being asked to report four categories of official time use.

  • Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • Mid-Term Negotiations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • Dispute Resolution – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.
  • General Labor – Management Relations – this category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

Representational Functions refers to activities undertaken by employees acting on behalf of the union or fulfilling the union's responsibility to represent bargaining unit employees in accordance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 or a collective bargaining agreement.

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Appendix B: Categories of Use by Agency - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004

Table 6. Categories of Use by Agency - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004
Departments/AgenciesFiscal YearTerm NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management Relations
African Development Foundation 2005       15
2004 35 10 33 76
Agency for International Development 2005 0 345 1,150 2,675
2004  0 214 1,069 2,992
Agriculture 2005 2,468 1,691 19,183 84,844
2004 3,367 2,639 15,816 98,822
Commerce 2005 2,654 442 6,978 7,217
2004 10,785 4,961 13,612 14,918
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 2005 0 0 0 5
2004 0 0 0 31
Consumer Product Safety Commission 2005 43 10 13 147
2004 40 4 4 100
Corporation for National Service 2005 219 5 154 216
2004 5 219 154 216
Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency 2005 1,044 698 135 66
2004 2,124 990 0 40
Defense 2005 29,686 23,938 374,164 133,334
2004 22,122 129,884 370,684 145,414
Education 2005 0 652 5,807 5,154
2004 590 949 4,190 7,385
Energy 2005 596 282 2,290 11,055
2004 807 205 2,730 9,990
Environmental Protection Agency 2005 2,592 1,272 4,676 63,784
2004 930 1,698 9,069 18,746
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2005 0 725 1,447 12,234
2004 0 2,401 4,803 16,809
Export-Import Bank 2005 0 0 43 106
2004       70
Federal Communications Commission 2005 0 198 956 528
2004 0 105 173 278
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 2005 451 169 3,020 5,583
2004 210 189 2,211 7,028
Federal Election Commission 2005 0 82 5 84
2004        
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 2005 0 0 144 247
2004 27 0 53 126
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 2005 0 0 0 0
2004 0 0 0 0
Federal Trade Commission 2005 15 14 43 134
2004 756 0 24 42
General Services Administration 2005 345 1,492 9,286 22,276
2004 723 3,076 10,799 16,805
Government Printing Office 2005 1,283 1,701 4,938 381
2004 1,426 918 5,088 170
Health & Human Services 2005 786 1,019 3,590 19,106
2004 763 6,245 13,252 26,148
Holocaust Memorial Museum 2005 0 0 0 0
2004 0 0 0 0
Homeland Security 2005 10,359 5,535 61,510 21,991
2004 6,153 13,391 94,699 31,410
Housing & Urban Development 2005 0 22,521 8,184 40,241
2004 0 8,016 1,253 14,017
Interior 2005 1,189 763 2,506 15,719
2004 3,029 783 3,414 15,243
International Trade Commission 2005        
2004 0 0 0 403
Justice 2005 18,452 2,473 12,061 69,189
2004 28,558 2,126 14,395 75,513
Labor 2005 524 2,761 13,308 31,215
2004 13,061 6,928 19,315 53,707
Merit Systems Protection Board 2005 4 0 166 58
2004 0 0 121 243
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 2005 979 2,086 2,791 9,572
2004 662 1,113 3,425 9,245
National Archives and Records Administration 2005 0 1,900 2,078 1,287
2004 0 321 498 5,885
National Endowment for the Humanities 2005 6 2 92 138
2004 0 0 0 112
National Gallery of Art 2005 61 0 433 100
2004 45 2 708 275
National Labor Relations Board 2005 0 5,580 2,435 5,659
2004 0 5,976 3,024 5,857
National Science Foundation 2005 0 336 198 859
2004 0 433 327 674
National Transportation Safety Board 2005 0 0 16 38
2004 0 9 52 453
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2005 0 512 3,585 400
2004 0 134 1,298 3,043
Office of Personnel Management 2005 0 1,288 1,266 5,268
2004 0 1,071 564 5,830
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 2005 0 0 300 36
2004 0 0 156 78
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 2005 0 461 1 24
2004 0 117 134 0
Railroad Retirement Board 2005 0 1,077 1,662 4,967
2004 0 480 3,086 4,350
Securities and Exchange Commission 2005 0 629 2,098 1,469
2004 0 678 2,263 1,584
Small Business Administration 2005 44 0 2,070 2,682
2004 0 0 2,525 3,221
Social Security Administration 2005 9,087 82,012 53,847 204,406
2004 9,832 108,441 68,950 201,232
State 2005 0 826 3,503 5,163
2004 0 815 3,324 4,099
Transportation 2005 13,417 2,651 18,360 196,201
2004 4,415 24,173 18,734 399,623
Treasury 2005 4,986 15,891 23,448 659,477
2004 326 20,611 26,228 688,401
Veterans Affairs 2005 6,871 16,445 93,833 627,093
2004 8,797 20,664 103,258 639,684
Governmentwide 2005 108,161 200,481 747,942 2,272,453
2004 129,023 371,965 827,966 2,535,372
% Change   -16.2% -46.1% -9.7% -10.4%

 

Table 6. Categories of Use by Agency - FY 2005 vs. FY 2004 - Continued
Departments/AgenciesFiscal YearTOTAL Official Time HoursChange in Hours FY 2005 vs. FY 2004% Change FY 2005 vs. FY 2004
African Development Foundation 2005 15 -138 -90.5%
2004 153    
Agency for International Development 2005 4,170 -105 -2.5%
2004 4,275    
Agriculture 2005 108,185 -12,459 -10.3%
2004 120,644    
Commerce 2005 17,290 -26,986 -60.9%
2004 44,276    
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 2005 5 -26 -83.9%
2004 31    
Consumer Product Safety Commission 2005 213 66 44.9%
2004 147    
Corporation for National Service 2005 594 0 0.0%
2004 594    
Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency 2005 1,943 -1,211 -38.4%
2004 3,154    
Defense 2005 561,122 -106,982 -16.0%
2004 668,104    
Education 2005 11,613 -1,501 -11.4%
2004 13,114    
Energy 2005 14,223 492 3.6%
2004 13,731    
Environmental Protection Agency 2005 72,324 41,883 137.6%
2004 30,442    
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2005 14,405 -9,608 -40.0%
2004 24,013    
Export-Import Bank 2005 149 69 86.3%
2004 80    
Federal Communications Commission 2005 1,682 1,127 202.9%
2004 556    
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 2005 9,223 -414 -4.3%
2004 9,637    
Federal Election Commission 2005 170 -519 -75.3%
2004 689    
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 2005 391 185 89.6%
2004 206    
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 2005 0 0 0.0%
2004 0    
Federal Trade Commission 2005 206 -617 -75.0%
2004 822    
General Services Administration 2005 33,814 2,412 7.7%
2004 31,402    
Government Printing Office 2005 8,303 702 9.2%
2004 7,602    
Health & Human Services 2005 24,501 -21,906 -47.2%
2004 46,407    
Holocaust Memorial Museum 2005 0 0 0.0%
2004 0    
Homeland Security 2005 99,395 -46,258 -31.8%
2004 145,653    
Housing & Urban Development 2005 70,946 47,659 204.7%
2004 23,286    
Interior 2005 20,176 -2,292 -10.2%
2004 22,468    
International Trade Commission 2005 485 82 20.3%
2004 403    
Justice 2005 102,173 -18,418 -15.3%
2004 120,591    
Labor 2005 76,928 -16,083 -17.3%
2004 93,011    
Merit Systems Protection Board 2005 227 -137 -37.6%
2004 364    
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 2005 15,427 983 6.8%
2004 14,444    
National Archives and Records Administration 2005 5,265 -1,439 -21.5%
2004 6,704    
National Endowment for the Humanities 2005 238 126 112.1%
2004 112    
National Gallery of Art 2005 594 -436 -42.3%
2004 1,030    
National Labor Relations Board 2005 13,674 -1,183 -8.0%
2004 14,857    
National Science Foundation 2005 1,393 -41 -2.9%
2004 1,434    
National Transportation Safety Board 2005 53 -461 -89.7%
2004 514    
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2005 4,497 21 0.5%
2004 4,475    
Office of Personnel Management 2005 7,821 356 4.8%
2004 7,465    
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 2005 336 102 43.6%
2004 234    
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 2005 485 235 93.6%
2004 251    
Railroad Retirement Board 2005 7,706 -210 -2.7%
2004 7,916    
Securities and Exchange Commission 2005 4,196 -329 -7.3%
2004 4,525    
Small Business Administration 2005 4,795 -951 -16.6%
2004 5,746    
Social Security Administration 2005 349,352 -39,103 -10.1%
2004 388,455    
State 2005 9,492 1,254 15.2%
2004 8,238    
Transportation 2005 230,629 -221,750 -49.0%
2004 452,379    
Treasury 2005 703,802 -31,764 -4.3%
2004 735,566    
Veterans Affairs 2005 744,242 -28,161 -3.6%
2004 772,403    
Governmentwide 2005 3,359,057 -511,403 -13.2%
2004 3,870,460    
% Change   -13.2%    

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2004 Survey Responses

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) established an annual official time reporting requirement beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 to reinforce accountability on the part of both labor and management, emphasizing their shared responsibility to ensure official time is authorized and used appropriately. OPM issued the call and guidance for reporting FY 2004 official time data in a January 24, 2005 memorandum to Federal departments and agencies (see appendix_2004). In addition to asking agencies for the official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations, we asked them for the first time to report official time hours in four categories for which the time was used. Agencies provided the requested information to OPM between March and June 2005. This report presents the data OPM received in response to our FY 2004 call and third annual official time survey.

Official Time: Definition and Statutory Context

Generally defined, official time is authorized and paid time off from assigned government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees. The Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, at 5 U.S.C. chapter 71, authorizes official time in two broad categories.

First, employees have a statutory right to receive official time to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and participate in impasse proceedings. Official time in this category includes time spent bargaining over a term agreement to establish basic working conditions for unit employees for the life of that agreement. It can also include time spent negotiating during the life of the agreement, also known as mid-term bargaining, over management proposals that the existing term agreement does not address.

Second, the law permits agencies and unions to negotiate official time in connection with other labor-management activities, as long as the time is deemed reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest. Examples include time spent meeting with employees to discuss problems in the workplace, handling employee grievances, attending meetings called by the agency, and receiving training on labor relations topics. Unions cannot use official time for internal union business, such as organizing new members or campaigning for office, nor can they use it for partisan political activities.

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OPM's Role

In 1976, the Civil Service Commission issued a memorandum instructing agencies on how to carry out their responsibilities for authorizing official time. It also directed agencies to establish recordkeeping systems to track official time. After finding that 18 of 26 bargaining units at four agencies had no records of official time usage, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report in 1979 recommending that OPM (formerly the Civil Service Commission) direct agencies to comply with recordkeeping requirements. GAO also recommended that OPM require agencies to submit annual reports on official time.

In response, OPM issued Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Letter 711-161, requiring agencies to develop recordkeeping systems for official time no later than January 1, 1982. OPM did not, however, require agencies to report annually on official time as GAO had recommended. When OPM abolished the FPM in 1994, we also abolished all official time recordkeeping requirements.

In 1997, House Report 105-240 accompanying Public Law 105-61—FY 1998 Treasury, Postal Service & General Government Appropriations—instructed OPM to sample and report back to the Committee on Appropriations on governmentwide official time usage, looking at a six month period in FY 1998. OPM submitted its findings to the House Appropriations Committee in November 1998 in a report entitled, Official Time and Services Used by Unions Representing Federal Employees. During consideration of FY 2002 appropriations legislation, Congress again focused on official time use in the Federal government and instructed OPM to report FY 2002 usage to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in H. Rept. 108-10, the Conference Report accompanying H.J. Res. 2—FY 2003 Consolidated Appropriations.

OPM moved to strengthen accountability and agency focus on tracking official time usage and established an annual official time reporting requirement in FY 2002. We reported the results and findings of our FY 2002 and FY 2003 annual surveys in two reports: Summary Report—Official Time for Representational Activities, Fiscal Year 2002 and Official Time Usage in the Federal Government, Fiscal Year 2003. For FY 2004, we refined and expanded the reporting requirements by asking agencies to report official time hours in four categories of use: term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution, and general labor-management relations.

In addition, OPM is working to enhance the accuracy of official time data and reduce the administrative burden on agencies by integrating official time tracking into the e-Payroll Initiative. The Initiative will consolidate payroll services and processes of 26 executive branch Federal pay providers to streamline and standardize policies and procedures, and it will enhance integration of agency payroll, human resources, and finance functions.

With e-Payroll data collection, official time hours will be captured electronically through time and attendance records on a pay-period basis. Some agencies have just begun the transition to the new reporting system. Given the current e-Payroll implementation schedule, we expect that our FY 2006 official time report will be partially, and our FY 2007 report fully, based on official time data collected through the automated official time tracking and reporting system. Upon full implementation, the payroll providers will electronically collect agency official time data through time and attendance records. The providers will then transfer the data into OPM data systems on a pay-period basis. Full implementation should allow us to collect and examine data on governmentwide official time usage on a near real-time basis.

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Survey Terms and Data Elements

This section presents definitions and descriptions of the various survey terms and data elements used in tracking and analyzing Federal government official time usage.

Departments and Agencies.

