A letter to the editor of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
Recently, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration Andrew Saul announced that offices would be open all day on Wednesdays nationwide. Currently, offices are closed on Wednesday afternoons.
I have worked for Social Security for 18 years and currently work in a local field office. There will be consequences to this new policy that Saul did not disclose. Local workloads will increase. Staff currently use Wednesday afternoons to reduce workloads. That time will now be spent taking in more work with even less time to process it. Processing times will increase as the workloads increase.
Social Security staff take our service to the public seriously, and we want to do the best job we can. However, as workloads continue to increase, so does the pressure to process the work more quickly in less time. There will be a significant increase in employees who retire or leave as a result of the added stress. The majority of employees who leave are usually not replaced and it takes years for new employees to become proficient because of the complex and technical nature of the job. The employees who remain are even more stressed and the cycle continues.
The problem started when the agency made the poor decision to cut staffing when workloads increased as baby boomers aged. The problem will continue until the agency decides to hire enough frontline employees for us to be able to do our jobs correctly and provide the level of service the public deserves. With enough staffing, we could be open all day on Wednesday and allow time for employees to process work in a timely manner.I feel the work I do is important, and I want to provide the best service to the American public. However, Saul is implementing a policy that will make my job more difficult and ultimately affect the service to the American public.