Top Social Security Administration officials were given an overwhelming “no-confidence” vote by members of the American Federation of Government Employees’ Council 220, which represents 26,000 SSA employees, according to a report in The Federal Times Wednesday.
In a survey, Council members said unanimously that they had no confidence in SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black.
In a further show of displeasure, 88% of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, representing some 1,100 ALJs who are responsible for making disability claim decisions at a hearing level, reported no confidence in Saul.
They also gave Theresa Gruber, deputy commissioner for the Social Security’s Office of Hearings Operations, and Chief ALJ Patrick Nagle a roughly 84% no-confidence vote.
The AFGE, which has 313,000 dues-paying federal employee members, stated in a release that the COVID-19 pandemic, and its mismanagement by the Trump administration, was a key reason for the group’s no-confidence vote.
“Under the Trump administration, the SSA leadership has gone above and beyond to castigate and undermine public servants, leaving employees demoralized and out of the loop,” Ralph de Juliis, AFGE Council 220 president, said in the statement.
He added that “as we transition to a new administration, it is essential that President-elect Biden not only removes SSA leadership, but clears the agency of all who were infected by Saul’s anti-employee bias.”