OPM official time surveys look at all appropriated fund Federal executive departments and agencies that have bargaining unit employees represented by a union. OPM designates each Federal bargaining unit with a Bargaining Unit Status (BUS) code. We maintain BUS codes and bargaining unit profiles in our Labor Agreement Information Retrieval System (LAIRS), a searchable database containing current information on labor-management relations in the Federal government. LAIRS is a public system that may be accessed via the internet at http://www.opm.gov/lmr/lairs.asp. We use LAIRS to generate a current list of agencies with bargaining units to survey each year on official time usage. For the purpose of analysis, we have grouped the data in certain tables into three agency categories: cabinet departments, major agencies (1500+ bargaining unit employees), and all other agencies (less than 1500 bargaining unit employees).

Bargaining Unit and Bargaining Unit Employees.

The term bargaining unit designates a grouping of employees eligible to be represented by a union as certified by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) under criteria established in 5 U.S.C. § 7112. We used the LAIRS database to generate the FY 2004 bargaining unit employee numbers for this report. Some agencies reported bargaining unit employee numbers along with survey responses. We used the agency numbers in those cases, designating their source through footnotes in the tables presented in this report.

Official Time and Official Time Hours.

Official time means all paid time granted to an employee by their employing agency to perform union representational functions under 5 U.S.C. chapter 71, or under a collective bargaining agreement, when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status. This FY 2004 official time report presents information for the first time on categories of activities for which official time is used. The four reporting categories are:

Term Negotiations This category for reporting official time hours refers to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor, setting basic working conditions for bargaining unit employees for the life of the agreement.
Mid-Term Negotiations This category refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement. Most mid-term bargaining takes place when the union seeks to negotiate over the procedures an agency will follow when exercising its management rights or the impact an agency’s decisions will have on bargaining unit employees.
Dispute Resolution This category refers to time used to process grievances, up to and including arbitrations, and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees before various third parties such as the MSPB, FLRA, EEOC and the courts.
General Labor-Management Relations This category for reporting official time hours refers to time used for activities not included in the above three categories. Examples of such activities include meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal discussions and investigative interviews.
Official Time Rate.

This measure is derived by dividing reported official time hours by the number of bargaining unit employees. The official time rate shows how many official time hours are expended per bargaining unit employee and, therefore, allows for comparisons between departments and agencies.

Cost.

Except as indicated in table footnotes, we estimated agency official time costs using OPM’s Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) FY 2004 wage data. The CPDF data generates an average agency bargaining unit hourly wage that we multiplied by the number of reported official time hours to calculate agency official time costs. Some agencies reported official time costs with their survey responses, and we used the agency numbers in those cases.

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Survey Responses and Findings

We asked 59 Federal departments and agencies with bargaining unit employees to report the number of official time hours used by Federal employee union representatives in FY 2004[1]. Fifty-four of those, encompassing 99.9 percent of all department and agency bargaining unit employees, responded to OPM’s FY 2004 official time survey. The responding 54 departments and agencies employ 1,043,570 bargaining unit employees. Five small agencies with only 1,001 total bargaining unit employees did not respond. The size of bargaining units in the responding agencies ranged from 405,995 bargaining unit employees in the Department of Defense to only 12 bargaining unit employees in the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Responding agencies and departments reported a total of 3,870,460 official time hours for FY 2004. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported the greatest number— 772,403 hours. As shown in the table below, seven of the largest departments and agencies account for 81.0 percent of total bargaining unit employees and 84.8 percent of all reported official time hours.

Agencies with Largest Number of Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees - FY 2004
Departments/AgenciesBargaining Unit EmployeesOfficial Time Hours
Defense 405,995 668,104
VA 162,240 772,403
Treasury 95,493 735,566
SSA 51,728 388,455
Homeland Security 48,862 145,653
Agriculture 40,869 120,644
Transportation 40,276 452,379
Sub-Total 845,463 3,283,204
Total Governmentwide 1,043,570 3,870,460
 % of Total Governmentwide 81.0% 84.8%

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Comparison of Hours Reported to Previous Fiscal Year

FY 2004 official time hours decreased a substantial 18 percent from the 4,722,347 hours reported in FY 2003. The Department of Defense (DoD), which reported the greatest number of hours in previous years’ surveys, reported a significantly reduced 668,104 total number of hours in FY 2004. DoD’s single-year reduction of 531,315 hours, a 44.3 percent reduction from FY 2003, is a major contributing factor in the governmentwide 18 percent decrease in reported official time hours.

In its survey response, DoD discussed the complexities of updating its internal tracking system to capture four categories of official time use and suggested that this transition played a role in its reported reduction in official time hours. It did not complete full implementation of the updated system until the middle of FY 2004 and, as a result, expressed concerns about the reliability of the estimated full-year data reported. DoD’s substantial decrease represents a disproportionate 62.4 percent share of the governmentwide 851,887-hour decrease in official time usage. The reliability and statistical weight of its reported hours, therefore, has considerable implications in the analysis of governmentwide data and trends.

Several other agencies reported notable differences in their official time hours as compared to FY 2003, and many also cited transition issues as a potential contributing factor in the increases or decreases they were reporting. Like DoD, some of these agencies suggested that ongoing revisions to their tracking systems compromised data reliability to some degree. Many in this group expect an increase in FY 2005 reported hours as further system adjustments are made. On the other hand, some of the agencies reporting substantial fluctuations in their reported hours expressed confidence in newly established time and attendance record-based reporting systems. While several agencies expressed concerns about the reliability of their data due to transition issues, unlike the case with DoD, their impact on governmentwide statistics is marginal, since they represent the smallest bargaining units and reported official time hours.

In addition to systems transition issues, some agencies cited initial and/or ongoing negotiations as contributing factors to increases in their reported hours. Conversely, others attributed decreases to completion of bargaining in the previous year. A few of the agencies cited the absence of Federal employee union representation as a factor in notable decreases in their hours. In one case, for example, the on-site local union was put into trusteeship, and paid union headquarters’ staff provided representation.

The following table displays the official time hours reported by each agency in FYs 2003 and 2004 and the percentage of any change between those two years. The table reflects the wide variations reported by agencies, from a decrease of 86.7 percent to an increase of 134 percent in the number of official time hours used.

Percent Decrease/Increase in Official Time Hours
Departments/Agencies2004 Official Time Hours2003 Official Time Hours% Decrease/ Increase
FCC 556 4,187 -86.7
Agriculture 120,644 126,419 -4.6
Armed Forces Retirement Home 60 424 -85.8
Commerce 44,276 46,191 -4.1
CFTC 31 168 -81.5
VA 772,403 791,188 -2.4
PBGC 251 813 -69.2
Treasury 735,566 748,793 -1.8
CPSC 147 378 -61.1
RRB 7,916 7,992 -1.0
MSPB 364 769 -52.7
FMCS 0 0 0.0
Defense 668,104 1,199,419 -44.3
FEC 689 689 0.0
EPA 30,442 52,441 -42.0
HHS 46,407 46,194 0.5
Energy 13,731 22,885 -40.0
Labor 93,011 89,714 3.7
State 8,238 13,192 -37.6
FDIC 9,637 9,104 5.9
Nat'l Gallery of Art 1,030 1,585 -35.0
NLRB 14,857 14,016 6.0
Transportation 452,379 682,228 -33.7
NARA 6,704 6,165 8.7
Corporation for National Service 594 846 -29.8
OPM 7,465 6,738 10.8
NSF 1,434 1,920 -25.3
NASA 14,444 11,672 23.8
GSA 31,402 40,877 -23.2
Justice 120,591 90,072 33.9
GPO 7,602 9,785 -22.3
EEOC 24,013 17,810 34.8
Interior 22,468 26,754 -16.0
FERC 206 152 35.5
HUD 23,286 27,471 -15.2
SEC 4,525 3,122 44.9
NRC 4,475 5,214 -14.2
Ct Svc & Offender Supervision 3,154 1,986 58.8
SBA 5,746 6,495 -11.5
Broadcasting Board 15,190 9,050 67.8
Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities 112 125 -10.4
ITC 403 231 74.5
Education 13,114 14,538 -9.8
FTC 822 466 76.4
AID 4,275 4,680 -8.7
OPIC 234 100 134.0
SSA 388,455 420,779 -7.7
Homeland Security 145,653 156,510 -6.9
Governmentwide 3,870,460 4,722,347 -18.0%

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Official Time Rates

The average FY 2004 governmentwide official time rate was 3.7 official time hours per bargaining unit employee. Consistent with the reduction in total hours, this represents a governmentwide 18 percent decrease in the official time rate.

Ten agencies, encompassing 204,815 bargaining unit employees, had the highest official time rates—between 7.5 and 12.6 official time hours per bargaining unit employee. This group reported 1,734,694 official time hours, and while it represents 19.6 percent of all Federal bargaining unit employees, it accounts for 44.8 percent of all reported official time hours. Twenty-one agencies, encompassing 342,044 bargaining unit employees, reported an official time rate of between 2 and 5 hours per bargaining unit employee. These agencies employ 32.8 percent of all bargaining unit employees, and their total 1,354,557 official time hours represent 35 percent of all reported official time hours. Twenty-three agencies, encompassing 496,721 bargaining unit employees, reported rates from 0 to 2 hours per bargaining unit employee and a total of 781,209 official time hours. This group represents 47.6 percent of all bargaining unit employees and 20.9 percent of all reported official time hours. The table on the next page lists the per capita official time rates for each agency in FY 2004.

Official Time Rates - FY 2004
Departments/AgenciesOfficial Time RateDepartments/AgenciesOfficial Time Rate
Broadcasting Board 12.6    
AID 2.2    
NLRB 11.7    
FDIC 2.2    
EEOC 11.6    
SEC 2.1    
Transportation 11.2    
Energy 1.9    
African Development Foundation 10.2    
NTSB 1.9    
Court Svc. & Offender Supervision 8.5    
FTC 1.8    
Labor 8.2    
NSF 1.8    
Railroad Retirement Board 7.9    
Defense 1.6    
Treasury 7.7    
HHS 1.6    
SSA 7.5    
Corporation for National Service 1.5    
Justice 4.8    
ITC 1.5    
VA 4.8    
NASA 1.4    
OPM 4.3    
Interior 1.0    
GSA 4.2    
Natl. Endowment for the Humanities 1.0    
MSPB 4.1    
Smithsonian Institution 1.0    
Education 4.0    
Export-Import Bank 0.9    
GPO 3.5    
State 0.6    
HUD 3.2    
PBGC 0.5    
FEC 3.1    
CPSC 0.4    
Agriculture 3.0    
FCC 0.4    
Commerce 3.0    
CFTC 0.2    
Homeland Security 3.0    
FERC 0.2    
NARA 2.8    
Armed Forces Retirement Home 0.1    
National Gallery of Art 2.8    
FMCS 0.0    
SBA 2.6    
Holocaust Memorial Museum 0.0    
OPIC 2.5    
Natl. Credit Union Association 0.0    
EPA 2.4    
NRC 2.3    
Governmentwide Average 3.7    

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Categories

Agencies reported categories of official time for the first time in FY 2004. As noted above, several agencies identified transition issues related to setting up internal tracking systems to meet the new reporting requirement. A few other agencies reported transition issues related to preparing their systems for integration with the e-Payroll Initiations. The two transitions interrelate, since the system upgrades that allow categorical data collection also help prepare the systems for e-Payroll integration.

The General Labor-Management Relations category accounted for the greatest share of governmentwide official time hours. Overall, departments and agencies reported 2,535,372 hours in this category, which represents 65.5 percent of all reported hours. The 827,966 hours reported in the Dispute Resolution category make up 21.4 percent of total official time hours. Taken together, the Term and Mid-Term Negotiations categories represented only 12.9 percent of total hours, with 129,023 hours expended on term negotiations and 371,965 on mid-term negotiations. However, for those agencies involved in term and mid-term negotiations during the year, these reporting categories tended to dominate. The time reported by agencies and departments for FY 2004 in the four reporting categories is shown in the table on the next page.

