Protest Demanding Adequate Staffing and Funding of Critical Public Services Follows Less Than a Week after 1,100 County Workers Announce Strike Authorization in Contra Costa
Martinez, CA – Contra Costa County social workers and eligibility workers will warn the public and the Board of Supervisors about the developing crisis delaying services delivered by the county’s Employee and Human Services Department (EHSD). Workers cite chronic understaffing of social services, including emergency services that protect children and the elderly from abuse and neglect.
“Because County executives and officials’ refusal to address staffing recruitment and retention, the County’s most vulnerable are suffering,” said Barbara Crespo, a Contra Costa County social worker. “Social workers have been unable to conduct regular house visits for children and the elderly who are at risk for abuse.”
“We shouldn’t have to wait for tragedy to strike before County executives and officials in this County do something about what’s going on at EHSD,” said Dan Jameyson, an eligibility worker responsible for administering CalWORKS, and SEIU 1021 Contra Costa County Chapter President. “Families in need of assistance should not have to wait weeks before receiving relief because of County bureaucrats’ inaction.”
Understaffing at EHSD results from Contra Costa County’s failure to address its recruitment and retention crisis. The crisis is creating backlogs of cases, including cases in which children and the elderly’s safety is at risk. Currently there is a 25% vacancy rate for social workers, including a vacancy for the position of foster home recruitment. Positions that administer CalWORKs/Welfare-to-Work programs have close to 40% vacancy rates.
“The impact of the salary and benefits disparities continues to make attracting and retaining skilled and qualified staff a significant challenge,” writes EHSD Director Kathy Gallagher in a Memorandum to the Family and Human Services Committee. In the same November 2015 memo, Gallagher states that because of inadequate funding the County “continues to struggle with significant backlogs of applications, overdue renewals of eligibility, and excessive wait times for callers” requesting Medi-Cal.
County workers represented by SEIU 1021 are also announcing the results of their strike authorization vote. They have been in negotiations with the County for more than three months. Workers are proposing terms that would address the recruitment and retention problem in addition to increasing safety measures at County facilities, including at locations where shootings have occurred.
- WHAT: Social workers and eligibility workers testify before the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors about understaffing and inadequate funding to critical public services to the County’s most vulnerable
- WHERE: 651 Pine Street in Martinez
- WHEN : Tuesday, August 16 at 9:30 am
- CONTACT: Cecille Isidro, 510-289-8767
Welcome to long time Democrat control! Folks, these people are ruining our country, all the same time stealing our tax dollars for themselves. Vote Trump, Vote reform government!!
Janet, I would agree for the most part….unfortunately the WORST member of the Board of Supervisors is Candace Andersen who is a Republican. She is almost unbearable to listen to or watch…especially when she chairs the public comment. Talk about condescending! She acts as a “know it all” but the more she speaks the dumber she sounds. She is the the worst county supervisor to serve in years. Watch her in action and I am sure you will come to the same conclusion. The only sane member and Republican is Mary Piepho and she is retiring at the end of the year. Then we are all stuck with a board of Dems and a half wit Republican (Andersen). It’s simple, we are screwed.
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