January 5, 2021 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Candace Rhett, IFPTE, 202-239-4880
Tim Kauffman, AFGE, 202-374-6491
AFGE, IFPTE call for change in SSA leadership
Unions reinforce AFGE Council 220, IFPTE Judicial Council 1/AALJ votes of no confidence
WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) joined together today calling for the ouster of Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black. The joint effort comes on the heels of last month’s overwhelming votes of no confidence in the SSA leaders by the members of AFGE Council 220, National Council of SSA Field Operations Locals, and IFPTE Judicial Council 1, the Association of Administrative Law Judges (JC1/AALJ).
AFGE National President Everett Kelley:
“SSA employees have withstood years of mismanagement and poor leadership under Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black, and this behavior has only been exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic. After ending employee telework in 2019 despite six years of a successful pilot, leadership bowed to pressure from lawmakers and the public in March of last year and allowed all employees to telework due to the pandemic. Yet SSA’s leaders have failed to communicate openly with employee representatives about a clear plan or vision for the agency amid the pandemic and have failed to provide any guidance on plans to return employees to the office in a safe manner. It is clear that the time has come for new leadership at SSA.”
IFPTE President Paul Shearon:
“During their Senate confirmation hearings, both Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black made a commitment under oath to work with the unions in good faith. However, under their leadership the Social Security Administration has achieved the unenviable distinction of being one of the most anti-worker, anti-union agencies in the entire federal government. Sadly, this is a distinction that the SSA leadership has embraced, as is evidenced by being out of the gate first in implementing President Trump’s executive orders intended to strip workers of their due process protections and undermine the ability of unions to represent their members. Our Social Security system is of such critical importance and value to the nation that we all deserve an SSA leadership team that values the workers who administer and deliver these services to the American public each and every day. For these reasons, the IFPTE International fully backs the vote of no confidence by the members of IFPTE Judicial Council 1, the Association of Administrative Law Judges, and calls for the immediate removal of Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black.”
AFGE Council 220 members unanimously voted no confidence in the SSA leadership, while 88% percent of IFPTE JC1/AALJ members voted no confidence.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
IFPTE is a labor union representing 90,000 federal, public, and private sector workers in the United States and Canada