Official Time Categories - FY 2004
Cabinet DepartmentsTerm NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management RelationsOther[2]Total Official Time Hours
Agriculture 3,367 2,639 15,816 98,822   120,644
Commerce 10,785 4,961 13,612 14,918   44,276
Defense 22,122 129,884 370,684 145,414   668,104
Education 590 949 4,190 7,385   13,114
Energy 807 205 2,730 9,990   13,731
HHS 763 6,245 13,252 26,148   46,407
Homeland Security 6,153 13,391 94,699 31,410   145,653
HUD 0 8,016 1,253 14,017   23,286
Interior 3,029 783 3,414 15,243   22,468
Justice 28,558 2,126 14,395 75,513   120,591
Labor 13,061 6,928 19,315 53,707   93,011
State 0 815 3,324 4,099   8,238
Transportation 4,415 24,173 18,734 399,623 5,434 452,379
Treasury 326 20,611 26,228 688,401   735,566
VA 8,797 20,664 103,258 639,684   772,403
Major Agencies
AID  0 214 1,069 2,992   4,275
EEOC 0 2,401 4,803 16,809   24,013
EPA 930 1,698 9,069 18,746   30,442
FDIC 210 189 2,211 7,028   9,637
GSA 723 3,076 10,799 16,805   31,402
GPO 1,426 918 5,088 170   7,602
NARA 0 321 498 5,885   6,704
NASA 662 1,113 3,425 9,245   14,444
NRC 0 134 1,298 3,043   4,475
OPM 0 1,071 564 5,830   7,465
SBA 0 0 2,525 3,221   5,746
SEC 0 678 2,263 1,584   4,525
Smithsonian Institution 0 0 500 2,087   2,587
SSA 9,832 108,441 68,950 201,232   388,455
All Other Agencies 12,468 9,324 10,002 16,323 10 48,816
Governmentwide 129,023 371,965 827,966 2,535,372 5,444 3,870,460
% of All Official Time Hours 3.3% 9.6% 21.4% 65.5% 0.1%  

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Cost

We estimated agency official time costs using OPM’s Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) FY 2004 wage data except where we note otherwise in the tables provided in the Appendix. The CPDF data generates an average agency bargaining unit hourly wage that we multiplied by the number of reported official time hours to calculate agency official time costs. Some agencies reported official time costs with their survey responses, and we used the agency numbers in those cases. Governmentwide estimated costs decreased significantly in tandem with the reported decrease in total official time hours. While total hours declined by18 percent overall, costs declined 15.4 percent. Overall FY 2004 official time estimated costs were $108,122,004, as compared to $127,877,794 in FY 2003. The following table displays these cost figures by agency for FYs 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Official Time Costs - FYs 2004, 2003, 2002
Cabinet DepartmentsFY 2004FY 2003FY 2002
Agriculture 2,516,529 2,663,648 2,422,075
Commerce 1,259,801 1,280,415 1,224,152
Defense 16,385,813 28,318,283 29,175,228
Education 446,513 473,939 502,092
Energy 509,387 807,612 575,142
HHS 1,465,508 1,363,185 1,468,778
Homeland Security 3,491,681 3,580,949  n/a
HUD[3] 742,426 896,653 621,160
Interior 517,980 615,342 704,707
Justice 3,069,743 2,195,055 3,678,413
Labor1 3,473,627 3,008,375 2,721,938
State 263,501 412,646 271,052
Transportation 19,375,306 27,725,746 29,559,382
Treasury 18,869,390 18,517,651 19,628,768
VA 18,826,209 18,482,152 16,859,148
Major Agencies
AID 175,546 187,902 184,376
EPA 1,152,767 1,895,742 1,881,187
EEOC 787,857 558,878 356,200
FDIC 416,036 378,635 538,288
GSA 952,8774 1,171,535 1,090,906
GPO 195,530 239,635 305,675
NASA 589,091 452,640 496,766
NARA 133,750 116,877  n/a
NRC 192,107 215,182 203,901
OPM 162,001 142,778 174,568
SEC 224,188 143,050 181,880
SBA 145,523 182,574 152,306
Smithsonian Institution 62,544 n/a n/a 
SSA 10,087,691 10,389,034 10,267,187
All Other Agencies 1,621,853 1,461,683 1,530,649
Governmentwide Costs $108,122,004 $127,877,794 $126,775,924
% Decrease/Increase -15.4% 0.1 %  

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Conclusion

Departments and agencies reported a total of 3,870,460 official time hours in FY 2004. This represents a substantial 18.0 percent single-year decrease. The average governmentwide official time rate was 3.7 hours per bargaining unit employee, with agency rates ranging between zero and 12.6 hours per unit employee. Twenty-three agencies, accounting for 47.6 percent of all bargaining unit employees, reported rates from zero to two hours per bargaining unit employees. Agencies reported categories of official time for the first time in FY 2004, and several noted transition issues in setting up their internal tracking systems to meet the new reporting requirement. The greatest share of governmentwide official time hours—65.5 percent— was used for general labor-management relations activities, and the departments and agencies reported 2,535,372 hours in this category. Governmentwide estimated costs decreased significantly in tandem with the reported decrease in total official time hours. Estimated FY 2004 official time costs were $108,658,171 as compared to $127,877,794 in FY 2003.

Finally, some agencies expressed concerns about data reliability related to their tracking system redesign and the transitioning to categorical reporting. While efforts to update their systems may have impacted the integrity of the official time numbers reported for FY 2004, those same efforts should ensure a smoother transition in the upcoming integration with the e-Payroll Initiative and its automated time and attendance-based official time data collection system. When that is completed, the data reported should be more reliable and give agencies greater confidence that large changes in their official time usage from one year to the next are truly significant and not attributable to problems in their data collection and reporting systems.

[1] Tables of all agency and department FY 2004 survey responses, as well as FY 2002 and 2003 historical data, are provided in the Appendix.

[2] Two agencies were unable to categorize fully all their reported official time hours. However, the effect on our overall analysis is marginal, since these uncategorized hours represent an insubstantial portion of government-wide total official time hours.

[3] FY 2004 cost number submitted with agency survey response.

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Appendix - Tables and Attachment

TABLE 1 - OFFICIAL TIME SURVEY RESPONSES AND RELATED DATA-FY2004
Departments & Agencies# of Bargaining Unit EmployeesOfficial Time CategoriesTotal Official Time HoursOfficial Time RateEstimated Annual Cost
Term NegotiationsMid-Term NegotiationsDispute ResolutionGeneral Labor-Management RelationsOther
African Development Foundation 15 35 10 33 76   0153 10.2 6,999
Agency for Intl. Development 1,947 0 214 1,069 2,992   4,275 2.2 175,546
Agriculture 40,869 3,367 2,639 15,816 98,822   120,644 3.0 2,516,529
Armed Forces Retirement Home 516 36     24   60 0.1 1,094
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,210 9,400 975 1,955 2,860   15,190 12.6 514,583
Commerce 14,977 10,785 4,961 13,612 14,918   44,276 3.0 1,259,801
Commodity Futures Trading Commission[1] 130 0 0 0 31   31 0.2 1,421
Consumer Product Safety Commission 365 40 4 4 100   147 0.4 5,201
Corporation for National Service 406 5 219 154 216   594 1.5 16,633
Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency for D.C.[2] 371 2,124 990 0 40   3,154 8.5 84,001
Defense 405,995 22,122 129,884 370,684 145,414   668,104 1.6 16,385,813
Education 3,287 590 949 4,190 7,385   13,114 4.0 446,513
Energy 7,071 807 205 2,730 9,990   13,731 1.9 509,387
Environmental Protection Agency 12,519 930 1,698 9,069 18,746   30,442 2.4 1,152,767
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 2,075 0 2,401 4,803 16,809   24,013 11.6 787,857
Export-Import Bank 91       70 10 80 0.9 2,915
Federal Communications Commission 1,379 0 105 173 278   556 0.4 22,290
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 4,349 210 189 2,211 7,028   9,637 2.2 416,036
Federal Election Commission[2] 225           689 3.1 21,471
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 884 27 0 53 126   206 0.2 8,509
Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service 38 0 0 0 0   0 0.0 0
Federal Trade Commission 450 756 0 24 42   822 1.8 32,046
General Services Administration 7,459 723 3,076 10,799 16,805   31,402 4.2 952,877
Government Printing Office 2,193 1,426 918 5,088 170   7,602 3.5 195,530
Health & Human Services 28,494 763 6,245 13,252 26,148   46,407 1.6 1,465,508
Holocaust Memorial Museum 12 0 0 0 0   0 0.0 0
Homeland Security[1] 48,862 6,153 13,391 94,699 31,410   145,653 3.0 3,491,681
Housing & Urban Development[3] 7,195 0 8,016 1,253 14,017   23,286 3.2 742,426
Interior 21,911 3,029 783 3,414 15,243   22,468 1.0 517,980
International Trade Commission 266 0 0 0 403   403 1.5 15,894
Justice 24,884 28,558 2,126 14,395 75,513   120,591 4.8 3,069,743
Labor[3] 11,380 13,061 6,928 19,315 53,707   93,011 8.2 3,473,627
Merit Systems Protection Board 88 0 0 121 243   364 4.1 15,719
NASA 10,579 662 1,113 3,425 9,245   14,444 1.4 589,091
National Archives & Records Adm.[1] 2,353 0 321 498 5,885   6,704 2.8 133,750
National Credit Union Association 800 0 4 0 16   20 0.0 457
Natl. Endowment for the Humanities 113 0 0 0 112   112 1.0 3,687
National Gallery of Art 369 45 2 708 275   1,030 2.8 22,227
National Labor Relations Board[1] 1,269 0 5,976 3,024 5,857   14,857 11.7 519,938
National Science Foundation 788 0 433 327 674   1,434 1.8 56,524
National Transportation Safety Board 275 0 9 52 453   514 1.9 20,073
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1,974 0 134 1,298 3,043   4,475 2.3 192,107
Office of Personnel Management[1] 1,717 0 1,071 564 5,830   7,465 4.3 162,001
Overseas Private Investment Corp. 92 0 0 156 78   234 2.5 8,460
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. 508 0 117 134 0   251 0.5 8,330
Railroad Retirement Board 998 0 480 3,086 4,350   7,916 7.9 233,381
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,198 0 678 2,263 1,584   4,525 2.1 224,188
Small Business Administration 2,237 0 0 2,525 3,221   5,746 2.6 154,752
Smithsonian Institution[1] 2,714 0 0 500 2,087   2,587 1.0 62,544
Social Security Administration[1] 51,728 9,832 108,441 68,950 201,232   388,455 7.5 10,087,691
State 12,936 0 815 3,324 4,099   8,238 0.6 263,501
Transportation 40,276 4,415 24,173 18,734 399,623 5,434 452,379 11.2 19,375,306
Treasury 95,493 326 20,611 26,228 688,401   735,566 7.7 18,869,390
Veterans Affairs 162,240 8,797 20,664 103,258 639,684   772,403 4.8 18,826,209
Governmentwide 1,043,570 129,023 371,965 827,966 2,535,372 5,444 3,870,460 3.7 $ 108,122,004

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TABLE 2 - OFFICIAL TIME HOURS, RATES & ESTIMATED COST-FYs 2004, 2003, 2002
 FY 2004FY 2003FY 2002
Departments & AgenciesBargaining Unit EmployeesOfficial Time HoursOfficial Time RateEstimated Annual CostOfficial Time HoursOfficial Time RateEstimated Annual CostOfficial Time HoursOfficial Time RateEstimated Annual Cost
African Development Foundation[4] 15 153 10.2 6,999            
Agency for Intl. Development 1,947 4,275 2.2 175,546 4,680 2.4 187,902 4,680 2.4 184,376
Agriculture[5] 40,869 120,644 3.0 2,516,529 126,419 2.9 2,663,648 127,188 2.9 2,422,075
Armed Forces Retirement Home 516 60 0.1 1,094 424 0.8 7,365 259 0.5 4,288
Broadcasting Board of Governors 1,210 15,190 12.6 514,583 9,050 7.5 292,768 8,431 6.7 258,893
Commerce[6] 14,977 44,276 3.0 1,259,801 46,191 3.1 1,280,415 47,238 2.7 1,224,152
Commission on Civil Rights[4]                    
Commodity Futures Trading Commission[7] 130 31 0.2 1,421 168 1.0 6,992 139 0.9 4,296
Consumer Product Safety Commission 365 147 0.4 5,201 378 1.0 12,818 350 1.0 11,358
Corporation for National Service 406 594 1.5 16,633 846 2.1 22,944 980 2.40 25,528
Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency for D.C.[7] 371 3,154 8.5 84,001 1,986 6.1 49,802 2,003 11.9 48,545
Defense 405,995 668,104 1.6 16,385,813 1,199,419 3.0 28,318,283 1,301,718 3.2 29,175,228
Education 3,287 13,114 4.0 446,513 14,538 4.4 473,939 16,373 5.0 502,092
Energy 7,071 13,731 1.9 509,387 22,885 3.2 807,612 17,400 2.5 575,142
Environmental Protection Agency 12,519 30,442 2.4 1,152,767 52,441 4.2 1,895,742 54,740 4.4 1,881,187
EEOC 2,075 24,013 11.6 787,857 17,810 8.6 558,878 12,238 5.9 356,200
Export-Import Bank[4] 91 80 0.9 2,915       8 0.1 246
Federal Communications Commission 1,379 556 0.4 22,290 4,187 3.0 159,064 4,518 3.3 162,548
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 4,349 9,637 2.2 416,036 9,104 2.1 378,635 13,636 3.1 538,288
Federal Election Commission 225 689 3.1 21,471 689 3.1 20,381 689 3.1 18,820
FEMA[8]               4,448 3.9 99,945
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 884 206 0.2 8,509 152 0.2 6,147 624 0.7 23,763
Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service 38 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0
Federal Trade Commission 450 822 1.8 32,046 466 1.0 17,018 577 1.3 16,847
General Services Administration[9] 7,459 31,402 4.2 952,877 40,877 5.0 1,171,535 41,606 5.0 1,090,906
Government Printing Office[6] 2,193 7,602 3.5 195,530 9,785 4.5 239,635 13,108 5.4 305,675
Health & Human Services 28,494 46,407 1.6 1,465,508 46,194 1.7 1,363,185 54,289 1.9 1,468,778
Holocaust Memorial Museum[4] 12 0 0.0 0            
Homeland Security[10] 48,862 145,653 3.0 3,491,681 156,510 3.4 3,580,949      
Housing & Urban Development[11] 7,195 23,286 3.2 742,426 27,471 3.7 896,653 20,062 2.8 621,160
Interior 21,911 22,468 1.0 517,980 26,754 1.2 615,342 33,669 1.5 704,707
International Boundary & Water Commission[4]                    
International Trade Commission 266 403 1.5 15,894 231 0.9 8,637 108 0.4 3,848
Justice 24,884 120,591 4.8 3,069,743 90,072 3.6 2,195,055 164,504 3.1 3,678,413
Labor[12] 11,380 93,011 8.2 3,473,627 89,714 7.6 3,008,375 98,340 8.2 2,721,938
Merit Systems Protection Board 88 364 4.1 15,719 769 8.7 31,506 852 9.7 33,091
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 10,579 14,444 1.4 589,091 11,672 1.1 452,640 13,620 1.3 496,766
National Archives and Records Administration[7] 2,353 6,704 2.8 133,750 6,165 2.9 116,877      
National Credit Union Assn.[12] 800 20 0.0 457            
National Endowment for the Humanities 113 112 1.0 3,687 125 1.1 3,958 204 1.8 5,996
National Gallery of Art 369 1,030 2.8 22,227 1,585 4.3 32,493 1,644 4.5 33,291
National Labor Relations Board[7] 1,269 14,857 11.7 519,938 14,016 10.5 465,191 15,854 11.9 504,828
National Science Foundation 788 1,434 1.8 56,524 1,920 2.4 70,176 2,004 2.5 69,628
National Transportation Safety Board[4] 275 514 1.9 20,073            
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1,974 4,475 2.3 192,107 5,214 2.6 215,182 5,173 2.6 203,901
Office of Personnel Management[7] 1,717 7,465 4.3 162,001 6,738 4.3 142,778 8,733 5.6 174,568
Overseas Private Investment Corp. 92 234 2.5 8,460 100 1.1 3,440 40 0.4 1,292
Peace Corps[4]                    
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.[4] 508 251 0.5 8,330 813 1.6 25,691      
Presidio Trust[4]                    
Railroad Retirement Board 998 7,916 7.9 233,381 7,992 8.0 225,294 7,692 7.7 203,598
Securities and Exchange Commission 2,198 4,525 2.1 224,188 3,122 1.4 143,050 4188 1.9 181,880
Small Business Administration 2,237 5,746 2.6 154,752 6,495 2.9 182,574 5,762 2.6 152,306
Smithsonian Institution[7] 2,714 2,587 1.0 62,544            
Social Security Administration 51,728 388,455 7.5 10,087,691 420,779 8.2 10,389,034 431,316 8.4 10,267,187
State 12,936 8,238 0.6 263,501 13,192 1.0 412,646 8,917 0.7 271,052
Trade and Development Agency[4]                    
Transportation 40,276 452,379 11.2 19,375,306 682,228 16.9 27,725,746 803,475 18.2 29,559,382
Treasury 95,493 735,566 7.7 18,869,390 748,793 7.6 18,517,651 846,910 7.2 19,628,768
Veterans Affairs 162,240 772,403 4.8 18,826,209 791,188 4.9 18,482,152 756,407 4.7 16,859,148
                     
