Friday, February 22, 2008

Raise? woohoo?

You know, we all got an email the other day about "raises" that we will be getting this summer.
Woohoo!  That 5% is a start, but you know, it's not going to "solve" the problem like HHSC is hoping it will.  You can pay someone more money, but if it doesn't reduce the workload and expectations (BE TIMELY BY GOD OR YOU GET COACHED, never mind that you are having to do the work of 2-3 because TIERS?  Takes a WHOLE lot longer to work a case than the "old world" system, SAVERR) then the raise won't help.  I realize that the state is trying to hire and get new workers trained.  I get that.  I also know that to be a GOOD worker, it takes about a YEAR of doing cases to get really comfortable with all the ins and outs of the system.  So if you have an office where 80% of the workers have 2 years or less of tenure, then you aren't able to produce like we did back in the day when ALL our workers were fairly tenured (5+ years). 
Not to mention that caseloads are INCREASING while all this is going on. 
You can throw money at this all day, and it's not going to change the fact that TIERS is still around, and cases are being backdoored into the system EVERY DAY.  We do NOT have enough workers out there to handle the influx of cases into the TIERS system statewide. 
I cannot express enough how much the clients HATE this program.  Those not in Austin or Round Rock that are in TIERS are interviewed by someone from anywhere in the state.  No local worker to talk to, no local worker to hand information to.  They can't even get a worker's number from 2-1-1 if they forget to ask for it during an interview.
I feel sorry for the workers in ART (Assistance Response Team- the workers who are TIERS training statewide that handle the cases that aren't in the pilot area).  These workers are stacked UP everyday, and every single case they touch is delinquent when they get it.  By the time they get to do an interview, the client is BEYOND frustrated and all that anger is taken out on the worker.  In the "old days", a client had a local worker and things were handled on a LOCAL level.  You just cannot outsource or privatize the benefit that comes from local people handling a case for a local client.  You just CANNOT. 
So for all my fellow HHSC employees- I hope the raise helps a little. 
Especially when you are having to work late in the evenings and on weekends to just stay caught up.
I KNOW how hard it is.  I do. 

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