Home Forward is an innovative establishment that continually looks to better the community and provide more services and subsidies to the community.
The benefits at Home Forward for those recently employed or those looking to become employed leave something to be desired. Although PERS may have been a great system for those who began working 15+ years ago this system no longer provides what I would consider a true retirement plan. Every few years the union and management bargain for benefits and raises. During sequestration Home Forward avoided forced lay-offs by reducing raises and increases employee cost of benefits. It appears that they are working to bridge this gap but it does not appear that it will happen very quickly nor will it reach the point where it once was. Keep in mind that there are no performance based raises. All union employees receive the same raises regardless of their work quality or proficiency. Due to this there is less of an achieving work ethic, rather simply a "get done what needs to be done and that's it" work ethic. This is not to say that management does not try to encourage a more productive and efficient work ethic-- they do-- but staff is not rewarded for working harder. Therefore not only are you working a thankless job, you are aren't compensated for the extra effort work you put in.
As a very independent, driven, and inquisitive individual I was able to move up within the agency very quickly. The information that I have learned and the experience I have gained has been completely worth it. Unfortunately the lack of performance based raises and the miniscule annual raises bargained for are not enough. To increase your income above essentially cost of living increases you must get promoted. If you move into management you have to pay 6% of your salary into PERs (whereas if you are union the employer pays it for you). I am personally not comfortable with the stability of PERs nor the miniscule 20% of my last three years salary working as a retirement plan. This may also be due to my age as I am looking for more aggressive retirement options.
Employee contribution to health: 15.5% of cost