Shutterstock imageID: 281684063 By Mark Van Scyoc

Senators question SSA's tactics while implementing workforce EOs

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.

Reader comments

Tue, Jul 31, 2018

The next step must be to stop the gross mistreatment—past & present—of employees. SSA is notorious for not following any rules and railroading employees by creating severe hostile environments until they resign or are fired. Set up watch committees to visit individual offices after you receive complaints & take action to stop injustices. Words without action means nothing.

Tue, Jul 31, 2018 George Saufley

Trump looks out for trump.He wants blind obedience, trust and loyalty. He has no respect for smart-aware obedience, loyalty and mindful trust. Trust is mike a two sided coin there is the "blind trust" that destroys society and there is the "mindful trust" that builds society up.

Mon, Jul 30, 2018 Art Apicella Wantagh, NY

I would bet (and win) that the majority of federal employees, who are union members, would not have the solidarity to walk off the job.

Mon, Jul 30, 2018

Unfortunately for federal employees, it's an ULP to strike. Unless they don't mind being subjected to disciplinary action for violating the law.

Mon, Jul 30, 2018 Sam USA

No one ever gets anything from any employer unless they are willing to FIGHT for it. Sticking Together is the most powerful tool that workers have. Stick Together arm-in- arm and walk off on strike ALL Together. If you are not willing to Fight for your collective bargaining rights then you get what you deserve. "No Contract __ No work"

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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