Senators question SSA's tactics while implementing workforce EOs
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Jul 27, 2018
Two Maryland lawmakers have a penned a letter expressing concern about how the Social Security Administration has been implementing President Trump’s recent workforce executive orders.
The executive orders, which were issued in May and went into effect this month, limit union employees’ ability to use official time, shorten collective bargaining negotiations and encourage agencies to fire employees instead of conducting long investigations into misconduct.
“…it has come to our attention that SSA has demonstrated particular hostility towards its workforce in the way it is implementing the executive orders,” Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin wrote in a letter to SSA Deputy Commissioner Nominee David Black, adding that, “SSA leadership has exceeded even the dubious authority provided by these orders.”
According to the pair, although the executive orders make clear that agencies should not overrule or void bargaining agreements that have not yet expired, some SSA workers have reported the agency is doing just that.
“SSA leadership has abrogated its collective bargaining agreements by slashing official time available to unions to fulfill their statutory duties for SSA workers,” the pair wrote, adding that they have also refused to provide agreed-upon reimbursement for union members to travel for arbitrations and negotiations, have cancelled existing reservations, and have evicted unions from office space that SSA agreed to provide in collective bargaining.
They are asking Black for “assurance” that he will not continue these practices if confirmed and to also rescind unilateral changes that SSA has already made, in addition to explaining any role he may have had in these implementations.
Read the full letter here.