This morning, June 21, 2023, workers in York County’s Area Agency on Aging and the Office for Children, Youth, and Families attended the County Commissioners’ meeting to voice their disappointment with their elected officials. SEIU Local 668 members working at these County agencies have been in contract negotiations for more than a year. Last week, workers received a last, best, final offer from the County. Unfortunately, SEIU 668 members do not feel that the County’s final offer solves the immediate staff retention and recruitment crisis so these agencies can safely serve the York community.
SEIU 668 members working in York County Aging and OCYF attended and spoke at today’s Commissioner meeting, making sure their elected officials and the general community understand the critical issues facing the workers who serve York County’s most vulnerable populations.
“With this being such critical work for our loved ones and communities, we shouldn’t have employees relying on social aid and low-income programs. Unfortunately, it appears our Commissioners don’t agree and fail to recognize our hard work and the role we play in getting our elderly and infirm the care they need. We and our union have been in contract negotiations for more than a year to address our needs and concerns, but the last, best, final offer we’ve received has left many of us feeling undervalued, unseen, and unappreciated,” stated Erin Stevens, Care Manager at York County Area Agency on Aging and member of the SEIU 668 contract negotiations team.
York County workers have been bargaining in good faith to try to directly address the staffing crisis currently facing these agencies. SEIU 668 members have proposed a number of ways the County can help support caseworkers, but the County has continually rejected those proposals.
“There is a saying about caseworkers, really social workers in general, ‘we go into homes with a notepad and pen that law enforcement enter with bulletproof gear and firearms’. We are here today to advocate for our membership. I say these things not to be off-putting or harsh, but the reality is that these are the risks that caseworkers face on a regular basis while trying to protect some of our community’s most vulnerable,” said Destiney Michael, a caseworker with York OCYF and union contract negotiations team member.
SEIU Local 668 members in York County will vote on this last-best offer this week. An update will be provided once workers decide to accept or reject this offer.