United Public Employees.
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UPE News Item

 

Numbers Don’t Lie:

DHA Doesn’t Have Enough Workers to Make SDR Work 

Workers throughout DHA are aware that the department continues to struggle with the transition to SDR Phase II, the elimination of continuing caseloads, and the creation of the call centers.  During this transition, workers have performed tremendously and continue to make the best of a bad situation.  Unfortunately, managers continue to attribute problems associated with the changes to workers’ ‘learning curve’ and the need for workers to ‘get use to the new way of doing things’.  What this means is that if they wait long enough, you all will figure out how to do the best you can for your clients given the constraints DHA places upon you.  When challenged on the success of the SDR, the department is quick to point to performance measures that continue to show the department, really the workers, are meeting the required benchmarks.  However, beneath these rosy stats lies the truth about SDR.  There are not enough people for it to work long term.

After filing a public information request, UPE received data showing the amount of tasks and SAR-7s the department completes on overtime, as well as the total amount of overtime worked in the department.  Between August and December of 2017 (the only dates for which UPE received data), Q bureau completed 12% of its tasks and 41% of its SAR-7s on overtime, Watt completed nearly 10% of its tasks and SAR-7s on overtime, Susie Gaines Mitchell completed 13% of its tasks and 14% of its SAR-7s on overtime, and at Research nearly 10% of its SAR-7s were completed on overtime.  As all the workers know, overtime is a regular part of working in DHA.  It is offered virtually every week and many weekends.  It’s the only way for the system to survive and the department does not have a plan to end it any time soon.  They call it a temporary measure. 

However, an analysis of the Medi-Cal Cal-Fresh Service Center reveals the truth.  Overtime is the only way service centers succeed.  DHA touts the MACF Service Center as a success.  However, currently East Commerce completes 29% of its SAR-7s and 9% of its tasks on overtime.  At 28th Street the Green Group completes 34% of its SAR-7s and 17% of its tasks on overtime. 

In the Service Center, environment success means asking workers to do more with less and making up for it on the back end with overtime.  This level of overtime is unsustainable.  It demonstrates that the system does not work properly during regular business hours.  The only chance of success for SDR is for the department to make an investment in its workers by increasing staffing and continuing to improve training.  This is the message UPE will continue to carry forward to the department and board of supervisors.       

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