Joe Biden took only days as president to order that U.S. taxpayers begin again to pay the salaries of the officials for labor unions representing up federal workers.
President Trump had restricted the practice of giving federal employees their full federal salary and benefits package to do work that benefits only their unions.
But, a report at the Goldwater Institute reveals, on Biden’s instructions, federal unions now can have federal employees do their work – and U.S. taxpayers pay for it.
According to the report, Greg Mourad, of the National Right to Work Committee, considers the move “pure political payback.”
“He’s utterly beholden to big labor,” Mourad told the institute. “Reversing official time is the same thing as just giving the unions money, and the more money they have, the more they have to spend helping him and his friends stay in power.”
The price to taxpayers is not small.
The report explained, “Federal official time has been lucrative giveaway to public employee unions since it was created by federal law in the 1970s. In 2016, those unions were granted 3.63 million hours of official time to spend doing union business at a cost to taxpayers of $177.2 million.”
Trump, as part of his emphasis on doing the best for the nation, ordered in 2018 that such special benefits have limits.
He didn’t cancel the activity entirely but set restrictions on what is considered “reasonable” time allowed.
“Trump’s order also banned the use of official time for lobbying or other political activities, and ended full-time release for top union officials by requiring they spend at least three-quarters of their time doing their government jobs,” the institute reported.
Prior to that, some union officials were essentially getting paid by the government, and collecting full benefits, for doing nothing but union work all year long.
“The net effect of Trump’s order was to cut the amount of official time granted at taxpayer expense to about 2.6 million hours at a cost of about $135 million by 2019,” the report said.
In Biden’s payback to unions for their support, he also ordered federal agencies to reverse any limits they may have set on union time.
The report said 90% of the $68.5 million given by public sector union members to candidates in 2020 went to Democrats.
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