Friday, April 07, 2006

First Post

This blog was created as an outlet for someone (me) who works (temporarily) for the Health and Human Services Commission in Texas.

In case you haven't heard, we (collectively) are in the process of being privatized. Our job functions, by and large, are being handed over to low paid call center employees who know nothing about the job that we do.

Basically, it is going from a client walking into a local HHSC office, filing an application for Food Stamps, TANF, and/or Medicaid- getting an appointment, seeing a caseworker, being certified and being done to a client getting an application from a local HHSC office, said office faxing that application to the call center, the client waiting until the call center sets up an appointment, having a phone interview with a worker in a town far away, being pended for information that may or may not be relevant to their case, ANOTHER call center employee completing the case.

And this is easier?

The offices are slowly becoming overwhelmed with work- since the 2,900 some-odd employees across Texas who are being laid off were given pink slips in October are leaving already. My current office went from having a full staff to losing 19 people since October. Never in my almost 15 years of working there have I ever seen anything like this.

Who suffers? The clients do.

This blog is not to debate the merits of whether or not people should be entitled to welfare. It's not about that. It's about the fact that the way the laws are written if someone is eligible, they should be confident that they will be seen and certified in a timely manner. This is not happening in the call center environment.

Here are a couple of other blogs that have been talking about it: Here and Here.

It's time for those in the State of Texas to know what is really going on. Millions are being spent on a computer system to handle this- losing the human element- and the system is not sufficient. It's a sham is what it is- politics. I suppose the cost savings will come in the form of clients not receiving the services they are entitled to.


samm almaguer said...

Congratulations on your new blog.
I am currently on the outside looking in, so an inside look is invaluable.

Anonymous said...

Your comments are refreshing, its nice to see someone putting my feelings into words. Our office is currently down over 50% and we are interviewing 12 per day everyday with work time where you can find it or in overtime. Currently I am trying to cover 3 positions and none of them are being done properly. I'm just trying to keep it together and service clients. The weeks in our office are running into 50 and 55 hour weeks. People that have received the pink slip are not really trying anymore and are being rude to clients but the numbers are out door are now out the door all the time.
I would like to refer them all to our local legislator but then I would have to clear the legislative inq. and I can't say you made this mess you fix it!