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Today’s number: 124,000 hours of IDES overtime

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

* WICS TV

More than 124,000 hours of overtime, equaling more than $6.4 million.

That is what has been dished out to employees of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) because of the increased need for their services.

Representatives from around Illinois on both sides of the aisle say 124,000 hours of overtime in nine months is not sustainable.

Rep. Kathy Willis, D-Northlake, said it is not fair to the employees or the people of Illinois.

However, IDES said they really had no other option. […]

Willis said the crux of this issue is the lack of employees that the department has. She said with all of this overtime, more progress should have been made thus far.

Discuss.

…Adding… Rep. Willis in comments…

Want to add something that i actually said in the interview that conveniently got cut… I actually thanked the employees that were willing to work the overtime to help the people that needed unemployment help. I also mentioned that having people work such long hours of overtime that adds to the stress of their job and again how the employees were willing to step up and work through the back log.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:12 am:

    The cost of the hollowing out of State government


  2. - Gandydancer - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 5:27 am:

    There’s approx 1,000 union employees at IDES. That averages out to 124 hours of OT per employee over nine months (36 weeks), which is less than four hours per week per employee. If half the employees are not working any OT, then the other half are working about 1.5 hours extra per day unless my math is way off.


  3. - NotDaSharpestCrayon - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:12 am:

    I hate to say this but it won’t impact GRF.. IDES is funded by Federal Money and needed to support the unemployed. Isn’t that the purpose of IDES?


  4. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:14 am:

    RNUG. In the widget business, we found over years, the optimum(and about maximum for the employees) productions manpower additions was a 48 hr work week, 3 weeks/ month. Anything more and production fell off significantly.


  5. - Sleepless in Springfield - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:43 am:

    I am shocked at extent of fraud occurring in the IDES programs. It isn’t that IDES cannot process claims for those deserving benefits, it is all the hackers filling the system with unnecessary claims. Not to mention the time to deal with those. It is not IDES fault the system got hijacked by outsiders, but the blame game keeps pointing to the state agency.


  6. - MERICA - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    How is this not fair to the taxpayers? I am happy that these employees volunteered to do this. Can you imagine the types of calls theyre getting. No one is happy on those calls and you are dealing with that all-day-long.


  7. - kitty - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    For a long time IDES used and may still be using a private sector style business model relying on “just in time” labor in the form of Intermittent Program Reps. Historically, the reliance on intermittent employees has resulted in an inability to respond quickly during economic downturns going back to the BJT days and predictable turnover as these employees seek real full-time opportunities with the State. IDES needs to hire permanent Program Reps and move away from intermittent positions altogether if it hasn’t done so already.


  8. - Drake Mallard - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    Has anybody brought up that the new doIt systems implemented throughout the state have been a complete failure having anything to do with this problem?


  9. - MG85 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    ==It isn’t that IDES cannot process claims for those deserving benefits, it is all the hackers filling the system with unnecessary claims.==

    I’d love to see your source for this information. I would also love to see you report these people to the FBI.


  10. - RNUG - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    == I hate to say this but it won’t impact GRF.. IDES is funded by Federal Money ==

    The State gets funds for the administration of the unemployment system. But I’m not sure the overtime would be fully covered by the adminstrative funds.


  11. - Groucho - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    Why not add 200 temporary employees? Instead of 1000 people making a few extra bucks, you could (at least temporarily) give 200 out of work people a job.


  12. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    - Sleepless in Springfield - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 9:43 am:

    How is IDES responsible for an international fraud network?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/coronavirus-unemployment-fraud-secret-service-washington.html


  13. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:57 am:

    The political pressure on JB has grown leaps and bounds recently and public opinion could quickly shift by YE. (i) CA amendment - pass/fail, (ii) pushback reinstating covid restrictions on restaurants with Lori not happy matters, (iii) IDES inundation of Claims since the beginning of the month will continue with the recent reinstated covid restrictions. Hopefully the new IDES director succeeds.

    All of these are large issues that will play out and could cascade into even larger issues if they don’t turn out positively from the Govs perspective and public opinion could significantly shift. Could the outcome lead to a serious primary challenger that has a solid fundraising apparatus?


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    ===a serious primary challenger that has a solid fundraising apparatus?===

    Name one.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    === Could the outcome lead to a serious primary challenger that has a solid fundraising apparatus?===

    “I doubt that. No. I say that won’t happen.”

    - Chris Kennedy, probably


  16. - Shane Falco - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    I submitted a fraud complaint online and mailed IDES the items in question on the 12th. Still no response. An IDES enrollment letter and bank card were both addressed to a random person and mailed to my house.


  17. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    “Name one.”

    Will Guzzardi or someone running to the left against the “establishment”. Money creates a huge barrier but what we are going through is a circa 08 moment. Politics change quickly. I don’t think Lori was on peoples radar compared to the Preckwinkles, Dailey’s, Mendoza, and even a Vallas or Wilson.

    Maybe Chris Kennedy as OW pointed out given the prior run and money.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Will Guzzardi===

    How fast do you think Pritzker could dry up his money? A weekend? Overnight?

    “Will Guzzardi” can take on a billionaire, incumbent governor, polling above water in the party?

