A collaborative reentry plan between the Social Security Administration and its labor unions has now been agreed upon after the administrator pushed back the return date for an official return to Jan 3.
According to Yahoo, the acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said in a press release that, he is “very pleased to share that we have successfully reached an agreement with our three labor unions on our reentry plan.”
As a result of this winter’s onset of the omicron virus, previous plans for reentry this winter have also been thwarted.
In particular, Social Security offices faced labor union opposition to earlier reopening dates.
A potential reentry for the office was proposed in November 2021.
In the wake of their unions’ concerns and the omicron variant’s spread throughout the nation, in a statement posted to its blog, SSA said, “You may have seen a proposed reentry date of January 3, 2022, in the draft re-entry plan that we provided to our unions, or in the media. While some executives reentered on December 1, we have not set a reentry date for the rest of the agency.”
The Federal News reported earlier that Kijakazi speculated field offices to be able to accept in-person visits without an appointment by the end of April.
Currently, the end of March is the planned date for employees to return to work.
According to Federal News Network, in an email sent to SSA staff on Friday, the agency announced most employees will return on March 30.
Including teleworking schedules, this e-mail also included the number of days and times an employee would be permitted to work from home.
During the influenza pandemic, most Social Security offices have been closed, with the exception of severe cases associated with disability and certain other benefits.
A high volume of calls has made it particularly difficult for individuals to reach local Social Security offices, which are primarily operating as “phone-service only.”