AFGE, Social Security reach agreement

Matt Sayles/AP

It’s taken more than two years, but a large federal employees union has struck an agreement with the Social Security Administration that will last another four.

The American Federation of Government Employees has reached a formal deal with SSA over nationwide agency employee benefits after 27 months of contract negotiations, according to an AFGE press release. The two parties had previously reached a “conceptual” agreement in March.

AFGE lead negotiator Witold Skwierczynski said the union “made improvements in eye care and travel benefits, strengthened employee rights in the workplace and allowed for the union to have broader ability to represent employees in meetings with SSA management,” according to the press release.

Negotiations had become so stagnant that AFGE had referred the matter to the Federal Services Impasses Panel in September 2011, according to the release. The previous contract between the two groups was signed in 2005.

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