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Official Time

Official Time is duty time that is granted to a union representative to perform union representational functions, without charge to leave or loss of pay, when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status. The time is considered hours of work.

  • Official Time can be permitted for representational functions such as:
    • Contract or mid-term negotiations
    • Representing employees who file grievances
    • Any proceeding before the Federal Labor Relations Authority
    • For any employee representing an exclusive representative or any employee represented by an exclusive representative in any amount the agency and the exclusive representative agree to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest
  • Official Time is not permitted for conducting union’s internal business, such as:
    • Soliciting membership
    • Collecting union dues
    • Any matters relating to internal management and structure or union
  • Overtime for official time is not permitted.
  • A supervisor of a union official should ensure that the timekeeper is provided the specific number of official time hours used each day, per pay period, per representative. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) requires that all Federal agencies record official union time through the automated time and attendance system. Official time hours should be recorded using the following categories/codes:
    • Union Contract Negotiations – T&A Code 35: Sometimes referred to as term negotiations, this is official time used by union representatives to prepare for and negotiate a basic collective bargaining agreement or its successor.
    • Union Mid-Term Negotiations – T&A Code 36: This is official time used to bargain over issues raised during the life of a term agreement.
    • Union Ongoing LMR Activity – T&A Code 37: This is official time spent on general labor management relations (LMR); matters that are not covered by the other three categories. This includes, but is not limited to, meetings between management and the union to discuss general conditions of employment, labor-management committee meetings, labor relations training for union representatives, union participation in formal meetings and representation during investigatory interviews.
    • Union Grievances/Appeals – T&A Code 38: Sometimes referred to as dispute resolution, this is official time used to process grievances and appeals to various administrative agencies, including the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the courts.