Arbitrator Says SSA Must Hash Out New Contract With Judges

Bizar Male
Law360 (May 18, 2021, 8:06 PM EDT) — The Social Security Administration must hash out a new collective bargaining agreement with the in-house judges who make benefits decisions after a labor arbitrator found the agency negotiated in bad faith before turning to a federal panel to break the artificial stalemate. 

Arbitrator John Nicholas said Monday that the SSA ducked its legal obligation to bargain with the Association of Administrative Law Judges by steering talks with its administrative law judges to impasse or making unreasonable offers on five contract terms. That included union officers’ entitlement to “official time” allowing them to advocate for their colleagues on the government’s dime.

“A status…

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