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Instead of serving taxpayers, agents spend thousands of hours serving union bosses

IRS employees spend hundreds of thousands of hours each year doing taxpayer-funded work for their labor union.

1,421 IRS and other Treasury Department employees spent 353,820 hours of taxpayer-funded union time (TFUT) in 2019. About 80 percent of all Treasury employees are employed by the IRS, so the vast majority of employees using TFUT would have been IRS workers.

This time comes out of their normal workday, when they should be assisting taxpayers and doing their job.

The compensation costs for this time were $17.27 million. Individuals on TFUT may also freely use government property, a cost amounting to $2.5 million. The $2.5 million cost represents the value of the free or discounted use of government property the agency has provided to the labor organization, and the expenses the agency paid in relation to activities conducted on TFUT (such as travel or per diems).

These employees are conducting work for the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which dedicates 97 percent of its political spending to Democrats. Taxpayers are essentially funding these efforts.

President Biden wants to shovel $80 billion into the Internal Revenue Service to hire 86,852 new agents.

Taxpayer-funded union time accounts for several different activities, including preparing for and negotiating bargaining agreements. Specifically, there are four different categories of TFUT:

  • “Term Negotiations” refer to time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
  • “Mid-Term Negotiations” is a category which refers to time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
  • “Dispute Resolution,” is when TFUT is “used to file and process grievances up to and including arbitrations and to process appeals of bargaining unit employees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority and, as necessary, to the courts.”
  • “General Labor-Management Relations” is a category which represents all union activity that isn’t described in the other three categories.

Evidently, considering the fourth category, there’s few restrictions on what kind of union work employees are allowed to conduct while being paid with taxpayer dollars. Alarmingly, taxpayers must foot the bill for union employees to negotiate even higher salaries that the taxpayer must also pay for.

This massive influx of IRS agents would lead to a surge in union dues paid to the left-wing National Treasury Employees Union, which collects dues from roughly 70,000 current IRS employees. 

The left-wing NTEU represents 150,000 taxpayer-funded federal employees across 34 departments and agencies. Existing IRS employees comprise nearly half of NTEU’s total membership.  

NTEU’s dues range from $16 per pay period to $23 per pay period, and IRS agents are paid biweekly. If all 86,852 Biden IRS agents were forced to unionize, all dues collected per year would amount to $33,351,168 – $47,942,304 for the union.

NTEU shovels 97 percent of its PAC money into Democrat campaign coffers. In the 2019-2020 campaign cycle, NTEU’s political action committee raised $838,288. Out of $609,000 in spending on federal candidates, an overwhelming 97.04 percent went to Democrats.

Recipients include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

The massive influx in union dues generated by the Biden IRS agents will likely lead to a corresponding increase in NTEU PAC spending on Democrat candidates.

Doing this kind of work on the backs of taxpayers is unacceptable. In order to ensure IRS employees do their job and help taxpayers during filing season, Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the IRS Customer Service Improvement Act. This bill would prohibit agency employees from engaging in taxpayer-funded union time during tax filing season, ensuring that agency employees are doing what they are paid to do.

IRS employees should spend their time helping frustrated taxpayers file their taxes. Each year the IRS hangs up on millions of callers – a practice they refer to as “Courtesy Disconnects.” The Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS) found that the IRS only answered 24 percent of the more than 100 million calls they received. Even worse, many of these answers are automated. Currently, if you call the IRS, you have a 1-in-50 chance of reaching a human being. For some perspective, 353,820 hours used on TFUT could have been used to answer over 1.6 million calls.

IRS agents spend thousands of hours serving union bosses but can’t even be bothered to change the ink cartridges on agency printers and copiers. A recent Treasury Inspector General report found that 42% of printers and copiers are not functioning, often because the employees simply refuse to, or do not know how, to change an ink cartridge.