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UPE News Item

005/008 Meet & Confer Update

IHSS Transitioning to Electronic Timesheet System

    On July 22, 2019 UPE and the County met regarding the changes to In-home Support Services (IHSS) recipients and provider timesheets. The IHSS program statewide will now require participants to enroll in the Electronic Timesheet System (ETS) in order to meet new federal requirements. Statewide there are about 1.1 million participants, with Sacramento County currently serving approximately 55,000. Of the 55,000 participants, there are currently approximately 21, 400 already enrolled in ETS but 37, 000 have yet to enroll. The County is required to enroll the remaining participants by the go-live date which is currently slated for January 2020. 

    UPE had a number of concerns regarding this huge undertaking. Account Clerks, Social Workers and Family Service Workers are being asked to help enroll and educate participants in order to meet the January 2020 go-live date. The impact to workload was a major concern surrounding our discussions as it will impact time spent on home visits, delay assessments, increase the number of calls and questions, and limit the number of staff completing other tasks as they will be assisting with on-site workshops and following up on issues as a result of enrollments. 

    The County shared our concerns and understood that other duties and assignments will be impacted. The County acknowledged that the State, and management is well aware that deadlines may be missed and calls may be unanswered but the priority over the next 5-6 months is enrolling the 37, 000 participants. If providers are not enrolled by the go-live date, they will not receive payments. 

    UPE wanted to ensure that our members will not be held accountable and later disciplined for tasks not completed or late assessments due to this new priority. The County assured us that that is not the intent. The County reiterated that the goal is to sign up the participants by the January deadline. The expectation from staff is that they make a good faith effort during their 8 hour work day and keep their supervisor apprised of any issues. 

    At this time, overtime is not an option, but they are looking to fill the Account Clerk vacancy. Additionally, the plan is to rotate Account Clerks in assisting at the workshops to ensure work is being distributed fairly and seek additional volunteers as needed. 

    UPE members also brought up a number of potential challenges such as language barriers, assisting those visually or mentally impaired, as well as possible privacy concerns. Our members offered several suggestions that the department agreed to look into and put in place. Additionally, the County agreed to develop a document outlining referral questions from the field as well as a FAQ’s document that will be updated regularly. Additionally, staff will be provided training and can observe during the workshops prior to assisting. 

    UPE will monitor the process and if needed will meet again to discuss concerns. 

    A huge thank you to all the members who participated in the meeting including: 008 Board Member Paula Brown,005 Board Members Onedia Blanson & June Morris, 005 members Jeremy Pilkinton & Felicia Solorzano and 008 member Summer Rife.

    TOGETHER  WE ARE STRONG

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