Monday, June 20, 2011
By Heather Race
Santa Barbara Independent
I have been a social worker with Child Welfare Services (a.k.a. Child Protective Services) for over ten years. Currently, Santa Barbara County is proposing cuts that would total a 16.76 percent cut in my pay. The members of our community are being mislead into thinking that, by making these cuts, the County is addressing the concerns voiced by the community about overpaid county employees with their “big pensions.” However, the cuts proposed affect only those of us who are already on the low end of the pay scale. Those in management positions, those who have six figure salaries and who receive bonuses, will not be taking any cuts at all. In addition, the Board of Supervisors is being misled into thinking that, by making these cuts, the County is doing what they can to address the County’s deficit. However, what the county is doing is taking advantage of the current economical and political climate and the cries for pension reform and they are making a big show of “digging deep” and “making big cuts. In actuality, the proposed cuts would end up saving them only 0.1 percent. Is it reasonable for the County to continue to give managers six figure salaries, with bonuses on top, while they suggest that I take a 16.76 percent cut to my $60,000 a year salary?
I left a nice comment there-
Heather, your job is the #1 government job we families want to see ended.
In fact, we want you and ALL CPS workers in PRISON for your Federal Crimes against families-
-several of which are Capital Crimes.
New messages there that I figure are going to be nuked-
That's one cheesy website! Sort of like saying because there are a few bad cops ... all cops are bad, worshipers of Satan, and the reason for all of America's woes!
EastBeach (anonymous profile)
June 22, 2011 at 12:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The CPS system is full of problems and there is no doubt it needs a revamping. One of the ways it could be improved is by hiring more, not less, social workers, and by giving them a competitive salary so as to attract the brightest and most compassionate employees possible. Most of these folks already have master's degrees and work long hours at jobs none of us could stomach, with each new case sometimes being more horrifying or disheartening than the last. And on top of that, they each typically have an overwhelmingly large caseload that makes it impossible to give each case the full attention it deserves. And then when subsequent problems occur within the clients' families, the CPS workers themselves usually publicly get the blame for whatever went wrong.
It's a mighty thankless job and takes extreme dedication not to become jaded by the work and the process.
Just as with police and firefighters, our CPS workers are there to protect and serve. To be cutting the pay of these heroes is unconscionable.
erthcrclr (anonymous profile)
June 22, 2011 at 8:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)
I'm a supervisor at CWS; was a social worker for 10 years before becoming a supervisor. We work ungodly hours without complaining (too much), because we sincerely believe we are supporting families to make positive changes, to nurture their children and become self-sufficient.
It is demoralizing, to say the least, to know that the BOS and our management value us so little, that they'd come up with this plan to cut our pay by 16.76%. Heather is absolutely right. The wrong people are getting cut. If management and the BOS were willing to take a salary cut, we would too. BUT 16.76%??? I have been working since I was 17 and I never EVER got a pay cut like that.
We are running faster and faster to keep up with our increased caseloads and that's ok, because that's what we signed up for. We didn't sign up for having our pay cut to the point where we are scared for our own economic security.
We aren't asking for pay raises. Or increases in benefits. Just don't cut us to the bone. Some of us are a paycheck away from being homeless. Give us a break.
druidess59 (anonymous profile)
June 22, 2011 at 8:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Thanks Heather and to answer TG's questions:
No this is NOT a future salary takeaway, this is the % figure that all Santa Barbara's Co's proposals would reduce the average $35,000 per year hourly wage employee in our unit. Due to the difference in pay, some would lose less others would lose more. And it is based on what they recieve currently.
NO if these cuts do go thru, the County would save about $375,000.00 in the General Fund BUT because of our funding sources and what we do, the entire Department and County would LOSE 4.6 Million (Yes that is MILLION) in State/Federal Funds that are earmarked for our programs! And another several $100,000's from outside revenue sources that if we cut the REQUIRED amount that the County is supposed to match, then we do not get those funds.
NO there are only 1.4 people slated to be laid off if the cuts do not go thru, in fact due to the economic crisis our case loads are exploding and the State/Federal Revenues are being adjusted UP to reflect the drastic need for trained, professional, loyal and dedicated workers who can get our Communities in need, thru these rough times and stablized until they can become Self Sufficient again.
The Human Reasources Mantra of Shared Sacrafice is misleading at best. We are the largest Department in the County, we have the biggest budget, yet we recieve the least from the General Fund. And all of the Services we offer to the Communities that we serve are MANDATED by State and Federal Regulations. We are at the bargianing table trying to offer up what we can, but the County has rejected all of our proposals, including a pitance of .5% pay (yes that is 1/2 a percent) increase so we can just keep up with increased gasoline prices!
Our workers have been paid Under Current Private Sector Market Rates for years. Some are already 26% behind the Market Rates. And recently the Office Professional class of workers was Reclassified where our clerical office support is making more in hourly wages then people who have worked here for 20 years and have Masters degrees.
Fair is Fair and Cutting Off your nose to spite your face just does not work. We are not going to agree to cookie cutter cuts that cause way more damage and harm to our workers and our Communities.
Those are the facts, we do tough jobs in tough times. We are professionals that are dedicated to providing vital mandated services to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities, if these cuts to our wages and benefits happen, we will lose our housing, health care, child care, ability to pay our own utilities and we will end up being the very clients and community that we have dedicated ourselves to serve, unable to continue working because we cannot pay for our own child care any longer. As you can also see this affects the entire community, We cannot buy groceries, pay babysitters, make morgtage payments, pay the rent, and all of those shortfalls have a domino effect on our Communities
alwaysoutspoken (anonymous profile)
June 22, 2011 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)
To which I replied-
Thank you so much for pointing out the Federal Funding sources.
For those who don't know, this funding comes by raiding and DEFRAUDING the Social Security and Medicare systems- See how many places- http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/ssact/ssact-toc.htm
(You know, those Federal entitlement programs that are BROKE, bankrupt)
CPS people take NO oath to "uphold, support and defend" the Constitution of the United States and therefore STOMP people's Constitutional Rights in the dirt.
The courts that the accused appear in front of are NOT courts of Constitutional Due Process- http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-26520-Family-Rights-Examiner~y2009m10d15-The-CPS-case-What-happens-in-the-fog
The only "right" that remains is the NEW "Best interest of the child"- which is basically whatever a government employee says it is- "Best interests operates as an empty vessel into which adult perceptions and prejudices are poured." --Hillary Rodham, Children Under the Law, 43 Harv. Ed. Rev. 487, 513 (1973).
See Best interest of the child- A new "Civil Right"- http://familyrights.us/news/archive/2009/oct/best_interest.html
CPS is an evil, fascist, tyrannical operation, and there is no "smiley face" to put on it.
That's why families would LOVE to be rid of you and your coercive "services".
Leonard Henderson, co-founder
American Family Rights
"Until Every Child Comes Home"©
"The Voice of America's Families"©
LeonardH (anonymous profile)
June 22, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.