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Meet and Confer Update

Homeless Support Program Social Workers

Return to Work

2/8/21 

     UPE and DHA met and conferred over the Department’s plan to begin rotating HSP Social Workers into the office, approximately one day a week, beginning February 11, 2021. The HSP social workers are coming back to work as a part of the Department’s larger lobby reopening process. As lobbies open, the Department expects homeless clients to return as well. HSP will continue to operate primarily by phone appointment, but HSP Social Workers of the Day (SWOD) will see walk-ins and clients without phones.

     The Department also intends for SWOD to monitor the DHA Verification email box for third party requests and create SMART Tasks. During the pandemic, Supervisors have monitored the Verification email box. UPE questioned why the Department is choosing to transfer this duty to social workers. The Department did not have a good explanation for why the change was being made. UPE also asked for the written procedures related to this new duty. The Department did not have any written procedures. Since the Department could not clearly articulate how SW would manage this new duty, UPE proposed that Supervisors remain in charge of this mailbox until the Department develops a procedure. The Department agreed, and the two sides will meet again once a plan is developed.

     UPE also proposed that the Department delay returning any workers to the office until their bureau actually opens their lobbies. The Department agreed to this proposal as well. It made no sense, to UPE, to bring workers back before lobbies reopen. The Department’s rationale for bringing workers back is to serve clients that come into the lobbies. This is impossible until the lobby actually opens. UPE will follow up on this proposal before the Department’s scheduled return to work on February 11, 2021.

 

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