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PRESS RELEASE: Western Addition Social Security Office

Threatened Staffing Cuts

By Howard Egerman

Social Security Western Addition employees' union, local 3172 of the American Federation of Government Employees, today expressed concern about the staffing levels in that office.

As a result of public concern and efforts put forward by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, U. S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Assembly member Leland Yee, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and a resolution introduced by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and adopted unanimously by the Board, Social Security's proposal to close the field office located at 1405 Fillmore Street in the city was "put on hold."

However, employees learned on April 22, 2005 that the number of people remaining to service the office will be reduced from 12 on the day the initial closure was proposed in February 2005 to 5 bargaining unit workers on May 2, 2005.

"Our union is concerned about these staff cuts," said AFGE union rep Howard Egerman, who represents the office. "Our union fought this closure because we believe that the people in the Western Addition deserve the best possible public service.

"We feel that such staff cuts will reduce the quality of service the public is receiving, since the employees we are so honored to represent will be so busy interviewing that they will not be able to spend the amount of time they need on their paperwork."

Egerman and Local 3172 officials urged all community members to contact Social Security Regional Commissioner Pete Spencer at 510-970-8400 or write him at Social Security Box 4200, Richmond, CA 94804 and urge him to provide the office with more staff.

"Our efforts to keep this office open have shown all of us what a wonderful community the Western Addition is. We want to do everything we can to make certain that the public receives the excellent service they deserve."