Thankfully, the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be behind us. This means more concerts and sporting events, easier travel, and a return to the workplace. If you have a government lease, you should be aware of how the re-entry process is going for government offices and how union workers are reacting in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
The Secretary and Duty Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture Secretary and Duty Secretary recently sent out an email to all their employees outlining their plans for re-entry. They gave employees a timetable for when different positions would start returning to the office, with all employees expected to be back in office by May 17th. The plan identifies March 28th as the day where agencies and staff offices should begin this phased return to work. With these plans, the USDA joined the Social Security Administration (SSA) with planned return to office dates that are coming up soon.
In January, the SSA reached an agreement with its three unions on their outlined office re-entry plans. This agreement includes increased telework opportunities for all employees during the first six months of re-entry to maximize safety and make schedules more flexible. The acting SSA commissioner stated that this agreement with unions will help the agency serve the public better during these unprecedented times. The offices had been mostly closed to the public since March 2020 but were open by appointment or emergency needs only.
While unions have agreed to re-entry terms, there are still some concerns. The vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local Council 220 has said that the SSA’s re-entry plan does raise some health and safety concerns and could potentially make the workforce less productive.
Federal office re-entry is likely something you’ve never had to deal with before, so UIRC is here to help you navigate the process. We can gladly provide additional property maintenance services to make the transition as safe and easy as possible for all. Contact us today!