Governmentwide 1,043,570 3,870,460 3.7 $108,122,004 4,722,347 4.5 $127,877,794 4,956,715 4.7 $126,775,924


[1] FY 2004 bargaining unit number submitted with agency survey response.

[2] No categories of use reported, only total official time hours.

[3] FY 2004 bargaining unit and cost numbers submitted with agency survey response.

[4] Blank spaces indicate no survey response.

[5] FY 2003 data continued to include the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), although the bargaining unit moved to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in that year. FY 2004 data reflects the move and excludes APHIS.

[6] FY 2003 bargaining unit numbers were provided by agency as part of their survey response.

[7] FY 2004 bargaining unit numbers were provided by agency as part of their survey response.

[8] FEMA was consolidated into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

[9] FY 2003 data continued to include the Federal Protective Service (FPS), although the bargaining unit moved to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in that year. FY 2004 data reflects the move and excludes FPS.

[10] FY 2004 bargaining unit numbers were provided by agency as part of their survey response. FY 2003 data did not include APHIS & FPS, which were reported with their legacy agencies: Agriculture and GSA respectively. Department was created in 2003.

[11] FY 2004 bargaining unit numbers were provided by agency as part of their survey response. FY 2004 & 2003 costs provided by agency.

[12] Bargaining unit first certified in 2004.

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Attachment 1

MEMORANDUM FOR DEPARTMENT AND AGENCY HUMAN RESOURCE DIRECTORS

From:

ANA MAZZI (signed January 24, 2005)
Deputy Associate Director
Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy

Subject:

Guidance for Reporting Fiscal Year 2004 Union Official Time Data

The attached December 8, 2004, memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies from Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James served as the official call for reporting Fiscal Year 2004 union official time data. Director James also advised that specific guidance would be forthcoming under separate cover. This memorandum fulfills that commitment and transmits the guidance for reporting FY 2004 official time data.

OPM initiated annual official time data collection and reporting in 2002. We are now initiating our third annual survey of agencies with the attached guidance. The information and data will be consolidated into a single OPM report on official time usage in the Federal government in

FY 2004. We are asking agencies to submit the FY 2004 data to OPM no later than March 4, 2005.

There is one major change in this year’s information request as compared to previous years. Note that Director James notified departments and agencies of this change by memo on November 3, 2003 to allow sufficient time to adjust official time tracking systems. This year, we ask that official time hours be reported according to four categories, based on the activities for which the hours were used. The four reporting categories are: term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution, and general labor-relations activities. More detailed descriptions of the categories appear in the attached guidance.

Questions specific to this year’s data call or the attached reporting guidance should be directed to Paula Lucak of my staff at paula.lucak@opm.gov or 202-606-2172.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your consistent attention and response to our annual calls for official time data. If you have questions beyond the specifics of the official time guidance and report, please feel free to contact me at 202-606-2930.

Attachments

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2003 Survey Responses

A call for Fiscal Year 2003 official time data was forwarded to Federal departments and agencies on November 3, 2003. The memorandum asked agencies to report official time hours used by employee representatives within their organizations to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) by January 30, 2004. Agencies had been informed the previous year, in a June 20, 2002 memorandum and call for FY 2002 official time data, that OPM would be surveying them on an annual basis with regard to official time usage.

Annual reporting was initiated to reinforce accountability on the part of both labor and management, emphasizing their shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. Management and labor are expected to develop sensible arrangements for official time that meet the needs and expectations of agencies, employees, and the ultimate customers -- the American people.

Results and findings of the first annual official time survey were consolidated into a June 2003 Summary Report: Official Time for Representational Activities: Fiscal Year 2002. The report was also forwarded to House and Senate Appropriations Committees, responding to an intervening concomitant congressional official time reporting requirement.

This report presents information provided by Federal departments in response to our second annual call asking agencies to provide FY 2003 official time data.

Official Time: Definition and Statutory Context

Official time is generally defined as authorized, paid time off from assigned Government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees. Under the Labor-Management Relations law: chapter 71 of title 5, United States Code: Congress allowed official time in two broad categories.

First, employees have a statutory right to receive official time to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and participate in impasse proceedings. Official time in this category can mean time spent bargaining with management over a term agreement that sets basic working conditions for unit employees for the life of that contract. It can also mean time spent negotiating during the life of the agreement, also known as mid-term bargaining. Most mid-term bargaining takes place when the union seeks to negotiate over the procedures an agency will follow when exercising its management rights or over the impact that an agency's decisions will have on bargaining unit employees.

Second, the law permits agencies and unions to negotiate official time in connection with other labor-management activities, as long as the time is deemed reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest. Examples include time spent meeting with employees to discuss problems in the workplace, handling employee grievances or formal administrative appeals, attending meetings called by the agency, and receiving training on labor relations topics. Official time in this category generally rises or falls depending on the nature and extent of labor-management activities, but in any case is restricted by the reasonableness standard imposed by the law.

Official time cannot be used for internal union business, such as organizing new members or campaigning for office, nor can it be used for partisan political activities.

OPM's Role

In 1976, the Civil Service Commission issued a memorandum instructing agencies on how to carry out their responsibilities for authorizing official time. Agencies were also directed to establish recordkeeping systems to track official time. After finding that 18 of 26 bargaining units at four agencies had no records of official time usage, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report in 1979 recommending that OPM (no longer the Civil Service Commission) direct agencies to comply with recordkeeping requirements. GAO also recommended that OPM require agencies to submit annual reports on official time.

In response, OPM issued Federal Personnel Manual letter 711-161, which required agencies to develop recordkeeping systems for official time no later than January 1, 1982. OPM did not, however, require agencies to report annually on official time as GAO had recommended. When the Federal Personnel Manual was abolished in 1994, all recordkeeping requirements for official time also were abolished.

In 1998, OPM was directed to prepare a report on official time usage for the House Committee on Appropriations. OPM was instructed to sample official time use for a six-month period. We collected and analyzed official time data from some 70 Federal agencies covering over 2,100 bargaining units. Our findings were submitted to the Appropriations Committee in November 1998 in a comprehensive report entitled Official Time and Services Used by Unions Representing Federal Employees.

As noted in the introduction to this report, OPM initiated an annual agency reporting cycle in a June 20, 2002 memorandum to agencies. That memorandum also served as a call for agencies to report FY 2002 official time data, which was consolidated and presented in OPM's June 2003 Summary Report: Official Time for Representational Activities: Fiscal Year 2002.

Reporting requirements were expanded in the November 3, 2003 memorandum that served as the call to agencies for FY 2003 official time data. Agencies were advised that the next reporting round will require them to report official time hours for FY 2004 broken down into four categories (term negotiations, mid-term negotiations, dispute resolution and general labor-relations), so as to allow for more comprehensive analysis and measurement of official time usage in the Federal Government. In addition, the November memorandum informed agencies of OPM's intent to have official time tracking integrated into the developing E-payroll initiative. Using E-payroll for tracking official time will lessen the administrative burden on agencies associated with OPM's annual call for official time data, and it will enhance the reliability of the data. Finally, the memorandum advised agencies of an OPM special study to look at the policies and procedures agencies follow in authorizing and tracking official time. That special study is being conducted by the Division for Human Capital Leadership & Merit Systems Accountability, with completion anticipated in tandem with this report.

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FY 2003 Survey Findings

Sixty Federal departments and agencies were asked to report total official time hours used by employee representatives in FY 2003. Forty-six, encompassing 99 percent of the bargaining unit employees in the surveyed agencies, responded. The responding agencies include a total of 1,039,432 bargaining unit employees. Fourteen agencies with 9,751 bargaining unit employees did not respond. The size of bargaining units in responding agencies ranged from 405,995 in the Department of Defense to 38 bargaining unit employees in the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. (See Attachment 2)

Agencies reported a total of 4,758,147 official time hours for FY 2003. The Department of Defense reported the largest number of official time hours at 1,199,419 for the year. Its rate of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee, a measure that allows for some comparison of agencies, fell in the lower range among responding agencies at 2.95 hours per bargaining unit employee.

Table 1 - Official Time by Major Agency 2003, 2002, 1998
DEPARTMENTSFY 2003FY 20021998[1]
Official Time (hours)# of Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees[2]Official Time per BU EmployeeOfficial Time (hours)Official Time per BU Employee[3]Annualized Official Time (hours)Official Time per BU Employee
Agriculture[4] 170,370 43,367     2.92   4.23
Commerce 46,191 14,977[5] 3.08 47,238 2.66 18,566 1.24
Defense 1,199,419 405,995 2.95 1,301,718 3.20 1,360,120 2.82
Education 14,538 3,287 4.42 16,373 4.98 21,904 6.98
Energy[6] 22,885 7,071 3.24 17,400 2.46 17,626 1.95
HHS 46,194 27,501[5] 1.68 54,289 1.91 64,766 2.65
Homeland Security[7] 156,510 45,488 3.44        
HUD 27,471 7,409[5] 3.71 20,062 2.77 37,340 3.78
Interior 26,754 21,911 1.22 33,669 1.54 49,188 2.21
Justice 90,072 24,884 3.62 164,504 3.11 105,150 2.42
Labor 89,714 11,762[5] 7.63 98,340 8.16 101,500 9.16
State 13,192 12,936 1.02 8,917 0.69 3,714 0.33
Transportation 682,228 40,276 16.94 803,475[8] 18.18 193,728 5.72
Treasury 748,793 98,721[5] 7.58 846,910 7.21 955,666 8.11
VA 791,188 162,240 4.88 756,407 4.66 606,150 3.66
AGENCIES
EPA 52,441 12,519 4.19 54,740 4.37 20,408 10.87
EEOC 17,810 2,075 8.58 12,238 5.90 42,152 5.06
FDIC 9,104 4,349 2.09 13,636 3.14 16,308 2.77
GSA[9] 40,877 8,245 4.96 41,606 5.05 43,236 4.66
GPO 9,785 2,193[5] 4.46 13,108 5.42 17,380 5.84
NASA 11,672 10,579 1.10 13,620 1.29 19,194 1.62
NRC 5,214 1,974 2.64 5,173 2.62 13,530 6.23
OPM 6,738 1,562 4.31 8,733 5.59 14,330 7.96
SSA 420,779 51,532 8.17 431,316 8.37 395,384 7.68
All Others 58,208 16,579 3.51 66,266 2.42 50,786 3.44
TOTAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 4,758,147 1,039,432 4.58 4,954,704 4.71 4,332,608 3.99

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Nine agencies, encompassing 207,999 bargaining unit employees, had rates of between 7.5 and nearly 17 official time hours per bargaining unit employee and reported a total of 1,991,151 official time hours: 42 percent of all reported official time hours. Twenty-two agencies, encompassing a total of 752,914 bargaining unit employees, reported a rate of between 2 and 5 hours per bargaining unit employee and 2,663,205 total official time hours: 56 percent of all reported official time hours. This group includes 72.4 percent of all bargaining unit employees in reporting agencies. Fifteen agencies, encompassing 78,519 bargaining unit employees, reported per bargaining employee rates from 0 to 2 hours and 103,791 official time hours.

Total reported official time hours and the rate of hours expended per bargaining unit employee remained stable between FY 2002 and FY 2003. In fact, there were decreases in both measures. Total official time hours decreased by 4 percent over the year, from 4,954,704 hours in FY 2002 to 4,758,147 hours in FY 2003. Official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee decreased Government-wide by 2.9 percent, from 4.71 hours per employee in FY 2002 to 4.58 hours in FY 2003.

