The Office of Personnel Management is issuing this guidance to help departments and agencies report on the number of hours of official time used by unions to perform representational functions in Fiscal Year 2004. Please complete your agency’s report and submit it to OPM no later than March 4, 2005.
Scope of Report
Each department and agency will submit a single consolidated report that encompasses all sub-components. Your report should cover all agency components with the exception of non-appropriated fund instrumentalities.
Only those representational activities related to labor relations, such as those provided for by 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 and collective bargaining agreements, should be reported. Agencies should not report activities under non-labor relations laws or regulations (e.g., civil rights laws or agency administrative grievance procedures).
Agencies should provide the actual or best estimate of the number of hours of official time used by employees in FY 2004. Agencies are being asked to report total official time hours used to perform representational functions. In addition, agencies are being asked to break out total hours, categorizing them into one of four categories related to the activities for which official time 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 reporting categories are provided in Definitions & Terminology below.
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.
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.
Completing the Report
A. Each report will provide:
B. Provide the actual or best estimate of the number of hours of official time used to perform representational functions in FY 2004. Total official time hours should be categorized into one of the four designated categories of official time. If actual data on official time is not available, you may estimate the hours of official time based on the best available data or use standard statistical sampling methods. If you provide an estimate or sample, please explain the methodology that was used.
C. Provide any information that may explain unusually high or low usage of official time during FY 2004 as compared to prior years.
D. OPM encourages each agency to work with their labor organizations to help determine or verify the information reported.
Due Date and Submission Instructions
Please complete your report by Friday, March 4, 2005. In addition to forwarding hard copies, we are asking agencies to also submit reports electronically, forwarding them via email to Paula Lucak at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copies should be mailed to: U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Center for Workforce Relations and Accountability Policy, 1900 E. Street, NW, Room 7H28, Washington, DC 20415.