WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, the exclusive representative for 45,000 bargaining unit employees at the Social Security Administration, strongly supports lawmakers’ calls to increase funding for the agency to address budget shortfalls, increased workloads, and staffing shortages that are threatening the program’s viability.
Seventy members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to leaders on the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday urging them to increase SSA’s operating budget by “the highest amount possible” as they complete work on the fiscal 2023 appropriations process.
In response, AFGE National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement:
“Social Security is a critical source of income for tens of millions of Americans, yet the agency’s ability to administer these vital benefits is in jeopardy due to years of inadequate budgets, a rapid increase in beneficiaries, and a failure to invest in the employees who manage these programs.
“The number of Social Security beneficiaries has risen by 21% over the past 11 years, yet the agency’s workforce is at a 25-year low. Employees are overloaded, overworked, and underpaid. SSA used to be one of the best places to work in the federal government, but it is now among the worst in surveys of employee morale.
“SSA is facing an imminent staffing crisis, with four out of 10 SSA employees saying in a recent survey conducted by our union that they plan to leave the agency within the next year. SSA needs an immediate cash infusion so it can address these staffing shortages and make up for years of budgets that have failed to keep pace with inflation.
“I call on members of Congress to support their colleagues’ calls to provide SSA with the budget it needs to address these challenges and prevent any interruptions or delays in the delivery of vital benefits and services to the American public.”