AFGE LOCAL 3571

INTRODUCTION

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) General Committee and the Social Security Administration herein charters a workgroup in accordance with the understanding entered into during the AFGE/SSA Forum.  Where not specifically provided, terms of the Forum Charter regarding workgroups apply.

 

PURPOSE

The purpose of this workgroup is to address issues and concerns of Agency veterans by making recommendations to the Forum for its approval and submission to the Agency for consideration. 

Workgroup Preliminary Recommendations (WPR) do precisely this, as they site issues and concerns of SSA’s Vets, as well as to site recommendations, which have been and will continue to be provided to the Forum.  Let it be made clear here that there are a multitude of improvements to be made for SSA’s Vets.  A solid starting point that will allow the success of such improvements first “depends” on the acknowledgement of issues and concerns sited in the WPR and acceptance and implementation of our recommendations.  The WPR are crucial foundational, substantive recommendations that will permit SSA to continue on with any future successes for our Veterans.  The Workgroup believes that the starting point for our overall success is for the Commissioner to implement the WPR as directives to management.  Once that is achieved, then we can move forward with adding any other needed objectives for our Veterans.    

 

OBJECTIVES

1.  To assist the Agency in the development of training material to help management and employees understand and address the needs of veterans.

WPR do precisely this, as they assist the agency in recognizing issues and concerns of SSA’s Vets, as well as, provide training and material recommendations so that management and employees understand and are able to address the needs of Vets.

2. To develop a communication plan to educate veterans on existing upward mobility and career development plans.

Objective 2 is an important objective, as it is an important component in improving the lives of Veterans at SSA, however.  The Workgroup strongly believes that such an objective can only achieve true success if it comes subsequent to the acknowledgement of issues and concerns sited in the WPR, because within the WPR are crucial foundational, substantive recommendations for which such objectives as objective 2 can even be practically possible and successful. 

3. To develop recommendations (as appropriate, may include training, communicating, educating veterans about existing programs, or other appropriate methods) regarding issues veterans may encounter in the workplace.  Such issues may include, but are not limited to:

  • Educating employees and/or managers on issues and conditions facing veterans (keeping in mind privacy rights on issues such as PTSD, Reasonable Accommodation, etc.)
  • Veteran’s benefits and the Agency’s role in facilitating access to such benefits
  • Mentoring programs
  • Educating appropriate individuals in the hiring process and veterans on accounting for military experience
  • Keeping employees informed about veteran’s programs offered by the Agency and the VA
  • Advising veterans on military leave and leave issues
  • Identifying veterans and enhancing communication to/among veterans
  • Information we can provide veterans at orientation
  • Potential survey of Agency veterans in accordance with term agreement
  • Veteran support group


Objective 3 is also an important objective, as it involves important components in improving the lives of Veterans at SSA.  However, as mentioned at the beginning, the Workgroup strongly believes that such an objective can only achieve true success if it comes subsequent to the acknowledgement of issues and concerns sited in the WPR, because within the WPR are crucial foundational, substantive recommendations for which such objectives as cited in the charter, can even be practically possible and successful. 

 MEMBERSHIP

The workgroup will consist of six (6) individuals – three (3) Union and three (3) management, and one (1) facilitator, if necessary.  The workgroup will convene in Baltimore, Maryland at SSA Headquarters within sixty (60) days from the date of this charter for one week (M/F travel days) to commence working on the objectives outlined above.  The Agency will provide appropriate support, including paying travel and per diem, space and equipment, for the workgroup members during this meeting.  Thereafter, the workgroup will meet via technology on a bi-weekly basis to finalize deliverables to the Forum.  These meetings (via technology) will be for up to 3 hours each.  The workgroup’s time will be considered Forum duty time.  Members will also be afforded up to 2 hours of prep time before each meeting after the initial in-person meeting.  This time will also be considered Forum duty time.  Workgroup members should work with their supervisors to schedule such time due to workload considerations. 

 

DELIVERABLES

The workgroup will prepare a report for each objective containing an analysis and recommendation for submission to the National Forum by August, 2015.  This report should include various recommended plans with options and timelines for implementation of each objective with estimated costs to the Agency.  The workgroup will provide monthly status reports to the National Forum to solicit comments from Forum members before proceeding with a final report.

Once the final report is submitted, the Forum will have a thorough discussion of each objective and submit agreeable recommendations to the Agency.  Should the union and management members of the Forum not agree on certain input or recommendations, either Forum co-chair may submit information on behalf of their party, noting that the recommendation did not receive consensus and therefore doesn’t constitute a joint recommendation of the Forum.

 

FOR THE AGENCY                                       FOR THE UNION

 

 

__________________________                    __________________________

Tom Funciello, Forum Co-Chair                        Witold Skwierczynski, Forum Co-Chair

 

AFGE / SSA Veteran's


Workgroup Charter