In Florida's most populous county, union representation comes at a steep price for taxpayers.
Instead of showing up for work and doing the public-sector jobs they were hired to do, dozens of Miami-Dade County employees are showing up for their unions and representing union members against the county that employs them.
While union members are entitled to representation, having the county pay for it is an expensive practice.
"In essence one could argue that we've set aside a position that we pay - not only salary but benefits and all the other items that come along with county employment - and that person basically never does work for us, ever," County Commissioner Esteban Bovo told Florida Watchdog.
Bovo is trying to end or somehow reduce the custom that he says is costing taxpayers anywhere from $12 to $24 million annually.
Coworkers also are forced to pick up the slack for their missing colleague, and other county budget items are receiving less funding as a result.