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Aug 9, 2012

A Very Bad Sign

     From the Federal Times:
The Social Security Administration on Monday offered early retirements to 9,000 employees, almost 14 percent of its workforce.
Anyone taking voluntary early retirement must retire by Sept. 30. The offers are effective immediately, SSA said in an e-mail to Federal Times. SSA is not offering buyouts.
To be eligible, employees must have completed 20 years of creditable service and be at least 50 years of age, or have at least 25 years of creditable service at any age. They must have been continuously on SSA’s payroll since Dec. 26, 2011. ...
SSA currently has more than 62,000 employees. The agency already is struggling with last year’s 6 percent reduction in staffing, which has forced it to rely on overtime or close field offices to the public a half-hour early.
SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue told the Senate Finance Committee on May 17 that further cuts in fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013 would force the agency to cut its hours even further next year.
Staffing cuts also could hurt SSA’s ability to reduce its claims backlog, which has troubled the agency for years.
      This strongly suggests that the agency is trying to avoid or reduce furloughs once the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
     There's no question about who's responsible for this. It's Congressional Republicans.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Or Obama's complete lack of leadership on the issue. He's overspending by a trillion dollars a year but can't find a couple billion to boost SSA's budget. Let's see what choices he makes on the sequestration items that he has to produce in the next 30 days.

    7:16 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Charles, There is NO money! The spending you continue to champion has to stop before we end up like Greece. It's not that complicated!

    9:07 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    right, congressional republicans are responsible for lower tax revenues and high unemployment! What about banks and other commercial entities that essentially bankrupted our economy? What about the fact that our uneducated workforce is unable to adapt to changing demand?

    9:50 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Give me a $25,000 buyout and I'm gone. Already in the KMA club, so the early out means nothing to me.

    9:54 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "What about the fact that our uneducated workforce is unable to adapt to changing demand?" Which party's president set up the Dept of ED, and which party keeps it from being shutdown, and teachers vote mostly for which party?

    9:58 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Would love a furlough. It is the only way I will ever get any extended leave approved anyway and I can manage on my savings for a month.

    10:23 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    More upside down thinking here. SSA is rated as one of the best jobs in the federal governement. Those newly hired ALJs, Sr. Atty, and support staff at the NHC will not be taking early out, but field office staff CRs and SRs that deal with the public will be looking to jump as they are the ones that deal with the heat from the public. Payment center, ODAR, HR and the countless others do not deal directly with the public and love the high pay and low pressure. Who suffers? The public as SSA suffers a brain drain at the field office level, the problems will move higher in the SSA food chain.

    11:58 AM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I agree, the CR and SR jobs are high burnout jobs. 25 years is about as much as anyone could be expected to tolerate.

    12:31 PM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Republicans are to blame??? This might be the most partisan and uneducated comment you have ever made, but it's hard to judge because there are so many. I worked for SSA for almost 20 years and they offered early outs almost every year - regardless of who controlled Congress or the White House. You lose any credibility when you continue to make ridiculous, partisan statements.

    12:47 PM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    We've had early out in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012. It's a wonder there's anyone left with any experience!

    2:12 PM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Is the KMA Club the same as the fed up club? Why are all budget problems blamed on federal employees? My guess is that SSA is on the road to being privatized. It is time for everybody to start reading the Wall Street Journal and preparing for a life with our money in the stock market. I wonder if the public is ready for the ups and downs of the stock market.

    11:52 PM, August 09, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    After two years of pay freezes,and with SSA having one of the oldest workforces in the Federal government, I'm amazed that there isn't a mass rush to the exits, early-out or not.

    12:55 PM, August 10, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Chuckles,

    I oftentimes disagree with you, but you're dead on here.

    I would bet a month's salary that the dolts who are saying we are broke and just can't afford to spend as much: 1) had nothing to say when we started either of these pointless, infinitely long-lasting, expensive wars until about a year ago at earliest; 2) want no cuts to defense spending, their own personal government spending benefits (such as mortgage interest deduction, medicare, lower capital gains rate, etc.); 3) think we should attempt to tackle this huge deficit with only or primarly spending cuts; 4) do not realize that a great deal of government spending on those ghastly, lazy "others" actually helps the economy (consumer demand -- who spends more on consumer goods and drives the economy, the broke person given a few hundred more, or the wealthy person already putting millions in a hedge fund or overseas investing getting an extra couple hundo thou back?).

    As long as we want to have capitalism in this country, a distinctly consumerist version at that, the folks at the top have to realize they can't be too greedy and have to leave enough for everyone else for the consuming to continue and to forestall the Reign of Terror and the guillotines.

    2:45 PM, August 10, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    KMA Club = Kiss My @ss Club. Once you hit 55 and can retire without a penalty, you are in the KMA club. Manager gives you any crap, it's KMA, I'm out of here.

    4:16 PM, August 10, 2012  
    Anonymous Jane said...

    Federal employees are hardly going to run for the hills yet. Some of them are already at the top of their grades and suffering from the frozen annual raise (for all federal agencies). It's not a matter of job duties. It's a matter of surviving financially.

    2:32 AM, August 11, 2012  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan spell disaster for federal employee benefits. Both are willing to cut entitlements and employee benefits drastically. Welcome to our new reality.

    7:51 AM, August 11, 2012  

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