The total estimated cost of official time to agencies also remained stable, increasing only 1.6 percent, from $126,570,125 in FY 2002 to $128,637,162 in FY 2003. Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) pay data, upon which our cost estimates rest, show a Government-wide 5.7 percent increase in average adjusted base pay over the time period. The increase in total cost, in spite of a decrease in total official time hours, can clearly be attributed to the concomitant increase in Federal pay.

Table 2 - Official Time Estimated Costs by Major Agency 2003, 2002 and 1998
DEPARTMENTSCost of Official Time 2003[10]Cost of Official Time 2002[11]Cost of Official Time 1998[12](annualized)
Agriculture $3,589,696 $2,422,075 $3,471,000
Commerce 1,280,415 1,224,152 363,000
Defense 28,318,283 29,175,228 31,603,000
Education 473,939 502,092 701,000
Energy 807,612 575,142 632,000
HHS 1,363,185 1,468,778 3,128,000
Homeland Security 3,580,949    
HUD[13] 896,653 621,160 1,188,000
Interior 615,342 704,707 1,177,000
Justice 2,195,055 3,678,413 2,647,000
Labor[13] 3,008,375 2,721,938 3,468,000
State 412,646 271,052 129,000
Transportation 27,725,746 29,559,382[14] 7,671,000
Treasury 18,517,651 19,628,768 20,855,000
VA 18,482,152 16,859,148 12,867,000
AGENCIES
EPA 1,895,742 1,881,187 1,260,000
EEOC 558,878 356,200 643,000
FDIC 378,635 538,288 N/A
GSA 1,171,535 1,090,906 471,000
GPO 239,635 305,675 1,143,000
NASA 452,640 496,766 752,000
NRC 215,182 203,901 602,000
OPM 142,778 174,568 394,000
SSA 10,389,034 10,267,187 11,255,000
All Other Agencies 1,925,408 1,843,412 1,877,000
TOTAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT $128,637,162 $126,570,125 $108,297,000

While total official time hours remained stable over FY 2002, some agencies did experience notable changes. The Departments of Agriculture and Energy cited significant labor union involvement in A-76 competitive sourcing initiatives, realignments and re-organizations as a major source of increases in their official time hours.

Agencies losing bargaining units to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) generally did show a decrease in their official time hours, with the hours for the entire fiscal year for most of the units involved in the move being included in DHS's report. However, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Federal Protective Services (FPS) bargaining units' FY 2003 official time data continued to be included in their previous home agencies' reports, the Department of Agriculture and the General Services Administration, respectively.

Agencies with higher levels of union penetration did note it as a contributing factor in the magnitude of their official time hours, with the Department of Transportation continuing to report significant hours and the highest rate of official time hours expended per bargaining unit employee. Some agencies showing decreases in official time hours cited the completion of term bargaining as a factor in that decline.

While the anecdotal narratives a few of the agencies included in their official time reports did provide some insights into labor-management relations activities and factors that affected the agencies' official time usage, the narratives do not provide sufficient information for a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of official time usage in the Federal Government. With the upcoming requirement for more detailed categorical information, we anticipate being able to provide a more comprehensive analysis of official time usage in next year's FY 2004 official time report.

Summary

Government-wide official time hours, the rate of official time hours expended per bargaining employee, and estimated official time costs remained relatively stable between FY 2002 and 2003. Total hours decreased by 4 percent, and the rate of official time hours expended per bargaining unit decreased 2.9 percent. Total estimated costs increased by only 1.6 percent, which can easily be attributed to the Government-wide annual increase in pay. This relative stability in official time usage took place even in an environment of enormous challenges having a direct impact on bargaining unit employees and necessitating the involvement of employee union representatives. These challenges included: the integration of several major established bargaining units from their previous agency homes into the Department of Homeland Security, the collaborative design of a new DHS personnel system, increasing Government operations becoming subject to the A-76 contracting-out process, and a number of agency reorganizations and realignments.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government, Fiscal Year 2003

Attachment 1

November 3, 2003

 

MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: KAY COLES JAMES
             Director

SUBJECT: Official Time for Union-Related Activities

Background

On June 17, 2002, I issued a memorandum to agency and department heads describing my expectations when it comes to granting and using official Government time for union-related activities. I emphasized that labor and management officials are equally accountable to the taxpayer and have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. To achieve greater accountability in this area, I instructed agencies to report to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at the end of each fiscal year on the number of hours of official time used by employees to perform representational activities.

Discussed in more detail below are OPM's summary of official time reports for FY 2002; the official time information that agencies will be expected to submit for FY 2003; and the additional measures I plan to take to address official time practices in the Federal Government.

Summary Report for FY 2002

Agencies reported 4,765,848 hours of official time in FY 2002. This is an increase of 10 per cent since 1998, the last time that OPM collected official time data. The estimated cost of official time for FY 2002 is $114,280,000, an increase of 5.52 percent since 1998. The average amount of official time per bargaining unit employee in FY 2002 was 4.21 hours. In FY 1998, the average amount was 3.99 hours per employee.

OPM's complete agency-by-agency summary report for FY 2002 is attached. See Attachment 1.

Collection of FY 2003 Official Time Data

For FY 2003, OPM is again asking agencies to report the number of hours of official time used by employees to perform union-related activities. Agencies must submit their reports to OPM by January 30, 2004. We have prepared the attached guidance to help you prepare your reports and to answer any questions you may have. See Attachment 2.

Collection of Official Time Data For FY 2004 and Beyond

As OPM's summary report makes clear, there has been a significant increase in both the number of hours of official time and the cost of such time since 1998. I believe that new measures are needed to ensure the level of accountability that the Administration and Congress insist upon and that the American people expect when it comes to taxpayer dollars. That is why OPM will be taking the following steps to address official time use in the Federal Government:

  • We will conduct a special study of the procedures used to request and grant official time for union representational activities and the way that official time hours and costs are reported. We will focus on the Government's largest bargaining units and evaluate the effectiveness of their official time practices. The study willyield crucial information about official time procedures and also help agencies better manage their resources and their labor-management relations programs. We expect to complete the study by March 2004.

  • As part of our e-Payroll initiative, OPM will establish reporting mechanisms for the use of official time for union representational purposes as part of every agency's payroll system. This will ensure that all unionized Federal agencies can record and track official time and assure appropriate accountability on the part of both labor and management.

  • For FY 2004 and beyond, agencies will be asked to report not only how many hours of official time are being used but what they are being used for. Such information will yield more useful data about official time practices across the Government. While we plan to issue more detailed reporting instructions for FY 2004 at a later date, here are the categories for which official time information will be sought:

    • Term Negotiations: official time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.

    • Mid-Term Negotiations: official time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.

    • Dispute Resolution: official time used to process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the various administrative agencies such as the MSPB, FLRA and EEOC and, as necessary, to the courts.

    • General Labor-Management Relations: official time used for: meetings between labor and management officials to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, and union participation in formal meetings and investigative interviews.

I have strongly supported the right of Federal employees to use official time to represent bargaining unit employees. At the same time, I have been clear that the right to official time carries with it a responsibility to use that time appropriately, efficiently, and when workload conditions permit. I believe the new initiatives outlined above will strengthen accountability to the taxpayer and substantially improve the tracking and reporting of official time.

If you have any questions, please contact Jeffrey Sumberg, Deputy Associate Director, Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy, at 202-606-2639. He may also be reached via e-mail at jsumberg@opm.gov.

 

2 Attachments

CC: Chief Human Capital Officers

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government, Fiscal Year 2003

Attachment 2

Detailed Agency Listing - FY 2003 Official Time
DEPARTMENTSOfficial Time HoursNumber of Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees[2]Official Time per BU Employee
Agriculture[4] 170,370 43,367 3.93
Commerce 46,191 14,977[5] 3.08
Defense 1,199,419 405,995 2.95
Education 14,538 3,287 4.42
Energy [6] 22,885 7,071 3.24
Health & Human Services 46,194 27,501[5] 1.68
Homeland Security[7] 156,510 45,488 3.44
Housing & Urban Development 27,471 7,409[5] 3.71
Interior 26,754 21,911 1.22
Justice 90,072 24,884 3.62
Labor 89,714 11,762[5] 7.63
State 13,192 12,936 1.02
Transportation 682,228 40,276 16.94
Treasury 748,793 98,721[5] 7.58
Veterans Affairs 791,188 162,240 4.88
AGENCIES
African Development Foundation[15]      
Agency for International Development 4,680 1,947 2.40
Armed Forces Retirement Home 424 516 0.82
Broadcasting Board of Governors 9,050 1,210 7.48
Commission on Civil Rights [15]      
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 168 162 1.04
Consumer Product Safety Commission 378 365 1.04
Corporation for National Service 846 406 2.08
Environmental Protection Agency 52,441 12,519 4.19
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 17,810 2,075 8.58
Export-Import Bank [15]      
Federal Communications Commission 4,187 1,382[5] 3.03
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 9,104 4,349 2.09
Federal Election Commission 689 225 3.06
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 152 884 0.17
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0 38 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 466 450 1.04
General Services Administration[9] 40,877 8,245 4.96
Government Printing Office 9,785 2,193[5] 4.46
Holocaust Memorial Museum [15]      
International Boundary and Water Commission[15]      
International Trade Commission 231 266 0.87
Library of Congress [15]      
Merit Systems Protection Board 769 88 8.74
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 11,672 10,579 1.10
National Archives and Records Administration[15]      
National Endowment for the Humanities 125 113 1.11
National Gallery of Art 1,585 369 4.30
National Labor Relations Board 14,016 1,337 10.48
National Science Foundation 1,920 788 2.44
National Transportation Safety Board [15]      
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 5,214 1,974 2.64
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission [15]      
Office of Government Ethics [15]      
Office of Personnel Management 6,738 1,562 4.31
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 100 92 1.09
Peace Corps [15]      
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 813 508 1.60
Presidio Trust [15]      
Railroad Retirement Board 7,992 998 8.01
Securities and Exchange Commission 3,122 2,198 1.42
Small Business Administration 6,495 2,237 2.90
Smithsonian Institution [15]      
Social Security Administration 420,779 51,532 8.17
Trade and Development Agency [15]      
       
TOTALS 4,758,147 1,039,432 4.58

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Note:

[1] 1998 data was collected for a 6-month period and annualized to provide 12-month data.

[2] Source for 2003 bargaining unit employee numbers: January 2004 Labor Agreement & Information Research System (LAIRS) data search. Appropriated fund bargaining unit employees only.

[3] This rate is adjusted from original 2002 report, as it appeared in Summary Report-Official Time for Union Representation FY 2002, to consider appropriated fund agency bargaining units only. Original 2002 rate was based on both appropriated and non-appropriated fund employees, even as 2002 official time hours reported were for appropriated fund employees only.

[4] 2003 data includes the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) which moved to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within the fiscal year.

[5] Source for 2003 bargaining unit employee number: FY 2003 OPM Official Time Survey agency response.

[6] Official time hours annualized from 9-month data.

[7] Official time hours and bargaining unit employee numbers for APHIS and FPS bargaining units not included here. They are included in their previous agency homes, Agriculture and GSA respectively.

[8] FY 2002 official time hours adjusted upward from original 2002 report through agency amendment. The effect was to raise the agency's rate of official time used per bargaining unit employee.

[9] 2003 data includes Federal Protective Service (FPS) which moved to DHS within the fiscal year.

[10] Cost figures were estimated by agency, multiplying (1) December 2003 Central Personnel Data File average Agency bargaining unit employee annual salary divided by 2080 hours by (2) the number of official time hours in FY 2003.

[11] Cost figures were estimated by agency, multiplying (1) September 2002 Central Personnel Data File average Agency bargaining unit employee annual salary divided by 2080 hours by (2) the number of official time hours in FY 2002.

[12] In 1998, agencies reported the cost of official time for only the 6 month data collection period. 6 month 1998 data was doubled and adjusted for annual Federal pay raises using 3 percent annual growth to derive 12 month data for the year.

[13] 2003 cost figure source: FY 2003 OPM Official Time Survey agency response.

[14] FY 2002 official time hours originally reported were adjusted upward from original 2002 report through agency amendment. The effect was to raise the agency's previously reported costs for 2002.

[15] No submission.

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Official Time Usage in the Federal Government
Fiscal Year 2002 Survey Responses

On June 17, 2002, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memorandum to agency and department heads describing her expectations when it comes to granting and using official time (see Appendix 1). She emphasized that labor and management are equally accountable to the taxpayer and have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. She made it clear that she expects management and labor to develop sensible arrangements for official time that meet the needs and expectations of agencies, employees, and the ultimate customers -- the American people.

Believing that accountability to the American people begins with understanding the scope of the issue, the Director also instructed each agency and department to report to OPM by the end of each fiscal year on the number of hours of official time used by employees to perform representational activities. The first such report was due by October 31, 2002, covering FY 2002. OPM prepared guidance to assist agencies in compiling and reporting on official time.

In this summary, OPM's consolidates the official time reports from departments and agencies.

Background

Official time is generally defined as authorized, paid time off from assigned Government duties to represent a union or its bargaining unit employees. Under the Labor-Management Relations law-chapter 71 of title 5-Congress allowed official time in two broad categories (see Appendix 2).

First, employees have a statutory right to receive official time to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and participate in impasse proceedings. Official time in this category can mean time spent bargaining with management over a term agreement that sets basic working conditions for unit employees for the life of that contract. It can also mean time spent negotiating during the life of the agreement, also known as mid-term bargaining. Most mid-term bargaining takes place when the union seeks to negotiate over the procedures an agency will follow when exercising its management rights or over the impact that an agency's decisions will have on bargaining unit employees.

