CFS Social Worker Update - January 14, 2022

Dear OCEA member, 

As you know, OCEA provided SSA Director Debra Baetz with a list of your demands on December 15, 2021. The most urgent of those demands had a 60-day timeline. On Wednesday, OCEA Labor Relations Staff met with Director Baetz and SSA Chief Deputy Director An Tran for a 30-day status check. The Directors indicated that some progress has been made on a number of the items, however much remains incomplete and we must continue to push them to have your demands met. Below is a summary of the items for which we received a progress update: 

Workflow Redesign Study 
At the January 25 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board will consider funding a Workflow Redesign Study. You can view the agenda item here This study is something OCEA and its members have been pushing for prior to 2020.  

The scope of the study covers many CFS-wide demands, including the assessment of expectations for each type of case/assignment and establishing a reasonable workload. The study design includes surveys and interviews with staff who are subject matter experts.

It is expected that the Board will approve the contract which has a study start date of March 1, 2022. Although we are hopeful that this study will improve processes in CFS and make the workload more manageable, we let Director Baetz know that relief measures for SSA workers are needed in the interim and cannot be delayed by the study.  

Clerical Support for SSWs in ER 
Director Baetz at first rejected our demand for additional clerical support. She initially said clerical staff is already providing the requested support. OCEA pushed back, reiterating that additional support is needed. SSA conceded and agreed to establish a workgroup for both Senior Social Workers and clerical staff to come together to define the specific needs and feasibility.   

Additional Social Worker II’s Designated to ER programs 
The January 25, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting agenda includes a request for additional hires of Social Worker II’s in SSA. SSA Management will provide an assessment of the need for SWII’s in various SSA divisions and programs. 

Protected Intake Days in ER 
You and your coworkers demanded that protected intake days be respected. According to Director Baetz, intake days will continue to be protected. It’s important to report unfair breaches of your protected time to your OCEA Labor Representative. 

Trauma Informed Counseling 
Director Baetz discussed ongoing efforts to collect and review contracts for providing first responder crisis counseling for CFS Social Workers.  

Technology Improvements in ER 
Director Baetz reported that new “2-in-1” laptops had been procured for distribution to CFS workers performing documentation in the field. This technology “refresh” is set to begin in February, starting with ER.  

Important Dates to Remember 
The CFS Caseload Management Forum is next week, Wednesday, January 19 at 9 a.m. via Zoom. OCEA will host the virtual meeting so attendees can be assured their responses in the chat will be not be seen by Management.  

Join Zoom Meeting: Check home email for Zoom details.

Additionally, February 15 marks the end of the 60-day period given to SSA management to comply with the provisions of our demand letter. You can review the letter here. On that day, OCEA will host a meeting to review progress and determine next steps based on how these solutions have, or haven’t, been implemented in your programs. Please save this date and plan on contributing to this crucial discussion to hold the Agency accountable.  

It has been a long road but we are truly at an inflection point to finally make solid progress towards achieving the workplace solutions that you all worked so hard to achieve. Please stay unified and reach out to your OCEA Labor Representatives if you have any questions or concerns.  

In Solidarity,  


Publication Date: January 14, 2022