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To: State of Vermont - Health Access Eligibility Unit and Dept of Vermont Health Access
HAEU Workers Need to Be Part of the Solution for Open Enrollment & Vermont Health Connect
Half Day Shifts on the Phones – No worker can humanely be capable of continuous eight to ten hour shifts of emotionally and mentally incapacitating work on the phones; we need a more thoughtful division of labor;
Detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – We are currently unable to resolve many issues our customers face, due to a lack of clear processes for many of the situations we regularly encounter. Lack of SOPs also causes inconsistencies in both processes and information: The same task may be performed differently by each worker. Conflicting information being given to consumers is also a very prominent issue, and is frustrating for both the consumer and the worker.
A serious effort by management to open space for questions and discussion between workers – We are being impeded from effectively doing our work by unnecessary restrictions on email communication, and feel regularly discouraged or punished for speaking up. This has to be reversed if we are to succeed.
Cross-Training with DVHA – There is currently a massive bottleneck in our work, due to a small handful of workers in DVHA having skills and competency in applications that we should also have. It is unfair and nonsensical for both HAEU and DVHA workers to not increase the pool of workers with the skills necessary to make sure there is an even flow.
A discussion on the definition of Benefit Program Specialist (BPS) – Currently many of us are doing work that we feel falls outside our job description. This is a reality that needs to be addressed, and requires the description actually match the work we regularly are asked to do.
Why is this important?
We are employees of the Health Access Eligibility Unit. With Open-Enrollment for Vermont Health Connect now upon us, it has become increasingly clear that there are major roadblocks in our path to effectively and empathetically serving our customers. Many of the existing problems in HAEU have been exacerbated to crisis levels, and many of our co-workers are starting to break under the relentless pressure and emotional strain. We do not feel supported by management in our work, are regularly given conflicting, incomplete, or inaccurate information, are discouraged from holistically taking care of our customers, and are denied training which is essential for us to efficiently complete the immense task before us. Some of us are even concerned about the legality of tasks we are asked to do.