Officials in 3,500 government units are searching files to find out how much paid leave time, and free or cutrate office space and equipmnet Unicle Sam provides union leaders.
The unprecedented show-and-tell operation was triggered by a wave of Freedom of Information Act requests to 53 agencies and departments by the Public Service Research Foundation. The Vienna, Va.-based group is the "action arm" of a council allied with Americans Against Union Control of Governemnt.
It believes the government has become too chummy with unions negotiating with government. The AAUCG is a dirty word to federal union leaders. They claim it is out to kill, rather than control, public sector union.
David Y. Denholm, head of the Foundation, says the data will be used in compiling a report "for the taxpayers, to let them know to what extent government is subsideizing unions in government."
Federal unions say union representation is encouraged by law, and that cooperation between agencies and union officials in scheduling official time off to conduct union business, and in providing free or low-cost office space for unions is an accpeted fact.
A spokesman for the American Federation of Government Employes said the foundation is a "right wing, antiunion organization designed specifically to destroy unions in the public service." He said it is linked with the National Right to Work Committee, a national organization that opposes the union shop in public and private exployment.
Denholm told this column his organization is not connected to the committee, althought it does "share many of the same objectives and we frequently work together." He said the Public Service Research Council, parent of the research foundation, is not a big business front, but is supported by individual contributions. In the last fiscal year, Denholm said, 90 percent of its 328,156 contributions-totaling $6.6 million-came from individual rather than corporate contributions.
The AFGE has objected to the foundation's requests, on grounds that much of the data on pay and time off would violate the right of privacy of individual governemnt exployes who happen to be union leaders.
Prounion and antiunion forces in Congress are expected to use the requests, and data from them, to prove some sort of conspiracy against their affected constituents.
Federal officials who are caught in the middle of the squabble know only one thing for sure. It sure is causing their staffs a lot of extra work.
Parklawn building: HEW workers there will get a noon-time ( bring your lunch) briefing on the new civil service reform law. Don McItyre, head of the American Federation of Government Employes, Washington region, is the briefer. Nonmembers welcome in Conference Room E.
CIA Jobs: The agency is looking for Grade 12 or 13 classification/position management officers. Send 171 to the personnel office, Washington 20505.
Electrical Engineers: Army at For tBelvoir has Grade 5 through 12 openings. Call 664-6466.
Part-time Computer Types: Interstate Commerce Commission has two permanent, part-time computer systems analyst jobs. Work 20 to 30 hours a week. Must have CS status or rating. If you don't know what that is, you don't have it. Call 275-7414.
James H. Boren, the very entertaining Ph.D., who heads the International Association of Professional Bureaucrats, is the luncheon speaker today at George Washington University's Marvin Center. The Association of Government Accountants is sponsoring the session. Pay-at-the-door price is $6. Call 431-3743, or show up for the social session at 11:30 a.m.
Cold Turkey In Greece: The pre-Christmas payroll for American Embassy staffers in Athens has been stolen. A messenger carrying the cash from a bank near the embassy was robbed. State will try to get replacedment dollars to workers soonest. On the bright side, it shows that the American dollar is still wanted in some places.