WASHINGTON – Negotiators for 42,000 Social Security Administration employees represented by the American Federation of Government Employees have reached agreement with the agency on an updated nationwide contract that will remain in place through October 2029.
AFGE and SSA agreed on updates to six articles of the contract, originally ratified in 2019, covering such issues as employee training and career development, employee rights, child care and elder care, disciplinary and adverse actions, and employee details to alternative duty stations. The entire contract also will be extended until Oct. 25, 2029. The new contract will take effect after it has been ratified by employees.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of these negotiations,” said AFGE Council 215 President Rich Couture, who served as the union’s chief negotiator. “This truly was a team effort, from the folks at the bargaining table to the support we received from AFGE National and members of the public who rallied with us in support of our mission and the benefits we deliver to tens of millions of Americans.”
The contract covers about 42,000 employees represented by AFGE Councils 220 (field offices), 215 (hearings and appeals), 109 (payment centers), and 224 (quality review) and AFGE Locals 1923 (headquarters) and 2809 (operations center).
One significant result of the contract negotiations is an agreement to launch a new labor-management partnership effort intended to address issues affecting both employees and beneficiaries in a more proactive manner. These new union-management cooperation councils will be chaired and jointly run by union and agency leaders.
“The new terms in this contract will go a long way toward improving working conditions for employees, which in turn will result in better customer service for SSA beneficiaries,” said AFGE Council 220 President Jessica LaPointe, who led the union’s contract action team. “Now we have to turn our attention to making sure Congress provides us with resources and support we need.”
While achieving agreement on the updated contract was a significant victory, AFGE is still fighting to ensure SSA receives the funding it needs to carry out its mission. The House has proposed a $350 million cut to SSA’s operating budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, ignoring requests by the administration and AFGE to raise SSA’s budget significantly to address staffing shortages and backlogs that are affecting service delivery.
“If our spending is cut, a lot of what we want to do under this new contract to improve working conditions for employees and customer service for SSA beneficiaries will be completely undermined,” Couture said.