    === Politics change quickly. I don’t think Lori was on peoples radar compared to the Preckwinkles, Dailey’s, Mendoza, and even a Vallas or Wilson.===

    You think there’s gonna be 15+ people running in a Dem primary for Governor? Huh?

    === Maybe Chris Kennedy as OW pointed out given the prior run and money.===

    In the end, Chris Kennedy couldn’t raise enough dough when Pritzker was an unknown entity to pay the electric bills of all of Pritzker’s field officeS, let alone anything else.

    Primary? Nope.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:57 am:

    ===Will Guzzardi ===

    You said a candidate who “has a solid fundraising apparatus.” From his latest D-2: Funds available at the close of the reporting period: $17,942.41. Pritzker made more than that in the time it took me to look it up.

    Next!


  20. - 1st Ward - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    “How fast do you think Pritzker could dry up his money? A weekend? Overnight?”

    Underestimate the DSA and AOC’s of the world fundraising ability at your own peril. Have you seen how much she has raised in a completely safe district this cycle. Her Vanity Fair interview doesn’t rule out running for Senator in 2022 or 2024. If the working poor of the state are not recovering watch-out. A race between a progressive and an incumbent billionaire gov would get alot of attention.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/503652-ocasio-cortez-builds-political-army-and-a-fundraising-machine-to-match


  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===would get alot of attention===

    National and state politics are hugely different. Lots of bodies on the side of the road of candidates who thought they were gonna be flooded with small donations.

    Democratic campaigns in this state are mainly funded by organized labor and, to a lesser extend, trial lawyers. Crack that nut and maybe you might have a chance.


  22. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    I think people who want to forecast the make up of the election field for 2022 really need to make some strong considerations for 1.) whether or not the Democrats control the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and 2.) to what extent the Democrats nationally have become associated with relief and recovery and implementing policies that have literally put more money in people’s pockets and put people back on their feet.

    The GOP’s trick in 09 was to decide to be against everything, but the stakes are going to be higher in 2021. They may have difficulty being against the programs that are literally supporting their constituents without their constituents catching on.

    As the pandemic will eventually get into the rear view mirror, I don’t think both parties are going to be able to carry the mantel of success as equally.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    === Have you seen how much she has raised in a completely safe district this cycle.===

    If AOC lived in Illinois and wanted to be Governor…

    You keep forgetting;

    Think of a $300,000 home.

    Got that in your head? Good.

    Now imagine… buying that house… for $300,000… every 24 hours… for 430 consecutive days… weekends too… a $300,000 home… every day.

    Pritzker’s polling in the party, he under water?

    Were you paying any attention to his first legislative session and the support the party rallied around him?

    Will Guzzardi will still be trying to raise enough for that first $300,000 house as Pritzker buys the subdivision and ends Guzzardi’s career for making him spend unneeded monies.

    (Sigh)

    To the post, to bring it back,

    === Willis said the crux of this issue is the lack of employees that the department has. She said with all of this overtime, more progress should have been made thus far.===

    The math to overtime spending versus new hires to elevate cases and filings is a severe problem to the mission of IDES, and that “math” alone hurts not only the budget but Illinoisans. This needs to be addressed… better.


  24. - Happy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    I know it is often said that many of the IDES issues are due to the hollowing out of state government but I don’t agree. The very nature of Federally funded IDES, and thus its staffing, is variable….good economy, fed funding down, bad economy, fed funding, and thus staffing, increases.

    Part of the problem is that at the beginning of the pandemic and crash, only half of the agency was working…. the UI side of the house was crazed while the business services side of the house was at home. Hard to catch up after that staffing decision.

    Kristin is solid. Give her some time.


  25. - kathleen Willis - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    Want to add something that i actually said in the interview that conveniently got cut… I actually thanked the employees that were willing to work the overtime to help the people that needed unemployment help. I also mentioned that having people work such long hours of overtime that adds to the stress of their job and again how the employees were willing to step up and work through the back log.


  26. - Dutch - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    I’m not an expert on IDES or have applied for UI benefits. It’s hard to know where responsibility lies. Was it bad policies of the last decade that hurt IDES? Is it simply mismanagement now? But if you follow news like CBS 2 Chicago Investigates or pretty much any coverage of how IDES has dealt with the huge influx of claims you realize that whatever the reason the results are pretty bad. I think the claimants and taxpayers just want to know what it will take to have an efficient process for filing and getting unemployment benefits.


  27. - Jason - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    MG85 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    The FBI is involved. I am a victim of fraud as are millions of others across all 50 States according to IDES, the Attorney General’s office, the Chicago Police, and my employer.

    There is massive fraud and I did not know about it until my employer informed me that somebody tried to get benefits in my name and tried to change my address. I have been told by the many fraud units that I have talked to in the last three weeks that this is extensive. It is happening in every State and both in the public and private sector. There are several victims in my Department alone. The information is out there. People are being told about this. Unfortunately, I did not know until they applied in my name and my employer contacted me


  28. - Leigh John-Ella - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    Gee, I wonder if gubernatorial hopeful Guzzardi will be able to win the backing of Speaker Kifowit?


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