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Season 5, Episode 78

As funding and staffing drop Social Security closes several offices



Guest Name:

Jessica LaPointe

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Jessica LaPointe, President of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 220, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to provide updates on the Social Security Administration’s staffing issues after a recent announcement that several offices will be shut down in 2024.

AFGE Council 220 is the national council that represents 33 affiliate Locals nationwide. These Locals represent Social Security workers in the field offices, the telecenter call center employees and the employees handling Social Security internet applications. LaPointe said there are about 30,000 employees nationwide. She has served as Council 220 President for the past two years and has been with the AFGE as a member since 2023.

LaPointe said there has been an ongoing staffing crisis at Social Security field offices nationwide. This recently came to a head with the announcement that several field offices would be shut down this calendar year. LaPointe talked about not having the funding needed for new hires and the inability to retain employees due to the poor wages. She discussed the decreasing operational budget for Social Security and what the 20 percent decrease over the last 10 years has done to the administration’s operations.

Finally, LaPointe talked about work being done to fix the government’s funding of Social Security. She said the program is the people’s program and considered it one of the best anti-poverty programs funded by the government. There is a plan to help the Social Security field offices that includes visiting offices in several cities in Wisconsin with state leaders for the Alliance for Retired Americans to discuss the looming solvency issue and how to fix it. LaPointe then discussed the proposed legislation that would raise funding back to levels from a decade ago.

For more information from LaPointe on the field office closures, listen to the show above.

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