Grand Jury Says County Needs To Hire More Eligibility Workers, Increase Pay

The job of Shasta County eligibility worker has become much more complex and requires more specialized skills, and the job classification and pay need to reflect that. Such is the finding of a Grand Jury investigation. A reclassification was proposed by a member of upper management in Health and Human Services a year-and-a-half ago, but the county never approved it. There’s currently a high vacancy rate for the position, prompting the Grand Jury investigation. That vacancy rate has led to current staff putting in excessive overtime, and in turn has led to a high burnout rate and further vacancy. The caseload in the past ten years has increased by 66% but staffing has only increased by 11%. One problem is a lack of an adequate training space, so only 16 new hires can be trained every 4 months. Despite the challenges, the Grand Jury found that eligibility workers have high job satisfaction and respect for their supervisors, but the low starting pay of $19 per hour makes it difficult retain people. Thus the vacancy rate of 24 to 38%. The Grand Jury recommends higher more of them and paying them more.

– Steve Gibson