Tuesday, April 7, 2020

County assistance workers around state allege unsafe conditions re COVID-19; DHS responds

New Castle News - April 3
Like so many churches, business and agencies, county assistance offices across Pennsylvania were closed to the public last month.
The Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, which mandated the closure in all 67 of the state’s counties, kept employees on the job, though, to process applications and maintain cases for crucial benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid.
In doing so, department press secretary Erin James told The News in an email, the department placed the health and safety of those employees who continue to work in office spaces “at the forefront of our decisions as we move forward,” adding that “we are continuing to pursue options to keep employees safe with the Governor’s Office of Administration and are communicating this with employees and their union representation, including SEIU.”
However, some members of the Service Employees International Union say the department is not making good on its promise. See the story and the Department's response here: