County Board Votes To Add Back SW Positions To 2009 Budget

I would like to let you know of an AFSCME success story. Commissioner Randy Johnson introduced an amendment to the 2009 budget yesterday that puts 10 Social Worker/Senior Social Worker FTEs back into the budget for the contracted case management area. After some discussion, the amendment passed unanimously. This means that we have 10 fewer Local 34 folks who will face the threat of their positions being cut.

This amendment did not come out of thin air. It is the result of Clifford Robinson pushing from one side based on his theory that there would be no good reason to not pursue bringing back some of our work that had been contracted out in light of our lay off language in our contract - that no one would lose a job if the work had been contracted out - and the efforts of John Herzog to gather data on the federal reimbursement rates for waivered work - and our Business Representative, Matt Nelson's, gentle direction - and our meetings with Commissioner Johnson to present our case. He followed those meetings up with getting more information from Curt Haats, on behalf of Dan Engstrom, Human Services & Public Health Department Director. We then met again to go over that information with the end result being the amendment that was presented by Commissioner Johnson to the County Board yesterday, 11/20/08.

Please join me in thanking John, Cliff and Matt for their efforts in pushing us forward in this endeavor; Curt Haats for providing the financial analysis necessary to document the information; Dan Engstrom for supporting the amendment and most especially to Commissioner Johnson for meeting with us, listening to what we had to say, taking the time to review the information and then crafting his amendment and bringing it forward to the County Board for adoption. Keeping 10 of our workers from facing possible lay off is a big thing and they all deserve our gratitude. THANK YOU!!!

Feel free to share this with your coworkers and to feel good about the work of your union. U are what makes the union strong.

~ Jean Diederich, President, AFSCME Local 34 (11/21/2008)


2009 Budget Amendment

2009 Budget
Commissioner Randy Johnson (Amendment No. 1)

Background: In order to manage increased demand for services of eligible aging and disabled clients, the Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD) has used contracted providers for case management services to supplement its staff. These providers bill the state of Minnesota under Medical Assistance waivers and receive no funding from Hennepin County to subsidize their services. As the department is faced with significant funding shortfalls from the federal and state government, HSPHD’ s proposed budget includes a reduction to its staffing complement.

Analysis by HSPHD indicates that based on the average number of new clients per month, 10.0 full time equivalent (FTE) positions could provide case management services for these new clients and be fully funded by Medical Assistance waiver funding in lieu of contracting for case management services.

Adding these staff to serve new clients will mitigate some of the proposed lay offs while not disrupting services to clients currently being served by contracted providers.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Human Services and Public Health 2009 revenue and expenditure budget be increased by $935, 000 and their authorized complement be increased by 10.0 social worker/senior social worker FTEs.

The vote was 7 Ayes and 0 Nays. The amendment is adopted.