State Workers Union: Governor Disappoints, House Speaker Misinforms at State of the State

Communications Workers of America Local 6355 - Missouri State Workers Union 6320 Manchester, 46C Kansas City, MO 64133 Phone (800)575?6355

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29, 2013 CONTACT PERSON: Bradley Harmon, (c) 314-753-1802, bharmon@cwa-mswu.org

Governor Disappoints, House Speaker Misinforms at State of the State

Front line state employees at the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) and Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) expressed deep disappointment to their union, CWA Local 6355, in response to Governor Jay Nixon’s budget proposal: particularly his plans to cut 60 jobs in the state agency primarily responsible for implementing the Medicaid program, the Family Support Division of DSS. CWA members disappointment in the Governor’s half-hearted plan to expand Medicaid was only exceeded by Speaker of the House Tim Jones’ reality-light response. Jones attempted to invent truth with plainly false claims that the state’s Medicaid workforce is growing. It is shrinking, and Missouri families are the ones falling through the cracks.

Front line DSS employees know better than anyone the human costs to Missouri of failing to properly support and implement basic social services. The Missouri DSS staff goes above and beyond every single day to make sure that kids and struggling families have access to basic health care. Governor Nixon speaks in lofty terms about their efficiency while preparing pink slips for 60 more of them. Not to be outdone, Speaker Jones shows that his extremist political loyalties trump Missouri kids and even basic truth.

It’s time for politicians in both parties to get real. Unfortunately, our state’s elected leaders seem more interested in playing politics than meeting the needs of Missouri’s most vulnerable families. Governor Nixon’s proposal to eliminate 60 jobs in the Family Support Division, which administers the Medicaid program and already struggles to meet demand, while expanding the agency’s client base by hundreds of thousands simply isn’t serious. Speaker of the House Tim Jones’ claim that the Governor wants to expand the state bureaucracy is patently untrue.

Missouri’s state employees are among the most productive and poorly compensated government workers in the country. Missouri families served by Local 6355 members are struggling to make it in the most difficult economy since the Great Depression. All of us, state workers and the people we serve deserve honest proposals from our state’s elected leaders on how to move Missouri forward. What we got instead yesterday was more political games.

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