The Stand

Picket against Social Security cuts Thursday across state

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On Thursday, Oct. 27, Social Security Administration employees and their supporters will engage in informational picketing and leafleting at SSA offices throughout the nation to call attention to the dramatic proposed cuts in administrative funding and staffing that would undermine SSA services. If these cuts come to pass, many more of the agency’s 1,500 field offices would close, phone calls would go unanswered, and benefit applications and other critical workloads would become seriously backlogged, resulting in delayed and incorrect benefit payments.

In addition, the so-called Super Committee in Congress is threatening to cut payments for current and future SSA beneficiaries. The American Federation of Government Employees released new state-specific reports today highlighting the benefits of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the constituents of each member of the Super Committee, including Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Download Washington’s report.

Thursday’s nationwide informational picket is being led by AFGE, the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, with support from the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org.

“These administrative cuts are another way in which the enemies of Social Security are attempting to discredit and dismantle it,” said Steve Kofahl, President of AFGE Local 3937. “It is a deliberate effort to harm public confidence in the program and in its employees who work hard every day to deliver compassionate, timely and accurate service.”

TAKE A STAND! AFGE Local 3937 is calling on allied labor and community organizations to join with SSA employees and participate in informational picket lines at the following times and locations on Thursday:

Auburn — 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. — GSA Complex on corner of C Street SW & 15 Street SW– Contact: Dana Brown, 253-921-6619

Everett — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — 8625 Evergreen Way — Contact: Carrie Kofahl, 425-478-5576

Kent — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — 321 Ramsay Way — Contact:  Ting Kray, 253-653-3390

Longview — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — 1145 – 14th Ave. — Contact: Leah Currier, 360-261-8770

Portland — Noon to 1:15 p.m. — 1538 SW Yamhill — Contact: Leisl Stientjes, 503-473-4938

Portland — 11:430 a.m. to 1 p.m. — 17925 SE Division — Contact: Penny Arken, 866-964-9957 ext. 18323

Portland — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — 333 SW 1st Ave. — Debra Churchman, 866-964-6291 ext. 28255

Puyallup — 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — 811 South Hill Park Drive — Contact: Jewel Abdul-Matin 253-509-4374

Seattle — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — 2201 – 6th Ave. — Contact: Susan Blackwell, 425-263-2629

Seattle — 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — 675 S. Lane — Contact: Steve Kofahl, 425-275-8770

Silverdale — 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. — 9594 Mickelberry Road NW — Contact: Ivan Weich, 360-731-9782

 

Spokane — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Corner of Trent & Hamilton

Tacoma — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — 2608 S. 47th St. — Contact: Stefanie Beach, 910-545-4471

This year’s SSA budget is nearly $1 billion below the amount the president requested. As a result of those cuts, SSA implemented an agencywide hiring freeze with the exception of the hearings operations.  This resulted in a loss of more than 3,500 SSA and DDS (Disability Determination Service) employees.  More than 300 contact stations were closed, eliminating in-person services in many rural and remote sites.  SSA indefinitely suspended mailing the Social Security statements, without advance notice to the public, eliminating an important link between young workers and the benefits they will receive when they retire.

Additionally, some members of Congress want across-the-board cuts from the FY11 level, which would be extremely detrimental. Across the board cuts, such as the 5% discussed by some, would result in the imposition of 24 furlough days for every SSA and DDS employee, and a resulting loss of service to SSA beneficiaries.

By law, the operations expenses for Social Security are paid by the Social Security Trust Fund. Social Security does not account for the current federal deficit problem. In fact, Social Security neither increases nor reduces the federal deficit since the program is entirely self-financed.

Please join SSA employees at the locations listed above and urge all to Protect Social Security!

Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=6451

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