Pros: intelligent, caring & dedicated co-workers/front line staff, autonomy, no day is the same, networking, ability to make a positive difference in community (although diminished)
Cons: pay, mgmt styles, little room for advancement, quality no longer a priority, history of poor company financial mgmt, decreased benfits
A typical day includes balancing contact with clients and collaterals, via phone and meetings all over the city, with tons of paperwork. Due to SCS’s financial crisis that has just been brought to light in the past couple of years, job requirements and penalties increased significantly. Bonuses were introduced, but you won't be paid if they don't have the money that month (& they’re about 2 months behind in paying them). The line "At least we have a job" is heard frequently, and IMO, it is to discourage even more people from leaving & entering the "horrible" job market. HR has been contracted out (making things more confusing for staff), some staff are now hired under "Laurus Strategies" so they don't get certain benefits. Flex time has been taken away, participation in state retirement has ceased and there have been 2 raises in 7 years. Mgmt told staff that there would likely be a small raise in 2014, but it didn’t happen. One will be sharing cramped offices with multiple people (good luck on making your required phone calls and writing reports in that environment). SCS did, however, recently complete an expensive renovation to make a waiting area look pretty.
Since they filed for bankruptcy, it has been explained that they will close if the judgment does not go their way & they’ll reopen under a different name (as they did years ago). In this case, it is assumed they will follow the model of re-hiring their chosen employees at a lower pay rate.
A memo from senior mgmt was given to other programs in the beginning of 12/13, addressing many programs, including ours. It said – more... that people would receive a pay cut or be fired if they did not meet certain expectations, starting 1/1/14. A mass email from senior mgmt went out in 1/14, addressing the new policy vaguely and stating that if we had questions, we could ask our Mgrs. Our program was still in the dark about the policy. After a Mgr was asked about it multiple times in Dec. and Jan., it was finally addressed, unclearly, mid Feb. by the Program Mgr. The explanation was that, yes, our jobs could be in jeopardy, but she was given carte blanche on how to determine who would be fired. Staff asked for this in writing, it was agreed, but never happened. (This policy does not affect mgrs, only front line staff.)
The mgrs generally appear scared of the Prog. Mgr and do not question her or advocate for their staff to their ability. Vacation time that could’ve been donated to other employees for a time of need (otherwise, will expire), has been declined so that no one can use that earned time & SCS saves $$. At least one manager does not hide her favoritism. (Helping some with their workloads and ignoring violations of some while making greater demands on others.) This dept. has a history of showing favoritism to men, as well. Mgmt has asked staff multiple times to engage in HIGHLY questionable conduct (changing/adding dates/signatures of clients to forms, etc.) for $$ purposes. Mgt has also utilized “the silent treatment".
The program has nearly tripled (to increase $$) in recent years and first line mgmt appears to be overburdened. In this dept., there was no consistency in the paperwork expectations. Staff is told to focus on one thing or to tell our clients that we can offer a service, only for it to soon be changed. It can be embarrassing when having to try to explain changes to clients/other professionals. Due to increased workload, everyone knows that getting ALL of the requirements done in 40 hours/wk, for the deadline each month. Many volunteer their time for free after the 40 hours. Improper/fraudulent techniques are "rumored" to have been utilized by staff to complete goals to avoid harsh penalties. Many went into this field to help others and felt guilty about often providing poor services due to the increased workload. Some admit to working for the bonuses, in order to support themselves, knowing that completing this additional work reduced their quality of services to clients further. Your monthly expectations remain the same, regardless of whether you take sick/vacation time. Quality is no longer a priority. The front line staff, though many have already left, are amazing people who give of themselves even on days when there is little left to give. – less