After 27 months of negotiations, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have reached an agreement for the terms of the new national contract. The contract is valid for four years.
“It’s been a long road but we fought hard and proudly won improvements in benefits and working conditions for the employees of the Social Security Administration,” said AFGE National President John Gage, who worked as a disability examiner for the Social Security Administration and was a seminal player in reaching the deal.
Negotiations between AFGE and SSA have been ongoing, two weeks every month, since December 2009. AFGE referred the bargaining to the Federal Service Impasses Panel in September 2011, in reaction to the lack of progress in national contract negotiations.
“We made improvements in eye care and travel benefits, strengthened employee rights in the workplace and allowed for the union to have broader ability to represent employees in meetings with SSA management,” said AFGE Lead Negotiator Witold Skwierczynski. “I want to thank our negotiators, and the SSA negotiators, for the hard work, dedication and countless hours away from family it took to get to this point.”