The Day After Thanksgiving: An Extra Holiday for Some Federal Employees
Is a holiday for federal employees on the day after Thanksgiving a good idea? Here are the results of our reader survey on this topic.
Everyone likes an extra day off of work, especially one where you still get paid.
The Social Security Administration has about 65,000 employees and most of these folks will be getting an extra holiday this year.
SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue sent out a note recently thanking employees for their work in the face of “unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public.”
Their reward: another holiday on the day after Thanksgiving which will give SSA employees a four day weekend.
The note from the Commissioner to employees is reproduced below and notes accomplishments such as “four years ago it took about 900 days to get a hearing in Atlanta; it’s now a little less than a year, and it will continue to get better as the new Covington office gains momentum.”
Not everyone will be as happy or enthusiastic about this news as most SSA employees. A piece in the Wall Street Journal reads: “The deficit is too high, services are getting cut, spending appears out of hand – the complaints about our public servants are loud and long and livid. But never underestimate the political sensitivity of a big federal bureaucracy. The Social Security Administration has decided to take note of the public mood by…taking an extra day off.”
There is no indication that the same extra day off of work will be given to all federal employees.
What is your view: Is the extra holiday a good idea? Do you think that the federal government will extend the same holiday to all federal employees this year?
Commissioner’s Broadcast Message to Social Security Administration Employees
October 8, 2010
A Message to All SSA and DDS Employees
Subject: Thank You
This year we have faced unprecedented workloads and unprecedented hostility from an increasingly stressed public. While many government agencies understandably have moved backward in this climate, you have moved forward.
Waiting times are down in field offices and the teleservice centers. Busy signals are down dramatically on our 800 number. Program integrity work has steadily increased the past three years, and it is paying off with a significant increase in the accuracy of our Title 16 work. The ODAR hearing backlog declined again and average processing times are dropping sharply. For example, four years ago it took about 900 days to get a hearing in Atlanta; it’s now a little less than a year, and it will continue to get better as the new Covington office gains momentum.
In appreciation of these accomplishments, I wanted to let you know as early as I could that during this holiday season we will close on Friday, November 26 to give you an extra day of rest and reflection with family and friends.
Thank you for your dedication to our mission.
Michael J. Astrue