Given the budget shortfall, we are proud that we protected our wages from any cuts.
- All workers will receive a 15-cent increase on April 1, 2018. This will raise our base rate to $14.65/hr, one of the highest in the nation.
- The PSW daily respite rate that is currently $11.25/hr will be increased to $12.75/hr effective April 1, 2018
- Protected PSWs who are grandfathered in at 50 hrs/week from being cut to 40 hrs/week, as proposed by the Legislature.
PDC .50c Training Differential
Improvements that make the .50c Professional Development Certification (PDC) training differential more accessible to providers across geographic locations and language preferences, including:
- By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes online in English.
- By July 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer five hours of safety training and at least five hours of elective training online
- By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes and required safety courses in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and Arabic, both in person and online.
- Any materials required for the certification, like the application and competency assessments, will be available in more than five languages.
- Secured improvements to the process when a Consumer ages out of the CIIS program, including continuing to pay the worker the CIIS rate for the year following the transition to allow the provider more time to complete the applicable Enhanced/Exceptional training.
- Secured $100,000 to be designated for CIIS providers to get the OHCC training stipend for attending Enhanced/Exceptional training classes.
- Maintained CIIS providers’ ability to get the .50c training differential—the State had proposed making CIIS providers ineligible for the differential.
PSW Job Coaches
We believe that PSWs are a key part of ODDS employment services. Throughout negotiations it became clear that, moving forward, we need a mechanism to focus on this issue with ODDS. We pushed the State to convene a workgroup that will explore policy and procedure recommendations designed to recruit, develop and maintain PSWs as job coaches, including the role of Full Service Employment Specialists. The workgroup will begin meeting within 90 days of ratifying the contract, and will present written recommendations to ODDS no later than a year from its first meeting.
- Maintained our current pay cycles of the 1st-15th and 16th-end of month, vs moving to a 14-day pay cycle. We made this decision after surveying workers multiple times.
- Workers will be notified if there is an error on their timesheet or voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for those of us who have had a pay delay due to a small, easily fixable error. DHS will also develop a policy about which timesheet errors the local office staff can fix directly.
- An out-of-cycle check will now be run every four days to make sure workers who are paid late due to errors by the local office or PPL can get paid more quickly. ODDS will make this change to their contract with PPL within 105 days of ratification of the contract. We also won clear language that the state must pay any fees we incur (like overdraft fees) when we’re paid late through no fault of our own.
- Any required progress notes on Consumers will be completed on work time, instead of a worker’s own time. Additionally, a worker’s pay cannot be delayed for not completing Progress Notes correctly; instead the local office will have to offer technical assistance to the Worker before the next timesheet submission.
- Comprehensive language regarding what processes will be followed when any new system impacting workers’ pay is implemented, including: daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following any payroll transition, online and in-person trainings available in multiple languages and the ability for Local offices to print and distribute any paperwork workers are required to complete.
- If a Local Field Office is unexpectedly closed during any of the days workers have to submit their timesheets/vouchers, the submission deadline will be extended proportionally to give workers more time.
- Workers who provide urgent/emergency hours at the end of a pay period will have their regularly authorized hours paid on time. The additional hours they worked will be paid as soon as possible, but no later than the next pay period. This will ensure workers aren’t discouraged from claiming emergency hours for fear of it delaying their regular pay.
- In addition to already established exceptions to using the online eXPRS system, language that allows for an exception if English isn’t the worker’s primary language, presenting a barrier to using the eXPRS system to enter hours worked.
- PSWs can submit a timesheet prior to the end of a pay period as long as they have completed all work shifts for the applicable Consumer. This will allow the Local Offices to start processing timesheets as soon as possible, allowing more time for any errors to be caught and fixed.
Many of us have expired delays getting our provider number credentials (like our background check) renewed in time. This results in issues for both workers and our Consumers. We know that broader improvements are needed to the background check system. In the meantime, we agreed to the following changes in order to improve the process around timely credential renewal:
- We must submit any required credential renewal paperwork at least 70 days before the expiration date. This will allow plenty of time for our background checks— including fingerprints, if required—to be processed before the expiration date.
- The State will send out two reminders about our credential expiration dates at least 120 days and 90 days prior to the dates.
- We will now be able to view our individual credential expiration date on the initial login page in the eXPRS system, as well as in the OHCC Registry. Once our credentials have been successfully updated, it will be updated immediately in the OHCC Registry and the eXPRS system.
- If we get our credential paperwork in on time, we can request an exception to continue working past our credential end date if our paperwork doesn’t get processed on time.
- A worker who continues to work without updated credentials (like an expired background check) may face discipline.
- Improvements to the grievance process we use when the contract has been violated.
- Established a consistent email address for all workers to direct issues or concerns that aren’t covered in our union contract.
- Processing a worker Professional Development Certifcation application can take no longer than 45 days by the OHCC. We previously had no timelines tied to this process.
- Clearer notification processes for workers to follow when they no longer plan to provide services for any future Consumers, including notifying the Local Office in writing so their final check can be processed during the next payroll processing cycle.
- Car Insurance Requirements: If a worker uses their personal vehicle to transport a Consumer during work time, they must notify their car insurance provider. This will help reduce the risk of personal liability for the worker if they are ever in an accident with the Consumer during work time.
- No later than July 1, 2018, DHS/OHA will develop consistent policies regarding: 1—The ability for Consumers to direct service hours to be used in conjunction with medical services (such as having a worker join them at a medical appointment); and 2—the process workers should follow to communicate a new or urgent Consumer service need.