A new federal report shows that the amount spent by taxpayers for union employees to do union work on government time is the highest it has ever been measured. Taxpayers now spend $155 million for this practice.

“Overall, federal employees spent about 3.4 million hours working for unions while receiving federally funded salaries — the highest total since 2004,” reports Government Executive. “That marks nearly a 10 percent increase from 2010, the largest jump from one year to the next since the data became available.”

The amount spent by taxpayers on union stewards is up by nearly $30 million in less than two years — from $129 million in 2009 to $155 million in 2011. National lawmakers have tried repeatedly over the years to increase oversight of the money.

But this problem isn’t limited to the federal government. Michigan taxpayers are still paying millions for union employees to advocate on public time.

Michigan Capitol Confidential broke the story of how much taxpayer money was being spent on strictly union business by sending Freedom of Information Act requests to every school district in the state. As of 2011, Michigan public schools spent at least $2.7 million every year paying for this arrangement and 25 districts were paying for at least one full-time union head to do non-educational work during the school day.

The local union president for the Chippewa Valley School District is a former elementary school teacher who receives more than $145,000 annually to deal 100 percent with union issues.

This person also went to a rally against right-to-work legislation on a school day this past December and compared the Legislature to the Nazi Party.

House Bill 4059 was passed by the Michigan House in 2011 to end this practice, but stalled in the Senate.