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Sep 19, 2010

Union Awarded Attorney Fees

From Unity, the newsletter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) local which represents most Social Security employees:
The Social Security Administration has been ordered to reimburse AFGE more than $100,000 in legal fees. That’s how much the Union spent when it represented 16 employees who were suspended for allegedly misusing the agency's computer system.

In her decision, Arbitrator Mary Bass ruled that management in the Northeastern Program Service Center (NEPSC) knew or should have known that the excessive penalties imposed on the employees could not be sustained. She also said the Union was entitled to that money in the "interest of justice."

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  • 9 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It would be interesting to know more about the treatment of ssa employees's at work,such as this case.

    8:00 AM, September 19, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    THis is an ongoing issue in the agency. Certain managers in certain offices take it upon themselves to go after particular employees under the guise of misuse of systems. The rules on misuse of system are so vague an ambiguous that almost anyone can be written up at any given time for an alleged misuse violation, depending on the whim of the accuser. This has occupied a lot of management and union time, at significant cost to the taxpayers.
    That is why I, as a conservative, belong to the union--to prevent incompetent managers from wasting the taxpayers money.

    9:54 AM, September 19, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Huh? What? So as a conservative who supports unions, I suppose you would support returning the excessive number of union reps to 100% union duty, doing no Agency work, I guess this would also be a good use of taxpayer money as well.

    10:45 PM, September 19, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What excessive number of union reps are you talking about? One or two per 20-30 offices as used to be the case? Whatever the case, it is more than offset now by the reduced amount of union time available to the regular union reps who have trouble finding the time to defend their coworkers against abuses such as stated above which do result in wasted taxpayer dollars. This has always been the problem in SSA, regardless of which party has been in power.

    11:07 PM, September 19, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Before the 2005 contract, there were 104 100% union reps. That was 104 non-working, trouble-causing hacks.

    6:30 AM, September 20, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Right, 104 over 1300 offices.

    7:25 AM, September 20, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Those 104 employees represent probably $4-5 million in salary payments alone, not including subsidized health insurance and other benefits provided. And this total is probably on the low side, because most of the union folks at issue are GS-11 grade employees who make $50,000+ per year.

    This to employees who don't contribute one iota of useful work towards accomplishment of the agency's mission.

    Granted, there are useless pricks in management who wouldn't be otherwise employable picking up garbage off the side of the road. Everybody knows this, and AFGE can't do anything about these people. However, AFGE in its own way is every bit just as bad because they have no competition for member dues dollars.

    If I had to fight a grievance, I guarantee I'd hire my own representation. Our office found out the hard way once upon a time that you can't trust AFGE not to stab you in the back if your situation and their agenda don't jive. And don't say it can't happen - the union regs are full of loopholes which allow AFGE to maneuver in all sorts of ways to the detriment of very employees they represent. Been there, done that, and I'll quit my job before I give AFGE a single penny of my money ever again.

    6:23 PM, September 20, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I have had more than one union representative state, without hesitation, "I don't care about the public, I only care about the employees"? I have worked for intolerable managers before, but at least I believed that they actually cared about the claimants. I have worked along side enough lazy union representatives to know they only care about how not to work.

    10:40 PM, September 20, 2010  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A bad manager can do more harm to the public and waste more taxpayer money than all the 100% union reps put together. I have never seen such bad managent like they have in the DO's and TSC. ODAR is not too bad but it is slowly being infected by the DO idiot managers. DO management can be the worst. Petty, small minded Hitlers. Thats the DO managers description. They just cost the taxpayers 100K and that is just the cash payout never mind the soft costs.

    12:40 AM, September 21, 2010  

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