CWA Local 1081
60 Park Place, Suite 501
Newark, NJ, 07102
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Fax: (732) 988-1081

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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

April 9, 2014

Frank Palmieri, ASFS

Office of Medicaid Services

Essex County Division of Welfare

18 Rector Street, Floor 10

Newark, NJ, 07102

Re: Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance

Unprecedented, Unwarranted & Unwise Diktats

"3--Day Application Processing-Applications Pending Report"

Article I. Purpose

Article VII. Discipline

Article XXV. Non-Discrimination

Dear Mr. Palmieri:

CWA Local 1081 submits this Step I Class Action Contractual Grievance on behalf of our Family Service Worker members assigned to the Office of Medicaid Services to protest the content of your attached memorandum of April 8, 2014 entitled "30-day Application Processing-Applications Pending Report". In particular, our Union takes utter umbrage with your decree that "For every client that applies/reapplies for SNAP, the family service worker (sic) will immediately put the case into 'Application' (sic) status on the FAMIS system; clients who recertify in the last calendar month of their current certification period will also be immediately put into 'Application' (sic) status on the FAMIS system".

While you assert, "Note: This will cause the application to appear on the daily Applications Pending report", our Union and our adversely affected members assert:

  1. This may well cause our Family Service Worker members additional work by their putting cases into application status very possibly without the County possessing the requisite documentation to render the clients legally eligible for the receipt of SNAP. Considering the fact that our members are already extremely understaffed and overworked, any superfluous labors will prove deleterious to their optimally servicing their clients whom actually meet SNAP (and/or) Medicaid eligibility standards as well as exacerbate our members' excessive stresses they have long endured due to overcrowded office conditions and myopic managerial decisions.
  2. This may well cause clients to believe they are eligible for SNAP who may eventually be deemed ineligible, thus precipitating possible problems (including contentious verbal disagreements, or worse) between such clients and their respective workers.
  3. FSW members who may believe they are "absolutely sure" that an application will be processed within the next six calendar days may well discover that some clients may subsequently reveal income that renders them ineligible for expedited service, after all. This type situation, we fear, may well precipitate unjustified disciplinary actions being managerially imposed upon our members based upon presumptive and premature managerial directives beyond their control.

The resolution to this grievance our Union respectively demands consists of the County not implementing the abovementioned policy based upon the cogent concerns our Union has herein proffered.

We seek a hearing in this regard.


David H. Weiner, President

CWA Local 1081