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State Human Services Union Identifies Ways to Save Millions of Tax Dollars
Date:1/6/2009

SEIU Local 668 says Governor has ignored their cost saving suggestions

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to Governor Rendell's request for suggestions on closing the state's budget shortfall, SEIU Local 668, the Union which represents over 20,000 human services workers across Pennsylvania, said they have identified millions of dollars that could be saved. The Union said the Governor should cancel contracts with private contractors for work that can be done more efficiently and for a lower cost by state employees.

"The need for human services is at an all-time high due to the present state of the economy," said Kathy Jellison, President of SEIU Local 668, the Pennsylvania Social Services Union. "Yet there are fewer and fewer people to provide these vital services, due to flat funding of public agencies and the hiring freeze imposed by Governor Rendell. Our agencies have been flat funded since day one of this administration, so we've actually been paying for our own raises through the loss of staff for the last 6 years."

Jellison pointed out that the Rendell Administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on private contractors for work that can be done by state employees. She said that the Union has repeatedly made suggestions for cost-cutting measures that would save taxpayer dollars, but the Governor has ignored them.

"It is time for this administration to open the books and disclose the huge amounts of taxpayer money being wasted on private contractors," said Jellison. "Our members can do this work more efficiently -- and at a lower cost to the taxpayers. There is no justification for these private contracts, when our members can do a better job and have more experience at providing the same services. We believe this is why vital human services have not been fully funded in Pennsylvania."

As one example, Jellison pointed to a state cont
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SOURCE SEIU Local 668
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