May 24, 2011

WFSE/AFSCME blasts bill that aims to end run court on contracting out

WFSE/AFSCME members watch hearing on HB 2122 to end run a recent court decision against contracting out.

A last-minute bid to undo the judge’s order against contracting out of case management in Child Welfare Services came before the House Ways and Means Committee Monday evening and was blasted by the Federation.

SHB 2122 would basically revise history and say the Legislature two years ago really did mean to contract out that social work statewide all along.
In fact, the 2009 legislation (HB 2106) set up a pilot project in two regions to study the contracting out. It would be studied and then a final decision on possible expansion would be made in 2015.

Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux told the committee the union “vehemently” opposes SHB 2122.

“In essence, the judge ruled that within the pilot projects, DSHS could test the contracting out of case management without competitive contracting but outside of the pilot projects DSHS still had to follow the competitive contracting statute when contracting for case management,” Devereux said.

“Here today before you is SHB 2122, a bill which will totally undermine the pilot project process mandated by HB 2106 and guts competitive contracting in this state. If SHB 2122 moves forward, you are allowing contracted case management functions to become the norm statewide and the original project idea is rendered moot.

“We believe the pilot projects should move forward in the original manner and if case management is contracted beyond the pilots, that process should be governed by (the law).

“That is the only fair process for our citizens, the case workers and the individuals they care for.”

The committee late Monday night passed SHB 2122 on a vote of 20-5.

  Call your two House members at 1-800-562-6000 and urge them to oppose SHB 2122. Follow the law and the court order on contracting out in the Children’s Administration. And don’t take a sledgehammer to a competitive contracting system that’s working.

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