Mar 23, 2009

How Many Employees Will Social Security Hire And How Will They Be Hired?

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has fired another shot in its ongoing battle with Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. Here are a few excerpts from a letter sent by Witold Skwierczynski, the head of the AFGE for Social Security, to Commissioner Astrue, sent just in time for tomorrow's House Ways and Means Committee hearing:

... [T]he Union has learned that you intend to fill the following vacancies:

  • 157 ALJs

  • 600-700 ODAR

  • 175 PSC

  • 125 TSC

  • 1450 Field – DCO

  • 1000 DDS

If these figures are accurate, rather than hiring 5000-6000 employees in SSA as you stated in your 2/17/09 Commissioner broadcast, the Agency is only hiring about 2600 SSA workers and 1000 DDS workers. The field which is about 58% of the SSA workforce will only receive about 25% of the new employees that you stated in your 2/17/09 broadcast that SSA would hire in 2009. ...

It is also evident that managers in the field have been instructed to use discredited non competitive hiring authorities such as the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) to fill SSA vacancies. Managers are informing employees that they are seeking new hires at colleges and using other non-competitive sources. Jobs are not being posted on the USA jobs network for competitive hires. ...

SSA’s own statistics indicate that in FY 08 62% of hires in SSA were done under FCIP. Only 4.68% of these hires were veterans. Only 26% of hires in SSA in FY 08 were done under competitive procedures. ...

AFGE has also received a number of reports from employees complaining that managers have used FCIP to hire their relatives, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, etc. Examples are the FCIP hire of Ryan Kulinski, son of Milwaukee DT District Manager Mark Kulinski or the FCIP hiring of Mark Fansler, nephew of Seattle Area Director Steve Dymale. Both Kulinski and Fansler were not only FCIP hires but they were quickly selected at the first opportunity to higher graded positions instead of highly qualified veteran employees who were not related to management. ... If the Agency persists in using FCIP as a hiring mechanism AFGE will seriously consider filing a law suit to force the Agency to terminate this hiring mechanism which was not ever designed for the routine hiring that SSA is using with stimulus revenue.


Anonymous said...

When can the Managers officially begin hiring? I have been in contact with a couple offices and they do have openings. However, they state that they have yet to receive the green light to begin interviews or name selections?

Anonymous said...

This is silly, our TSC hired more than 125 people last FY. We already have a training class of 41 TSRs. We have a USAJOB post for the next class of TSRs, historically we hire 4 classes worth a FY. If these numbers are accurate the Region X TSC will take the entire allotment of TSC personal, which is far from reality.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1: I believe most managers are taking a "see to believe" approach. Many may be getting their ducks in a row but will not be doing anything official until SSA appropriates the money and it is clear that they can make a move. Hopefully, things could be more clear by summer.

Anon #2: Great point.

Anonymous said...

Well, our HQ component has a few openings and we were told that it was "from on high" that the jobs be filled by outside hires. Great for folks wanting to come in, lousy for folks already here and looking to move up. I believe this is part of what the AFGE is focusing on. It goes without saying that unless you are a veteran, if you are older you have little chance of being hired as well.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job Withold! Milt Beever, Michael Astrue and the gang have routinely denied the Union access to information needed and necessary for representational purposes. Information that is provided to the Union is normally false, misleading and not relevant. It misrepresents the facts and designed to create chaos. There sould be an indepth investigation into Milton Beever, Astrue,as well as other component heads, including DCBFM and OGC. Clearly his actions and the actions of Astrue are blatantly an abuse of their positions. They have monopolized the federal government's ability to serve. Why can't they DO THE RIGHT THING and STOP the conspiracy tactics. What are the protecting? Who are they protecting? Why are they refusing to provide information regarding merit systems principles? Why have they not given credit where credit is due? Guess diehard Bushicks remain. Too bad, the employees can't STRIKE! SSA department heads should be ROLLING & OVERHAULED. What is Congress doing about this? Department heads denying current employees an opportunity to advance but, these same employees are needed to train. Give credit where credit is due. The employees know their responsibilities and can do it without the harassment by management. SSA needs a CLEAN SLATE and it should start at the top! And, those, family members, church members, neighbors, and frinds hired under the FCIP...remove them. Let them apply we did. See if they get hired.
Great job keeping track!!! Lies, lies, and more lies!