Second, the law permits agencies and unions to negotiate official time in connection with other labor-management activities, as long as the time is deemed reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest. Examples include time spent meeting with employees to discuss problems in the workplace, handling employee grievances or formal administrative appeals, attending meetings called by the agency, and receiving training on labor relations topics. Official time in this category generally rises or falls depending on the nature and extent of labor-management activities, but in any case is restricted by the reasonableness standard imposed by the law.

Official time cannot be used for internal union business, such as organizing new members or campaigning for office, nor can it be used for partisan political activities.

OPM'S Role

In 1976, the Civil Service Commission issued a memorandum instructing agencies on how to carry out their responsibilities for authorizing official time. Agencies were also directed to establish recordkeeping systems to track official time. After finding that 18 of 26 bargaining units at four agencies had no records of official time usage, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report in 1979 recommending that OPM (no longer the Civil Service Commission) direct agencies to comply with recordkeeping requirements. GAO also recommended that OPM require agencies to submit annual reports on official time.

In response, OPM issued Federal Personnel Manual letter 711-161, which required agencies to develop recordkeeping systems for official time no later than January 1, 1982. OPM did not, however, require agencies to report annually on official time as GAO had recommended. When the Federal Personnel Manual was abolished in 1994, all recordkeeping requirements for official time also were abolished.

In 1998, OPM was directed to prepare a report on official time usage for the House Committee on Appropriations. OPM was instructed to sample official time use for a six-month period. We collected and analyzed official time data from some 70 Federal agencies covering over 2,100 bargaining units. Our findings were submitted to the Appropriations Committee in November 1998 in a comprehensive report entitled Official Time and Services Used by Unions Representing Federal Employees.

FY 2002 Official Time Data

In response to the Director's June 2002 memorandum, agencies reported to OPM on the number of hours of official time used by employees in FY 2002 to perform representational activities. In comparison to the 1998 figures, the number of hours of official time increased 10.0 percent (4,332,608 to 4,765,848) (see table 1). The estimated cost of official time increased 5.52 percent ($108,297,000 to $114,280,000) (see table 2). In considering these figures, it is important to keep in mind the following:

  • Bargaining over term agreements requires considerable official time, but not all agencies and unions negotiate term agreements in the same year. Contracts typically expire after three years but only some are renegotiated. Others are continued by the parties for another fixed term without new negotiations. We do not know the extent of term bargaining activities in 2002.
  • Mid-term bargaining, another major source of official time, is largely driven by the degree to which agencies exercise their management rights. In any given year there may be reorganizations, downsizing, or workplace change initiatives that require more mid-term bargaining - and more official time - in comparison to other years. We do not know whether this was the case in 2002.
  • The number of grievances may lead to changes in official time as well. Official time use will typically rise with an increase in the number of grievances and fall as grievances and other workplace disputes decrease. However, if cooperative efforts are employed to reduce grievances and improve labor-management relations, the use of official time in connection with such cooperative initiatives may actually rise, at least in the early stages. We do not have information on grievances and dispute resolution efforts for 2002.

Table 1

The total number of hours of official time increased 10.0 percent since 1998, rising from 4,332,608 to 4,765,848 in FY 2002. The average amount of official time per bargaining unit employee in FY 2002 was 4.21 hours. In FY 1998, the average amount was 3.99 hours per employee.

Among major agencies, the Department of Transportation had by far the greatest increase in both the number of hours of official time (193,728 in 1998 to 612,397 in FY 2002) and the average number of hours per bargaining unit employee (5.7 to 13.9). This may be attributed to the high level of employee organizing that has occurred in recent years at the Federal Aviation Administration and the addition of over 10,000 bargaining unit employees since 1998. Other agencies showing significant increases in hours of official time since 1998 include Commerce (18,566 to 47,328); Justice (105,150 to 164,504); and Veterans Affairs (606,150 to 756,407).

Major agencies experiencing a significant decline in the number of hours of official time include Agriculture (164,482 to 127,188); Housing and Urban Development (37,340 to 20,062); and Interior (49,188 to 33,669). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) saw the largest decline in the use of official time per bargaining unit employee (10.87 to 5.9). EEOC attributes this decline to the improved relationship between labor and management, more open communications, and an increase in expertise on the part of employee representatives.

Table 1. Official Time by Major Agency for 2002 and 1998
2002119982
AgencyOfficial Time (hours)># of Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees3Official Time per BU EmployeeAnnualized Official Time (hours)# of BU EmployeesOfficial Time per BU Employee
Agriculture 127,188 43,533 2.92 164,482 38,921 4.23
Commerce 47,238 18,006 2.62 18,566 15,026 1.24
Defense 1,301,718 478,375 2.72 1,360,120 483,006 2.82
Education 16,373 3,287 4.98 21,904 3,140 6.98
Energy 17,400 7,071 2.46 17,626 9,029 1.95
HHS 54,289 28,494 1.91 64,766 24,426 2.65
HUD 20,062 7,255 2.77 37,340 9,876 3.78
Interior 33,669 21,911 1.54 49,188 22,304 2.21
Justice 164,504 52,979 3.11 105,150 43,427 2.42
Labor 98,340 12,055 8.16 101,500 11,085 9.16
State 8,917 12,936 0.69 3,714 11,321 0.33
Transportation 612,397 44,190 13.86 193,728 33,859 5.72
Treasury 846,910 117,384 7.21 955,666 117,766 8.11
VA 756,407 162,240 4.66 606,150 165,797 3.66
EEOC 12,238 2,075 5.90 20,408 1,877 10.87
EPA 54,740 12,519 4.37 42,152 8,334 5.06
FDIC 13,636 4,349 3.14 16,308 5,886 2.77
GPO 13,108 2,418 5.42 17,380 2,978 5.84
GSA 41,606 8,245 5.05 43,236 9,287 4.66
NASA 13,620 10,635 1.28 19,194 11,831 1.62
NRC 5,173 1,974 2.62 13,530 2,171 6.23
OPM 8,733 1,562 5.59 14,330 1,800 7.96
SSA 431,316 51,532 8.37 395,384 51,506 7.68
All Others 66,266 27,376 2.42 50,786 14,761 3.44
Total Federal Government 4,765,848 1,132,401 4.21 4,332,608 1,084,653 3.99

1 For fiscal year 2002.

2 1998 data was collected for a 6 month period. To compare 1998 data to annual 2002 data, we doubled the 6 month 1998 data.

3 The number of employees represented by bargaining units is from January, 2003.

Table 2

While OPM did not ask for the cost of official time in 2002, we attempted to calculate this number. Cost figures were estimated for each agency by multiplying:

  • September 2002 Central Personnel Data File average agency bargaining unit employee annual salary divided by 2080 hours

    by

  • the number of official time hours reported for 2002.

In 1998, agencies reported to OPM the cost of official time for the 6 month data collection period required by Congress. For purposes of comparing 1998 data to annual data for 2002, we doubled the 6 month 1998 data. Using this method, the cost of official time was estimated to be $114,280,000 for FY 2002, an increase of approximately 5.52 percent over FY 1998's estimate of $108,297,000.

Table 2. Cost of Official Time by Major Agency for 2002 and 1998
AgencyCost of Official Time 20024Cost of Official Time 19985 (annualized)
Agriculture $2,422,000 $3,471,000
Commerce $1,224,000 $363,000
Defense $29,175,000 $31,603,000
Education $502,000 $701,000
Energy $575,000 $632,000
HHS $1,469,000 $3,128,000
HUD $621,000 $1,188,000
Interior $705,000 $1,177,000
Justice $3,678,000 $2,647,000
Labor $2,722,000 $3,468,000
State $271,000 $129,000
Transportation $22,530,000 $7,671,000
Treasury $19,629,000 $20,855,000
VA $16,859,000 $12,867,000
EEOC $356,000 $643,000
EPA $1,881,000 $1,260,000
FDIC $538,000 N/A
GPO $306,000 $471,000
GSA $1,091,000 $1,143,000
NASA $497,000 $752,000
NRC $204,000 $602,000
OPM $175,000 $394,000
SSA $10,267,000 $11,255,000
Total Federal Government $114,280,000 $108,297,000

4 Cost figures were estimated by Agency by multiplying (1) September 2002 Central Personnel Data File average Agency bargaining unit employee annual salary divided by 2080 hours by (2) the number of official time hours for 2002.

5 In 1998, Agencies reported to OPM the cost of official time for the 6 month data collection period. For purposes of comparing 1998 data to annual data for 2002, we doubled the 6 month 1998 data and adjusted for annual Federal pay raises using 3 percent annual growth.

Attachments:
Appendix 1 - Reporting Request Memo
Appendix 2 - Relevant US Code
Appendix 3- Labor - Management Relations Memo
Appendix 4 - Detailed Agency Listing: FY2002 Official Time

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Appendix 2 - Relevant US Code

Title 5 U.S. Code, Section 7131

§7131. Official Time

  1. Any employee representing an exclusive representative in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement under this chapter shall be authorized official time for such purposes, including attendance at impasse proceeding, during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status. The number of employees for whom official time is authorized under this subsection shall not exceed the number of individuals designated as representing the agency for such purposes.
  2. Any activities performed by any employee relating to the internal business of a labor organization (including the solicitation of membership, elections of labor organization officials, and collection of dues) shall be performed during the time the employee is in a nonduty status
  3. Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the Authority shall determine whether any employee participating for, or on behalf of, a labor organization in any phase of proceedings before the Authority shall be authorized official time for such purpose during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status.
  4. Except as provided in the preceding subsections of this section
    1. any employee representing an exclusive representative, or
    2. in connection with any other matter covered by this chapter, any employee in an appropriate unit represented by an exclusive representative,
    shall be granted official time in any amount the agency and the exclusive representative involved agree to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.

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Appendix 4 - Detailed Agency Listing: FY2002 Official Time

Detailed Agency Listing: FY2002 Official Time
AgenciesOfficial Time (hours)# of Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees7Official Time per BU Employee
Agriculture 127,188 43,533 2.92
Commerce 47,238 18,006 2.62
Defense 1,301,718 478,375 2.72
Education 16,373 3,287 4.98
Energy 17,400 7,071 2.46
HHS 54,289 28,494 1.91
HUD 20,062 7,255 2.77
Interior 33,669 21,911 1.54
Justice 164,504 52,979 3.11
Labor 98,340 12,055 8.16
State 8,917 12,936 0.69
Transportation 612,397 44,190 13.86
Treasury 846,910 117,384 7.21
Veterans Affairs 756,407 162,240 4.66
African Development Foundation 15 No submission
Agency for International Development 4,680 1,947 2.40
Armed Forces Retirement Home 259 516 0.50
Broadcasting Board of Governors 8,431 1,260 6.69
Commission on Civil Rights 52 0.00
Commodity Futures Trading Commission 139 162 0.86
Consumer Product Safety Commission 350 365 0.96
Corporation for National Service 980 406 2.41
Court Services & Offender Supervision Agency for D.C. 2,003 N/A N/A
Environmental Protection Agency 54,740 12,519 4.37
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 12,238 2,075 5.90
Export-Import Bank 8 91 0.09
Federal Communications Commission 4,518 1,379 3.28
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 13,636 4,349 3.14
Federal Election Commission 689 225 3.06
Federal Emergency Management Agency 4,448 1,138 3.91
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 624 884 0.71
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service 0 38 0.00
Federal Trade Commission 577 450 1.28
General Services Administration 41,606 8,245 5.05
Government Printing Office 13,108 2,418 5.42
Holocaust Memorial Museum 12 N/A N/A
International Boundary and Water Commission 177 No submission
International Trade Commission 108 266 0.41
Library of Congress 3,403 0.00
Merit Systems Protection Board 852 88 9.68
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 13,620 10,635 1.28
National Archives and Records Administration 1,973 No submission
National Endowment for the Humanities 204 113 1.80
National Gallery of Art 1,644 369 4.46
National Labor Relations Board 15,854 1,337 11.86
National Science Foundation 2,004 788 2.54
National Transportation Safety Board 275 No submission
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 5,173 1,974 2.62
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission 31 No submission
Office of Government Ethics 18 N/A N/A
Office of Personnel Management 8,733 1,562 5.59
Overseas Private Investment Corporation 40 92 0.43
Peace Corps 420 0.00
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 508 No Submission
Presidio Trust 182 329 0.55
Railroad Retirement Board 7,692 998 7.71
Securities and Exchange Commission 4,188 2,198 1.91
Small Business Administration 5,762 2,237 2.58
Smithsonian Institution 2,823 0.00
Social Security Administration 431,316 51,532 8.37
Trade and Development Agency 23 No Submission
Total Federal Government 4,765,848 1,132,401 4.21

6 For fiscal year 2002.
7 The number of employees represented by bargaining units is from January, 2003.

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Report to Congress on Official Time and Services by Unions
Representing Federal Employees Fiscal Year 1998

Introduction

As required by the House of Representatives Report 105-240, to accompany H.R. 2378, the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations bill for FY 1998, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared this report to the House Committee on Appropriations on the use of official time and services by unions representing Federal employees, in accordance with specific agreements reached within each agency or provided for by law. This report includes the following information:

  1. a description of both the benefits and disadvantages of official time;
  2. a list of specific activities undertaken by Federal employees;
  3. for the first six months of calendar year 1998:
    1. total hours of official time that employees spent on such activities;
    2. the number of employees who used official time for such activities;
    3. the number of employees who spent 100 percent of their official time for such activities, the number who spent over 75 percent but less than 100 percent, and the number who spent over 50 percent but less than 75 percent;
    4. the dollar value of official time, in terms of employee compensation, spent on such activities; and
    5. the dollar value of Federally funded office space, equipment, telephone use and supplies provided to unions.

