Members meet with EDD director on the front lines
Local 1000 a partner for progress at EDD
Local 1000 member leaders recently concluded a series of statewide worksite visits with Patrick Henning, the recently appointed director of the Employment Development Department (EDD). Local 1000 worked with Henning so he would hear first hand what frontline workers have to say about unsustainable workloads, use of permanent intermittent workers and how high stress levels have affected them on the job.
“These meetings have been a critical part of our ongoing dialogue about improving working conditions at EDD,” said Margarita Maldonado, Local 1000’s Vice President for Bargaining. “Patrick Henning is committed to listening and working through issues together. That’s the kind of leadership we need at EDD.”
One year ago, EDD was embroiled in controversy over unprocessed claims and computer system failures. Workers were suffering under impossible workloads and angry claimants whose calls went unanswered. Today, workers at EDD have a renewed sense of hope. With new leadership at the top, the department has made listening to the concerns of its employees and treating them with respect a priority.
Listening to members on the front lines
Over the last six months, Henning has met with EDD member leaders in eight California cities to learn first-hand how EDD workers do their jobs and the challenges they face every day. Our “walk a day in our shoes” meetings included Henning sitting with employees while they spoke to members of the public about their unemployment claims. He went from cubicle to cubicle asking rank-and-file workers about what issues are important to them. During the visits, Henning spoke about issues related to cross training workers and improving relations between EDD employees and their managers.
Latrece Brown, an EDD employment program representative and Local 1000 steward, was encouraged by Henning’s visit to San Jose. “Patrick was down to earth and really seemed to be genuinely interested in the work we do and what we had to say about how to make working conditions better at EDD. We still have a ways to go, but we’re moving in the right direction.”