IRS Details Millions of Hours and Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Union Activity

A House Committee chairman has released information from the IRS showing how much time agency employees were spending on official time.

Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) has released an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) response to his April 18, 2013 letter asking the IRS to document employees who leave their official duties to attend union training on the taxpayer’s dime.

In the response, the IRS stated that:

  • In FY2012, IRS employees used 573,319 hours on union activity – equivalent to 23,888 days.
  • In FY2013 (through June 2013), IRS employees have used 399,772 hours on union activity – equivalent to 16,657 days.  Based on the average federal salary, this represents $16 million in taxpayer-funded wages that went exclusively to union activity.
  • For FY2012 and FY2013, the IRS spent over $1 million on travel expenses for union activity.

The conference training materials attached to the response indicate that the subject matter was exclusively devoted to union activities.

In response, Chairman Boustany said, “It is ridiculous that the IRS can come before Congress and request an additional $1 billion while dedicating millions of taxpayer dollars on union related activities.  Until the IRS shows it is using its budget to better serve taxpayers, it should not come to Congress asking for more money.”

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47