The Social Security Administration on Feb. 17 told the American Federation of Government Employees that it wants to start bargaining by March 22 over how it would enact a furlough.
Jay Clary, SSA's acting associate commissioner, told AFGE that the agency has not decided to furlough employees, but that it wants to figure out arrangements in case lawmakers order a governmentwide furlough or if budget negotiations fall apart and the government shuts down.
SSA Chief Human Capital Officer Reginald Wells said the agency has largely planned who would make up a "skeleton crew" that would have to keep working during a shutdown.
"Discussions [about how to implement a possible shutdown] are happening at a very high level on a regular basis these days," Wells said.
Most of those employees [who would keep working during a government shutdown] would have to maintain computer systems, facilities, and other elements of SSA's infrastructure, or provide security at buildings.