Scope of Report

This report covers only appropriated fund agencies with bargaining units and only those activities related to labor relations, such as those provided for by 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71, Executive Order 12871, and agency collective bargaining agreements. Agencies did not report activities under non-labor relations laws or regulations (e.g., civil rights laws, agency administrative grievance procedures).

Background

The Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute (5 U.S.C. Chapter 71) begins with findings and a statement of purpose indicating that Congress believes that a statutory labor relations program is in the public interest, contributes to the effective conduct of public business, and facilitates and encourages the amicable settlement of disputes between employees and their employers. In furtherance of this finding, the Statute requires that employee/union representatives be provided with official time. The use of official time by a Federal employee acting as a representative of a union representing Federal employees within a recognized bargaining unit is provided for by 5 U.S.C. ' 7131. It states:

  1. Any employee representing an exclusive representative in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement under this chapter shall be authorized official time for such purposes, including attendance at impasse proceeding, during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status. The number of employees for whom official time is authorized under this subsection shall not exceed the number of individuals designated as representing the agency for such purposes.
  2. Any activities performed by any employee relating to the internal business of a labor organization (including the solicitation of membership, elections of labor organization officials, and collection of dues) shall be performed during the time the employee is in a non-duty status.
  3. Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the Authority shall determine whether any employee participating for, or on behalf of, a labor organization in any phase of proceedings before the Authority shall be authorized official time for such purpose during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status.
  4. Except as provided in the preceding subsections of this sectionC
    1. any employee representing an exclusive representative, or
    2. in connection with any other matter covered by this chapter, any employee in an appropriate unit represented by an exclusive representative, shall be granted official time in any amount the agency and the exclusive representative involved agree to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.

Benefits of Official Time

Agencies were asked to describe the benefits of official time. The following is a summation of their comments on the benefits of official time to the Government. Virtually all agencies reported similar benefits.

  • Improves labor-management relations. Official time allows union officials to be available at convenient times during the workday to discuss workplace issues with agency managers. This ongoing dialogue allows the parties to develop a better understanding of each other's interests and concerns, thereby reducing the likelihood that disagreements will result in costly litigation. Also, the availability of union representatives at convenient times without loss of pay or leave allows the representative to be more willing to meet with management to discuss issues, thereby allowing management to act more expeditiously.

    It allows for training of representatives on matters of mutual benefit. Such training is for union representatives and bargaining unit employees on collective bargaining agreement provisions, Governmentwide and agency regulations, 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71, safety issues, interest-based bargaining, and on alternative dispute resolution. Increasing a union representative's knowledge of issues such as these is of significant benefit to management. Well-trained union officials can often prevent problems from arising by informing employees of governing rules and regulations involving personnel policies or by knowing how to deal with particular issues in a constructive manner.

    Dramatic improvements can occur in an agency's overall labor relations program when official time is used for labor-management cooperation and partnership efforts. An improved labor relations climate can have a significant impact on decreasing the use of agency resources to solve problems. For example, in fiscal year 1992, Department of the Army employees filed 2653 grievances. In 1997, official time used for constructive labor-management relations contributed to a decrease in grievances by 60%, a total of 1071 grievances. While the nurturing of such a relationship required additional official time, the parties have greatly reduced the use of other resources which would have been used to deal with these less constructive grievance activities.

  • Contributes to improved operations. Official time allows union officials and bargaining unit employees to participate in work groups, committees, and task forces which examine various ways to improve agency operations. These processes of participation provide for union involvement in decisionmaking that treats employees and their representatives as stakeholders in the agency's operations. Union officials and bargaining unit employees often contribute good ideas to these efforts which ultimately result in enhanced service to the public. For example, at the Red River Army Depot, a partnership between management and six unions has reduced the need for costly arbitration, increased productivity, and led to savings of $14.8 million in fiscal year (FY) 1994.

    The United States Customs Service and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) formed a labor-management partnership in 1994. In 1997, they decided to address a critical mission-related issue: the decrease in the quantity of narcotics seized at Customs' ports of entry that had occurred over the past year. The results of this joint effort, Operation Brass Ring, have been dramatic. There has been an increase in the quantity of illegal narcotics and currency seized. For the period February 1 to May 31, 1998, 45,245.5 lbs. of cocaine were seized. During the same period in 1997, 37,125 lbs. were seized. This amounts to an increase of more than 8000 lbs. or 22%. Currency seizures also increased by 24%.

    The Partnership Council at the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, was successful in addressing problems involving compensation, turnover, position management, and staffing, as well as in fostering greater use of alternative dispute resolution techniques. With a 28.8% turnover rate among Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), the Medical Center had been experiencing serious losses of LPNs in its intensive care wards and the Nursing Home. With the active participation of the Partnership Council, the Center reduced the turnover ratio to 13.4%. In addition, the Partnership Council was instrumental in developing the Center's 108.5 full time employment staffing and position management plan for a new 25 million dollar ambulatory care addition to the Center. Predecisional involvement on the types of positions and staffing levels of the new facility paved the way for a smooth transition into this new facility, as evidenced by the fact that there were no grievances or unfair labor practices associated with the transition.

    The use of official time for early or predecisional involvement by union representatives and bargaining unit employees can lead to quicker implementation of agency initiatives without potentially time-consuming and disruptive formal negotiations. A less protracted process contributes to the effective implementation of public policy.

  • Facilitates resolution of workplace disputes. Official time allows union officials to be available during the workday to intervene in any workplace disputes or problems that may arise, thereby creating a more positive workplace climate and minimizing disruption to agency operations. Swift resolution of workplace conflicts contributes to the effective and efficient accomplishment of public business.

    Employee concerns and complaints are frequently resolved at informal stages when employee representatives can talk to employees, explore issues, determine facts, and explain considerations to employees and management officials. The ability to use official time during duty hours helps resolve complaints or potential grievances at the lowest level thereby avoiding the additional time and cost that is associated with the full grievance process or with costly litigation. This results in fewer formal grievances and appeals leading to monetary savings to the Government.

  • Has a positive impact on employee morale. Official time allows union officials to present the views of employees to agency managers, thereby facilitating greater employee involvement in agency operations. This has a positive impact on morale which may, in turn, result in reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased productivity, and improved customer service.

    It provides employee representatives with time during the workday to review, consider, discuss, and react to management proposals on conditions of employment to achieve employee buy-in and to contribute ideas in developing and administering personnel programs. This involvement not only leads to improved morale for the bargaining unit employees, but can reduce the costs of potentially long drawn-out negotiations. At Fort McCoy, the Department of Army reports that labor and management dealt with the out- placement of employees affected by the downsizing of the post. The joint effort resulted in the successful placement of 80 employees, thereby saving relocation costs that would have been incurred in moving employees to a new organization.

    Employees can discuss certain issues or concerns with union representatives that they may not be comfortable discussing with management when union representatives are more readily available because they are permitted to use duty time as official time. This allows the union official to serve as the liaison between employees and management, which can result in the reduction of negative feelings that may arise.

    The use of official time during duty hours can create and maintain a healthy work environment which decreases the use of sick leave and worker's compensation benefits. Union representatives oftentimes provide management with information concerning health and safety issues, which, when corrected before they become claims for violations or accidents, improve the overall quality of work life.

  • Helps management to comply with its statutory obligations. Official time allows union officials to be available at convenient times for various activities related to collective bargaining, thereby allowing management to comply more easily with its statutory obligations in accordance with 5 U.S.C. ' 7117.

    Official time allows employees who are officers and stewards to engage in representational functions necessary to meet the avowed purposes of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS). Section 7131 communicates the importance of official time in carrying out the purposes of the FSLMRS.

    By allowing for union participation on safety committees, which is mutually beneficial to employees and management, it also assists the agency in complying with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and laws.

Disadvantages of Official Time

Agencies were asked to describe the disadvantages of official time. Many agencies reported no serious disadvantages or no disadvantages at all. The comments reported by the agencies are summarized as follows:

  • Has a negative impact on productivity. When union officials are on official time, they are not available to perform the duties associated with their regular positions. This can hamper the agency in accomplishing its mission, as certain assignments must either be delayed, covered by other employees, or accomplished through the use of overtime. The use of significant amounts of official time, which takes time away from the performance of assigned duties, may adversely affect an employee's ability to keep his or her technical skills current.
  • Places an administrative burden on managers. Administratively, the use of official time requires the processing of requests, the tracking and control of time used, and the juggling of assignments and schedules. Managers must also monitor the activities of union officials and representatives to ensure that official time is used for appropriate purposes. All of these activities place an administrative burden on those managers who supervise employees serving as union officials.

    Managers must take the use of official time into consideration when making work assignments. This consideration can result in an unequal distribution of work among available personnel. Also, a union representative may be receiving compensation and benefits at a level different from the representational duties being performed.

  • Generates disagreements between managers and union officials. The current system of official time may generate disagreements (grievances or unfair labor practice charges ) over disapproval of requests, tracking or monitoring of official time, and whether official time has been requested or used for an appropriate reason.
  • Creates resentment with other employees. Some employees may resent union officials who spend a significant amount of their workday away from their normal duties. Official time does not always result in a visible work product, leading some employees to believe that official time is being abused.

Specific Activities

House Report 105-240 requested that OPM list the specific activities undertaken by Federal employees using official time. Agencies, in turn, reported the following union activities:

  • Consulting with management on changes in working conditions or conditions of employment, such as personnel policies.
  • Preparing for negotiations or representation of employees in meetings with management.
  • Training on labor relations topics.
  • Negotiating collective bargaining agreements and impact and implementation issues caused by management-proposed initiatives. Some negotiation issues include:
    • Flexitime or Telecommuting Policies
    • Smoking Cessation Policies
    • Transit Subsidies
    • Alternative Work Schedules
    • Renovations of Employee Work Sites
  • Meeting with employees concerning problems or potential problems in the workplace.
  • Representing employees at formal discussions with employers concerning any personnel policies, grievances, general conditions of employment, or any investigations that may result in disciplinary actions.
  • Reviewing employee personnel records.
  • Receiving health and safety training.
  • Performing health and safety reviews, Awalk arounds, and similar activities.
  • Representing employees in internal agency equal employment opportunity complaints.
  • Participating in the development of performance assistance plans for employees with performance problems.
  • Representing employees in disciplinary/adverse actions based on misconduct.
  • Representing employees in adverse actions based on unacceptable performance.
  • Representing employees in formal negotiated grievance procedures.
  • Participating in hearings before arbitrators, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Developing and participating in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Investigating grievances.
  • Auditing promotion packages.
  • Preparing reports as required by 5 U.S.C. ' 7120(c).
  • Visiting, phoning, and writing to elected representatives in support of or opposition to pending or desired legislation that would affect working conditions.
  • Ensuring and monitoring the administration of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Pursuing, processing, and resolving unfair labor practices.
  • Orienting new employees.
  • Participating in Federal Wage Surveys.
  • Participating in meetings on organizational changes.
  • Participating in meetings and activities to seek out organizational and service problems and develop solutions.
  • Traveling to meetings called by the employer or other employee representational duties.
  • Participating on joint union-management committees.

Total Amount and Dollar Value of Official Time for a Six Month Survey Period

The total amount of official time reported as used by employees for representational activities for the six month sample period was 2,171,774 hours. This time had a dollar value of $48,110,284. Official time by major agency is detailed in Table 1.

Number of Employees on Official Time for a Six Month Survey Period

A total of 23,965 Federal employees were reported as serving as representatives of Federal employee unions while on official time. The number of these employees working in a representational capacity 100 percent of the time was 946. The number of employees working in a representational capacity 75 percent or more of their time, but less than 100 percent was 912. The number of employees working in a representational capacity 50 percent or more of their time, but less than 75 percent was 1,152. Table 3 details the numbers of employees using official time by major agency.

Dollar Value of Office Space, Equipment, Telephone Use and Supplies Provided to Unions for a Six Month Survey Period

The dollar value of Federally funded office space reported as used by employees for representational activities was $6,561,744. The dollar value of Federally funded equipment reported was $1,485,473. The dollar value of Federally funded telephone use reported was $549,880. The dollar value of Federally funded supplies provided to unions was reported as $185,672. The total dollar value of all these Federally funded items was $8,782,769. These numbers are provided by major agency in Table 4.

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Appendix

OPM Definitions

To assist in maintaining consistency across the Federal Government, OPM has defined Aofficial time to mean all time granted to an employee by the agency to perform representational functions under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71, Executive Order 12871, or by collective bargaining agreement.

The term Arepresentational functions means those authorized labor relations activities undertaken by employees on behalf of other employees pursuant to such employees' right to representation under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71, Executive Order 12871, or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

Official Time Categories

OPM requested that agencies report official time as belonging to one of three broad categories:

  1. NEGOTIATIONS. Includes time used by union representatives for, or in preparation for: (1) negotiations over a basic agreement; (2) negotiations over the supplementation or renegotiation of that agreement or under a reopener provision in that agreement; and (3) negotiations occurring during the term of that agreement (i.e., mid-term bargaining). This category includes both interest-based and position-based negotiations. Use of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), and interest arbitration services are also included in this category.
  2. DISPUTE RESOLUTION. Includes official time granted for employee representation functions in connection with such things as grievances, arbitrations, adverse actions, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and other labor relations complaint and appellate processes. This category may also include union counseling of employees on problems, phone calls, emails, and meetings with management concerning employee complaints and problems that are pre-grievance or pre-complaint, but not part of any formal process.
  3. GENERAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP. Includes official time authorized for representational functions in connection with all other activities not covered by the categories of Negotiations and Dispute Resolution. This category includes labor-management committee meetings or regulations dealing with conditions of employment, partnership activities where the union is represented, consultation and predecisional meetings, walk-around time for OSHA inspections, labor relations training for union representatives, and formal and Weingarten-type meetings under 5 U.S.C. ' 7114(a)(2) (A) and (B).

