AFGE is holding a rally and virtual town hall this month to shine a spotlight on personnel issues at the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The AFGE SSA General Committee, which represents a collective of 43,000 SSA employees, will host a rally on Oct. 26 at SSA’s headquarters in Woodlawn, Md.
AFGE Council 220 President Jessica LaPointe, who represents more than 26,500 employees in Social Security Field Operations and is one of the speakers at the rally, said SSA is in a recruitment and retention crisis. Staffing levels are at historic lows. Workloads are mounting and employee morale has deteriorated. The net result? Our ability to perform this vitally important anti-poverty work for the American public is severely compromised.
“The union has been sounding this alarm for years — SSA is severely underfunded, having devolved into an agency on life support,” she said. “We need swift and meaningful change.”
- SSA leadership that leads from the top with a vision. Employees need to feel like they are succeeding in carrying out the agency's mission;
- The President to appoint, and Congress to confirm, a permanent commissioner who is empowered to make bold decisions that will lead us into the future;
- Managers who treat employees with dignity and respect and will stop micromanaging and hyper-monitoring an already burnt-out workforce and pushing them to do more with less. This includes restoring dedicated processing time to reduce backlogs;
- Congress to understand the crisis at hand and swiftly fund the agency accordingly;
- An agency whose rhetoric matches reality, and which engages in meaningful partnership with the union to solve problems;
- Being competitive with remote work options and telework flexibilities in order to retain and continue to recruit the best and the brightest;
- An agency that recognizes the importance of work-life balance and allows employees to take leave when they need it and not contingent on workload demands;
The union is asking participants to wear red to show support for SSA employees. The event will also be livestreamed on Facebook.
On Thursday Oct. 20, AFGE Council 220 is also partnering with Social Security Works to host a virtual townhall to discuss Social Security, one of the nation’s most popular social safety net programs that currently serves 65 million people.
Social Security ensures individuals and their families a basic income if they can no longer work because of age or disability. The program is critical to tens of millions of American families, but the administration of the program is at a crisis point after years of neglect and underfunding. SSA used to be one of the best places to work for in the federal government. Today, it ranks as one of the worst. Employee morale is low, the agency is struggling to recruit and retain quality workers, and service to the public is suffering.
Join this virtual town hall and hear from SSA workers, Social Security experts and others on how SSA can better serve the public.
In conjunction with the virtual town hall, AFGE Council 220 will release policy recommendations for Congress and the Acting Commissioner, and results from an employee survey.
Watch live on AFGE’s Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 20th at 3pm EST
Do not view on duty time or on a government device.