From: Dejuliis, Ralph
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:00 PM
To: ||DA ORC
Subject: About the iCare Initiative
Good Afternoon, Commissioner Lambie!
iCARE should not just be limited to employee interactions with the public.
Management needs its own version of iCare for their interactions with employees. They get defensive when asked questions by employees. They refuse to respond to emails from employees.
I hear many complaints from employees about how management treats them. In one office, a supervisor was asked by an SR at the front window if he would bring the Immediate Payment paperwork to the cashier for processing. He said, “That not in my position description” turned his back on her and walked away.
In another office, an employee was told she was NOT recommended for a promotion because she was discourteous and disrespectful to her supervisor. Dumbfounded, she ask how. It turns out when the supervisor sent an email asking for status, she only responded if she had not already cleared the case or couldn’t clear the case immediately.
In another office, a supervisor chastised an employee for abandoning her duty station. When he found out she had told her mentor who was there with her that (a) no one relieved her for break (b) it was almost lunch time and she wanted to go to the restroom before she couldn’t get away at all, he didn’t acknowledge that she spoke or explained. He continued with his counseling.
The common theme in these instances is that the supervisor is a newbie, hired after 2003 and they are dealing with senior employees. It appears they are most concerned with DEMANDING the fear from employees rather than EARNING respect. They don’t lead by example. They can NEVER admit they mishandled a situation.
One employee complained to me that no one from management came to her mother’s funeral. That used to be unheard of. Now it is commonplace. Too bad; so sad; your loss. One District Manager told a distraught employee that there wasn’t anything she could do for her deceased father. Her place and her responsibility was at work.
I do quite a bit of EEO. I saw the region’s stats in one file on retention of the disabled. From 6/08 – 3/10, SSA in our region hired 61 disabled individuals (with very serious, “targeted disabilities”). 42 of them, 69% of them, were gone in less than two years. I’m sorry but I don’t see SSA caring.
iCARE is going to fall flat if line management doesn’t improve the way it interacts with employees. We don’t know what kind of care and respect management wants us to show the public because management doesn’t show us any!
I hope the presentations in each office will cover how employees are supposed to show how much they care now that their pay has been frozen for two years (though FEHB premiums are not; the cost of commuting is not; the cost of educating our children is not) and how much more they are going to care when Congress acts on a two-week furlough and a hiring freeze.
Ralph de Juliis, President
AFGE Local 2505
Social Security Administration, Oklahoma
PS: Management acts like it cares about compassionate, courteous and respectful public service….until we are not making the stats and goals. All of the emphasis is on numbers that can be measured. There is no number to measure compassion, courtesy or respect. If management really cared about caring and public service, SSA would not have unrealistic goals.