To our members,
We understand the pain and trauma of witnessing recent acts of violence in response to antiracist protests in our communities may negatively impact your mental health and ability to concentrate on work. Council 220 is dedicated to supporting and fighting for our members each and every day, and proudly endorse the full statement from AFGE President Everett Kelly on the nationwide protests that have come from recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. As President Kelly concluded:
“In our workplaces and in our communities, we must reject the culture of divisiveness and rancor that asks us to deny the inherent human dignity of our brothers and sisters because of their race, their creed, their religion, their gender, their age, their disability, or their sexual orientation. As a union, we will continue our struggle for unity and solidarity.
“With all of us working together, practicing compassion and empathy with our fellow citizens, and doing our part to promote the well-being of all, the good people of this country will secure that more perfect union, and the blessings of liberty and justice for every American.”
Council 220 been working to protect and defend the inherent human dignity of our brothers and sisters throughout our history. While the nation grapples with division and rancor, we have continued to fight for you. Earlier this week, we filed a grievance with SSA on behalf of our 27,000 members, defending your right to access the full benefits of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides federal employees with up to 2 weeks of paid sick leave for full-time employees if the employee is unable to work or remote work because the employee:
- Is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order for reasons related to COVID-19
- Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- Is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- Is caring for an individual who is under a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- Is caring for a child who school or place of care is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- Is experiencing other substantially similar conditions, as specified by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The act became effective on April 1, 2020. SSA did NOT implement the act on that date, and to date, still has not complied.
We know that SSA employees are going above and beyond to serve the public, address claims, and reduce the backlog all while remote working during a global pandemic. We shouldn’t have to take this action to demand that the agency follow the law and allow paid leave to employees who need it.
We filed this grievance to stand up for our employees and demand that SSA implement the EPSLA and prevent further harm to our members. We demand better from SSA.
Ralph de Juliis
AFGE Council 220 President
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