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CMS talks strike preparedness

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

* Finke

A top official of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said Wednesday he couldn’t predict how many replacement workers the state may need in the event of a strike by AFSCME members.

Michael Hoffman, acting director of the Department of Central Management Services, also told the Senate Appropriations Committee that his agency is continuing to work on a new version of the state hiring process that would be used for people who want to be replacement workers. […]

“The website does not replace the normal application process,” Hoffman said. “What it does is provide us with a pool of interested people who would be interested in serving in a temporary capacity in a worst-case scenario if we had a strike or work stoppage.”

Hoffman said the site has attracted more than 2,000 applicants so far. […]

Hoffman said the state would not be solely reliant on website applicants to fill state jobs in the event of a strike. He said the state already has contracts with temporary employment agencies to provide workers when needed.

I’m kinda wondering what the screening process is on that strikebreaker employment website.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

47 Comments
  1. - Union proud - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    “Hoffman said the site has attracted more than 2,000 applicants so far. […]”

    From a few dozen IP addresses…


  2. - Mr. K. - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    I’m kinda wonering what the screening process is once these scabs are in agencies.

    What, a complete stranger — no background check, no agency vetting, no CMS grade — suddenly pulls up a chair beside you, grins wih crooked, gapped teeth, and says: “So, like, what do I do?”


  3. - NoGifts - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Its still gonna be tough selecting and interviewing employees…Are applicants applying for particular positions? Or just a general application and then they have to be screened for positions from the application? How are the interviews going to be scheduled, and how many people do they have interviewing them? This does not sound like a workable solution. Why not use a temp agency?


  4. - wondering - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    NoGifts, if you were running a temp agency and had to make daily payroll would you enter into a contract with the state of Illinois? What I am wondering is will the TRO from St.Clair be applicable to strike breakers?


  5. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    == He said the state already has contracts with temporary employment agencies to provide workers when needed. ==

    Key statement - “already has contracts”

    And I’ll bet they plan to pay those contracts out of the various revolving funds.


  6. - Fudo Myoo - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    Psshhh. Hoffman can’t even keep his own staff let alone attract enough to keep anything running.


  7. - Juice - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    If CMS/the Governor’s office has not already required every agency to develop a strike plan that includes a breakdown of essential employees, then they truly are even more incompetent than I thought.

    Hoffman is either lying, or these guys are terrible at their jobs.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    It takes years to learn some or many of the jobs. But since apparently squeezing the beast and wrecking social services is part of the governor’s game plan, what does it matter if millions more of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents are harmed–on top of the million-plus who’ve already lost social services?


  9. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    “Hoffman is either lying, or these guys are terrible at their jobs.”

    Why not both?


  10. - AC - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    This administration is great at planning for crisis of their own creation, but have they planned for a court order forcing them to return to the bargaining table?


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Temporary workers would only be collecting and piling up work. What a waste of taxpayers dollars.


  12. - Bothanspy - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    How are they going to change the hiring process with the antiquated computer system? They need the ERP!
    They absolutely have an estimate from every agency on how many people would be needed to keep the agency running on life support.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    About 2 years ago we prepared a list of which positions would be essential and at what time to they become essential. Some positions are essential from day one. Some support positions can be empty for a while but must be filled or the system grinds to a halt.


  14. - Honeybear - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    Don’t fear this replacement website. It’s ridiculous to think they can replace state workers. Sticking together in solidarity is the best way to survive this! An injury to one is an injury to all!


  15. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    ==I’m kinda wondering what the screening process is on that strikebreaker employment website. ==

    Be a gonzo journalist and apply.


  16. - Delimma - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    How do replacement workers deal with information that is highly confidential? Are we going to hire replacement workers for positions that have access to social security numbers? Tax information? Contractual information? What will the IRS say about that?


  17. - Rogue Roni - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Don’t know how many replacement workers to hire, don’t know where to make cuts. This administration doesn’t seem to know much.


  18. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    State workers have a lot of knowledge that is specific to their positions. Outsiders do not need to know DHS or DCFS policy and rules. Insiders do.


  19. - Union proud - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    Wait until one of these replacement workers tell their friends and family that their neighbor is getting SNAP. Or had DCFS called on them 10 years ago. Going to be a whole lot of lawsuits flying around. HFS almost lost the ability to get child support through tax intercepts when they got dinged by the IRS in an audit because of confidentiality. Is every temp who works for DCFS going to be fingerprinted by the FBI like state workers have to? Or are they just going to let any temp clerk have access to the investigation file room? How about the master spreadsheet that shows the location of every foster home? Or the data base where these foster kids live? Check OIG website and you’ll see there was a recent case of a DHS caseworker collecting clients’ SSN’s to sell. You flood these state offices with temps and Illinois citizens will have a very real concern that a whole ton of private information will leak out.


  20. - blue collar - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    Don’t believe any temp workers could perform a competent bank examination (safety and soundness, IT, Trust). Takes many years of OJT to get to the level of leading an examination.


