Workers Hit Their Limit

The AFSCME* union sued Ramsey County this week, claiming that caseloads are excessive and that management stifles their attempts to air legitimate concerns.

These are related. Real caseloads are cases divided by the number of active employees, not positions on paper in the budget. Real caseloads increase with turnover because workers have to cover for unfilled positions. And, turnover increases when management is at odds with staff.

The union alleges that while the county added twelve child protection positions to the budget, real caseloads increased because there were seven fewer actual workers.

This lawsuit could be an opportunity for management to address an apparently problematic relationship with staff. If they embrace workers as valuable colleagues who help them do a difficult job, turnover and real caseloads should both go down.
* American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers

Rich Gehrman