Social Security workers getting an extra day off
It's an aggravating fact of life for many federal workers: The day after Thanksgiving isn't officially a holiday, so they either use a vacation day or go to work.
But top bosses at the Social Security Administration are giving the agency's more than 64,000 workers a four-day Thanksgiving weekend as a thank you for their hard work this year.
The move means they will enjoy Friday, Nov. 26, as an extra holiday "to give you an extra day of rest and reflection with family and friends," Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue wrote in a memo to workers this month (see below).
"We have faced unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public," Astrue said. "While many government agencies understandably have moved backward in this climate, you have moved forward." He cited reduced backlogs and wait times at its 1,300 field offices and when customers phone the agency's call centers.
No word yet if other agencies plan to give federal workers an extra day off around Thanksgiving or other parts of the holiday season. But if you DO know of an agency planning to do so, e-mail The Federal Eye with the details. (News of the extra day off was first reported by Federal News Radio's Mike Causey.)
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ASTRUE'S FULL MEMO TO SOCIAL SECURITY WORKERS:
October 8, 2010
A Message to All SSA and DDS Employees
Subject: Thank You
This year we have faced unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public. While many government agencies understandably have moved backward in this climate, you have moved forward.
Waiting times are down in field offices and the teleservice centers. Busy signals are down dramatically on our 800 number. Program integrity work has steadily increased the past three years, and it is paying off with a significant increase in the accuracy of our Title 16 work. The ODAR hearing backlog declined again and average processing times are dropping sharply. For example, four years ago it took about 900 days to get a hearing in Atlanta; it's now a little less than a year, and it will continue to get better as the new Covington office gains momentum.
In appreciation of these accomplishments, I wanted to let you know as early as I could that during this holiday season we will close on Friday, November 26 to give you an extra day of rest and reflection with family and friends.
Thank you for your dedication to our mission.
Michael J. Astrue
| October 25, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues
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