  21. - LTSW - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    You don’t know many replacement workers you need until you see how many current employees cross the picket line.


  22. - Echo The Bunnyman - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    I can’t see this ever happening. If it does, I think they are counting on enough to cross to make it through. The amount of people living check to check will necessitate after a check or two to have people cross. It’s not that they will want to, it’s a need.


  23. - The Way I See It - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    So, do outside employment agecies providing strike breakers have to wait for a budget to get paid? Who is going to vote an appropriation for that?


  24. - Frustrated - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    I would like to know what county these 2000 people are located in or willing to work in. My bet there are a lot from Cook County and not as many from Sangamon County. If you are in Sangamon County why not apply for a full time job with the state….oh yeah, they can’t pass the required exams.


  25. - Ghost - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    those temp agencies struggle to provide enough workers to cover seasonal work requests.

    you can have bodies but what do they do without training? not to mention who does the security background checks, gives them comouter access etc.


  26. - Coleman Younger - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    I would be more than happy to have temp work inspecting banks


  27. - Flynn's mom - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    This is a major crisis in the making. The people the state serves are quite often vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. They have significant health issues, mental illness, developmental disabilities, live in abject poverty and rely on their services to stay alive. Who can just walk in off the street and pick up the ball and work? What happens when state workers on strike change passwords on their computers or carry valuable information on those they serve in their case notes or often in their head? What about the need for a professional license..nurses, therapists,etc? Where is the humanity? The state is not running a giant factory or warehouse. These are real people who are vulnerable and deserve respect and many will die without appropriate services delivered by people who understand their particular cases and issues.


  28. - Yeah - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    Not how many.
    How long?


  29. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:57 pm:

    Okay, so in the first few days there were 1700 “applicants” (*guffaw*), and only 300 since then? Well, that’s pretty lame. And 2000 “applicants” with unknown skills is even more lame. That is one shallow pool.


  30. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    Is the list of applicants’ names subject to FOIA? I’ve gone back and forth on this. If they were, that would be some fine reading.


  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    Let throw out some numbers on how long it took for IT to put you into the computer network and the training.


  32. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    Given how long it takes the State to get through the hiring process, the strike will be long over before any of the temp hires are brought on board.


  33. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    When and if scabs are hired, they will spend the first 1/2 day wandering the halls going through orientation etc.


  34. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    Just 2K? How many of those were gags, I wonder?

    Seems the free marketplace is telling us those jobs won’t be as easy to fill as some zealots have maintained.


  35. - Flynn's mom - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    How many AFSCME state workers are there in Illinois?


  36. - Living it daily - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    Don’t believe for a minute that temps would work with any social security numbers, and or information. I doubt SSA would put up with temporary, non FBI screened workers, no matter what CMS would say.


  37. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    I think most of the 2k are fake names based on what I’ve read here. Not sure that helps or hurts.


  38. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    I really doubt that we see a strike but that won’t stop CMS from continuing to stir the pot. That’s all they know how to do.


  39. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    I don’t think they are doing a thing with that list other than yap about it. I decided to “apply” (*guffaw* - all they asked for was contact information, area of interest, and three counties to work in) to see what would happen. Not a thing. No one has contacted to check the legitimacy of my interest (or that I’m even a real person). Certainly no request for a resume, not even a list of qualifications. It’s a rather silly - and embarrassing - smokescreen. Rauner ain’t wearin’ clothes for this one.


  40. - Ivan Hackovich - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Am good with computer and have much interest in helping in job keeping social security number lists.
    Where I apply?


  41. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    “Is the list of applicants’ names subject to FOIA? I’ve gone back and forth on this. If they were, that would be some fine reading.”

    Have applicants for Random Job XYZ been FOIA-able? That seems to be a pretty easy test for courts.


  42. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    This whole idea has the possibility for widespread Identity Theft written all over it.


  43. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 6:19 pm:

    I would like to apply for a deputy Governor position. I dont care what number you assign me. I wold be glad to be deputy Governor #324


  44. - Nikolas Name - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 6:33 pm:

    Almost everyone in the private sector that are qualified for any of these jobs are not going to leave where they are to work temporarily. Also, nearly all retirees that could fill these jobs will not come out of retirement to work.


  45. - JLR - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 7:12 pm:

    Illinois Governor visions for future coming true:
    1. Bankrupt Illinois.
    2. Destroy AFSCME.
    3. Eliminate social services.
    4. Replace state workers with temporarily employees.
    5. Eliminate retired state workers insurance.
    6. Eliminate all assistance to Higher Education.
    7. Eliminate assistance to low income students.
    8. Never agree to any budget.
    In 2 more years Illinois will never recover.


  46. - Guess Again - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:12 pm:

    I hope IP Freely gets a job. I’m sure he applied.


  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:29 pm:

    I am veddy gud vith noombers. Pleese let me vork vith yoor SSN noombers pleese!


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