Local 1000 pressing EDD to reduce excessive use of Permanent Intermittent staff
On Friday, January 20, 2023, your SEIU Local 1000 Union team met with the Employment Development Department (EDD) regarding the ratio of Permanent Intermittent (PI) employees currently employed with the Department. Article 18.2.1 of our MOU outlines that only 20% of the workforce of Employment Program Representatives (EPRs) or Disability Insurance Program Representatives (DIPRs) in any branch of EDD can be filled by PI employees. The meeting was to discuss solutions to the very high ratio that the Department currently has of PI employees.
At the meeting, our impacted EDD members took the stance that Local 1000 is “the watchdog” on the issue, and pressing to make sure that they don’t get away with continuing to exceed the ratio, despite the department’s claims of an “emergency situation.”
EDD tried to claim that the PI ratio language was “harming them” until our members pointed out that they were doing whatever they want to do anyway … regardless of strict contract language that doesn’t allow this behavior.
The COVID 19 Pandemic resulted in an increase in the Department’s critical workload creating a backlog of claims to address across multiple branches of the Department. As a result, EDD had to create an emergency workforce through hiring limited term employees, many of whom were later converted to PI employees when their initial terms expired. Additionally, the Department also projects another increase in workload related to a predicted recession, meaning that they intend to bring on even more PI employees in the coming months.
As a result of the hires already carried out, the Department has been well above the 20% ratio for some time now, and these upcoming hires will make the ratio of PI employees over 50%. This is unacceptable to our Union team who have been pushing to hear what plans the Department has to remedy this ratio for the past few months, a position we made clear in our meeting.
Per our conversation, the Department has committed to updating our team in March on their plans to reduce this ratio. The projected hires will have been carried out by then. Our Union team is monitoring this situation closely, and we are demanding a voice and a seat at the table when strategies to get the Department back into compliance with our MOU are discussed. We have made it clear to the Department that our team will not be satisfied with simply receiving an update with raw numbers, and we proposed creating a work group to address the issue.
Members of Local 1000, along with contract staff, have been in conversation with the department since last summer. Each time we asked what the remedial plan for getting back into compliance and each time they told us they wouldn’t know for months, which is why we pushed for a workgroup
As our Union team keeps a close eye on the Department’s next steps, we are asking for your input as EDD employees carrying out the critical Department work and what you may have heard from the Department about how they are managing workload. You can send this information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).