In this section you can read about employees who stood up for themselves. I hope it gives you ideas and confidence in your ability to stand up for yourself, and for your rights under the contract. YOUR LOCAL will be there to fight for you. They built us tough because we sail in harm's way for YOU!
A major function of our Local is representation. Sometimes we talk to Local management. Most often, we must employ more formal procedures, such as grievances, ULPs (a/k/a Unfair Labor Practice Charges against SSA with the Federal Labor Relations Authority), EEO Complaints, appeals to the MSPB or OSC charges.
Under the current contract, the Union does NOT represent employees in EEO complaints as representatives of AFGE Local 2505. Officers do, however, represent employees in EEO complaints in an individual capacity.
In the 90s, SSA agreed to enter into a partnership with AFGE. It did work in some cases and there was an effort in some places to resolve disputes at the lowest level. Today, as long as SSA proposes and the Union says, "Yep! Whatever!", the partnership between AFGE and SSA still exists. I don't believe our members need a Union that rolls over to have its tummy rubbed. If the dog just eats and sleeps and won't get off the porch, it ain't any good. The officers and representatives of Local 2505 are good. We don't look for excuses NOT to represent our members and OK SSA employees!
Except for a weeklong suspension, removal or demotion, the Local will NEVER recover more money than it spends. The Local could have done a cost analysis. The impression of the officers is that our members want the Union to stand up for them and their rights. For the record, the officers of Local 2505 do NOT take members' money except as reimbursement for documented and vouchered expenses. We are NOT in it for the money. We believe in the Union and believe in standing up to management for the rights of our members! (In loftier terms, we fight for "industrial justice")!
If you are unhappy with something SSA has done, you need to contact an officer. Just the threat of us coming, has made some managers actually talk to employees and take their wishes into consideration!
Now what about the vicious rumor that grievances are career enders? Honestly, it depends on you and the grievance. If you show fear, management will bully you. If you lack self-confidence or have a bad attitude (not-my-job; I work hard only when watched closely, I don't want to learn; I am the only one in my office/unit who works hard; I am the only one who knows anything; etc., ), it is NOT any grievance you may file that is holding you back!
Whether talking or fighting, the Union always tries to use the most appropriate means to reach the desired end. Representation doesn't always mean taking the most confrontational approach.