Dollar Value of Official Time

For purposes of completing the official time survey, agencies were instructed to determine the dollar value of official time by calculating the employee's total gross pay for the first 13 pay periods of calendar year 1998 and then multiplying that amount by a factor that represents the percentage of time spent in official time status. Generally, this official time factor would be determined by dividing the total hours of official time taken (or used) during the first 13 pay periods of calendar year 1998 by 1,040 hours (26 weeks times 40 hours per week).

For certain special categories of employees, the official time factor would be computed differently based on the number of hours in the employee's workweek for which certain fixed compensation is regularly received. For example, for a firefighter receiving standby duty premium pay for an uncommon tour of duty consisting of 72 hours per week, the denominator in the official time factor would be 1,872 (26 weeks times 72 hours per week) instead of 1,040 hours. Similarly, for an employee receiving administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) pay, total AUO hours worked during the 13 pay periods (or an appropriate estimate) would be added to 1,040 to determine the denominator in the official time factor.

Federally Funded Office Space

OPM interpreted this cost to cover only space which is set aside solely for the use of union activities for the first six months of calendar year 1998. Cost is determined by using actual data from agency facilities management. For agency-owned property, an agency may use the GSA average cost of square footage for that metropolitan area.

Equipment

OPM defined equipment to include any computers, printers, copy machines, fax machines, office furniture, or similar accouterments provided to and for the sole use of the union in the six months covered by this survey.

Telephone Use

Cost of telephone use is determined for those telephone and fax lines which are dedicated solely to union business for the six month survey period.

Supplies

The cost of supplies for the six month survey period provided to a union by the Government includes pencils, writing instruments, and paper. Mailing costs for contract or settlement activities were also to be considered on an actual cost basis when possible. In situations where precise information was unavailable, agencies were asked to give approximate costs based on the best available data or use standard statistical sampling methods.

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Table 1: Official Time by Major Agency for the First Six Months of Calendar Year 1998
AgencyBU's i # of BU Employeesii Amount of Official Time for NegotiationsAmount of Official Time for Dispute ResolutionAmount of Official Time for General Labor- Management RelationshipTotal Amount of Official Time
Agriculture 87 38,921.00 3,508 6,846 71,887 82,241
Commerce 48 14,816 367 3,217 5,699 9,283
Air Force 133 112,109 26,106 41,479 50,209 117,794
Army 448 135,679 19,000 61,872 79,523 160,395
Navy 452 125,563 42,565 66,589 144,875 254,029
DOD (other) 356 109,655 20,266 38,363 89,213 147,842
Education 1 3,140 174 2,105 8,673 10,952
Energy 17 9,029 2,443 2,236 4,134 8,813
HHS 112 24,426 9,317 15,042 8,024 32,383
HUD 7 9,876 5,276 5,418 7,976 18,670
Interior 146 22,304 6,224 6,774 11,596 24,594
Justice 23 43,427 6,785 10,173 35,617 52,575
Labor 3 11,085 1,872 8,622 40,256 50,750
State 7 3,429 186 259 1,412 1,857
Transportation 90 33,859 2,489 4,682 89,693 96,864
Treasury 37 117,766 33,112 75,907 368,814 477,833
Veterans Affairs 62 165,797 36,843 85,750 180,482 303,075
EEOC 1 1,877 758 1,779 7,667 10,204
EPA 10 8,334 2,743 10,647 7,686 21,076
FDIC 7 5,886 981 1,731 5,442 8,154
GPO 19 2,978 2,074 N/A 6,616 8,690
GSA 22 9,287 897 4,113 16,608 21,618
NASA 21 11,831 779 3,746 5,072 9,597
NRC 1 2,171 0 1,691 5,074 6,765
OPM 6 1,800 3,573 2,455 1,137 7,165
SSAiii 8 51,506 66,988 8,271 122,433iv 197,692
USIA 2 2,290 550 2,860 2,060 5,470
All Othersv 55 14,761 2,895 9,691 12,807 25,393
Totals 2,181 1,093,602 298,771 482,318 1,390,685 2,171,774

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Table 2: Dollar Value Per Bargaining Unit Employee for the First Six Months of Calendar Year 1998
AgencyBU's# of BU Employees$ Value of Official Timevi
Agriculture 87 38,921 $1,541,894
Commerce 48 14,816 $161,223
Air Force 133 112,109 $2,415,612
Army 448 135,679 $3,021,902
Navy 452 125,563 $5,090,281
DOD (other) 356 109,655 $3,511,838
Education 1 3,140 $311,435
Energy 17 9,029 $280,554
HHS 112 24,426 $1,389,487
HUD 7 9,876 $527,694
Interior 146 22,304 $522,786
Justice 23 43,427 $1,175,765
Labor 3 11,085 $1,540,628
State 7 3,429 $57,107
Transportation 90 33,859 $3,408,008
Treasury 37 117,766 $9,264,491
Veterans Affairs 62 165,797 $5,715,955
EEOC 1 1,877 $285,727
EPA 10 8,334 $559,674
FDIC 7 5,886 N/Avii
GPO 19 2,978 $209,108
GSA 22 9,287 $507,553
NASA 21 11,831 $334,154
NRC 1 2,171 $267,370
OPM 6 1,800 $175,216
SSA 8 51,506 $5,000,000
USIA 2 2,290 $159,500
All Others 55 14,761 $675,322
Totals 2,181 1,093,602 $48,110,284

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Table 3: Numbers of Employees on Official Time by Major Agency for the First Six Months of Calendar Year 1998
AgencyBU's# of BU Employees# of Employees on Official Time# on 100% Official Time75% < 100%50% < 75 %
Agriculture 87 38,921 859 20 32 53
Commerce 48 14,816 54 0 1 7
Air Force 133 112,109 763 50 24 34
Army 448 135,679 1,507 58 30 47
Navy 452 125,563 1,587 88 56 43
DOD (other) 356 109,655 2,346 41 22 41
Education 1 3,140 114 3 3 4
Energy 17 9,029 116 0 4 3
HHS 112 24,426 339 6 1 17
HUD 7 9,876 109 7 4 12
Interior 146 22,304 310 3 1 9
Justice 23 43,427 724 12 9 26
Labor 3 11,085 562 21 8 11
State 7 3,429 26 1 0 0
Transportation 90 33,859 6,158 279 438 445
Treasury 37 117,766 3,501 128 128 196
Veterans Affairs 62 165,797 2,364 134 33 119
EEOC 1 1,877 99 4 3 7
EPA 10 8,334 82 13 1 3
FDIC 7 5,886 96 0 6 3
GPO 19 2,978 122 5 1 1
GSA 22 9,287 161 16 3 4
NASA 21 11,831 93 3 2 6
NRC 1 2,171 84 2 1 0
OPM 6 1,800 35 5 2 1
SSA 8 51,506 1,327 37 98 55
USIA 2 2,290 34 2 0 0
All Others 55 14,761 393 8 1 5
Totals 2,181 1,093,602 23,965 946 912 1,152

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Table 4: Dollar Value of Space, Equipment, and Supplies Provided to Unions by Major Agency for the First Six Months of Calendar Year 1998
AgencyBU's# of BU Employees$ Value of Federally Funded Office Space$ Value of Federally Funded Equipment$ Value of Federally Funded Telephone Use$ Value of Federally Funded SuppliesTotal $ Value of Space, Equipment, Tel. and Supplies
Agriculture 87 38,921 $ 99,081 $ 45,489 $ 43,099 $ 50,666 $ 238,335
Commerce 48 14,816 $ 19,694 $ 22,858 $ 1,290 $ 216 $ 44,058
Air Force 133 112,109 $ 349,342 $ 62,654 $ 11,672 $ 4,036 $ 427,704
Army 448 135,679 $ 615,417 $ 99,294 $ 30,264 $ 9,353 $ 754,328
Navy 452 125,563 $ 387,662 $ 63,560 $ 26,395 $ 11,715 $ 489,332
DOD (other) 356 109,655 $ 630,468 $ 127,115 $ 26,805 $ 19,008 $ 803,396
Education 1 3,140 $ 25,541 $ 5,945 $ 4,319 $ 0 $ 35,805
Energy 17 9,029 $ 22,821 $ 15,890 $ 2,299 $ 547 $ 41,557
HHS 112 24,426 $ 191,735 $ 32,301 $ 20,434 $ 5,827 $ 250,297
HUD 7 9,876 $ 122,620 $ 29,160 $ 10,661 $ 6,135 $ 168,576
Interior 146 22,304 $ 123,753 $ 21,785 $ 8,617 $ 5,965 $ 160,120
Justice 23 43,427 $ 683,193 $ 67,539 $ 12,117 $ 4,360 $ 767,209
Labor 3 11,085 $ 72,820 $ 0 $ 1,176 $ 0 $ 73,996
State 7 3,429 $ 18,093 $ 0 $ 9,449 $ 0 $ 27,542
Transportation 90 33,859 $ 404,195 $ 31,911 $ 34,046 $ 5,526 $ 475,678
Treasury 37 117,766 $ 947,315 $ 73,647 $ 73,682 $ 17,633 $ 1,112,277
Veterans Affairsviii 62 165,797 $ 1,062,155 $ 722,535 $ 88,720 $ 38,704 $ 1,912,114
EEOC 1 1,877 $ 18,497 $ 1,500 $ 1,205 $ 367 $ 21,569
EPA 10 8,334 $ 49,798 $ 10,857 $ 5,956 $ 2,050 $ 68,661
FDIC 7 5,886 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
GPO 19 2,978 $ 33,259 $ 0 $ 217 $ 0 $ 33,476
GSA 22 9,287 $ 216,588 $ 8,958 $ 12,893 $ 1,140 $ 239,579
NASA 21 11,831 $ 93,832 $ 6,004 $ 4,616 $ 236 $ 104,688
NRC 1 2,171 $ 6,778 $ 10,821 N/A N/A $ 17,599
OPM 6 1,800 $ 27,250 $ 0 $ 828 $ 0 $ 28,078
SSA 8 51,506 $ 172,000 $ 3,700 $ 110,000 see ix $ 285,700
USIA 2 2,290 $ 30,100 $ 0 $ 358 $ 0 $ 30,458
All Others 55 14,761 $ 137,737 $ 21,950 $ 8,762 $ 2,188 $ 170,637
Totals 2,181 1,093,602 $ 6,561,744 $ 1,485,473 $ 549,880 $ 185,672 $ 8,782,769

 

Notes

  1. Bargaining Unit data is from the January 1997 edition of the United States Office of Personnel Management's Union Recognition in the Federal Government.

  2. The number of employees represented by bargaining units for all agencies except for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is from the January 1997 edition of Union Recognition in the Federal Government. HHS data was updated with the Official Time Survey.

  3. Social Security Administration (SSA) did not report official time precisely in the manner in which it was requested. OPM interpretation was required to combine categories. This was due to differences in a long established system used by SSA which did not easily translate into the categories used by OPM. Although official time by category may not be accurate due to OPM extrapolation, the total number of official time hours used is exactly as reported. SSA categories are Bargaining, FLRA/MSPB proceedings, EEOC proceedings, Management-filed grievances, Travel Time, Union initiated grievances and other on-going labor management relations. OPM combined Bargaining and FLRA/MSPB into Negotiations, EEOC proceedings and Management-filed grievances into Dispute Resolution, and Travel Time, Union initiated grievances and other on-going labor management relations, and official time used for partnership activities into the third category, General Labor-Management Relationship.

  4. Per the SSA submission: AEffective January of 1998 SSA began tracking partnership time separate and apart from official time. After considerable deliberations and a review by our General Counsel, we decided that it was not appropriate to consider partnership activities as official time. Because E.O. 12871 created a vastly distinct entity in partnership councils and the creation of partnership was clearly intended to be a departure from the traditional way that labor and management interact in Government, it was not appropriate to consider such activity as official time. OPM took the liberty of reporting this time as part of the General Labor-Management Relations category. Within the other agencies grouping, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that some the data received from its field operations was inconsistent or incomplete. To facilitate the timely completion of this report, the EEOC reported estimates based upon historical knowledge in those instances of incomplete field data.

  5. All other agencies are those agencies in which OPM received a response to the Official Time Survey but represent a smaller number of bargaining unit employees than individual agency listings. No responses were received from the National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, Export-Import Bank, International Boundary and Water Commission, Commission on Civil Rights, Trade and Development Agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, or the Library of Congress. The total number of employees represented by unions in these organizations is 7,888. The number of bargaining unit recognitions for these organizations is 10 recognitions.

  6. Amounts have been rounded to the nearest dollar.

  7. FDIC was unable to estimate a dollar value of official time usage due to a wide variety of factors including the impact of a pay banding system and Regional Pay Differentials.

  8. The Department of Veterans Affairs believes that the numbers it has reported for office space and equipment may be inflated for the following reasons: (1) some field facilities based their figures on a yearly basis instead of six months and in the case of equipment provided, (2) some facilities counted equipment that was provided at a time other than the survey period. In addition, one union representative objected to the way the survey was collected from her facility and considers the data inaccurate.

  9. This amount is included in the category Dollar Value of Federally Funded Equipment.

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