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Mon Dec 12, 2016, 02:51 AM

PA Unemployment Call Center layoffs

Flying under the political radar have been the layoffs of about 500 state civil servants working at state unemployment claims call centers. The issue centers around an upgrade to a broken and out-dated computer system. The GOP-led state legislature passed a bill to fund the upgrades and the dept did its due diligence going out for bids and selecting a vendor, IBM, to do the work. In my experience bidders often over-estimate their ability to do the job or downplay the difficulty of the task. Most people would think of IBM as a safe experienced choice. They did produce some upgrades, but overall they failed. The project funding is lapsing at the end of 2016, so everyone thought there was an agreement for a 1 year extension of project funding while a new contract was put out for bid. The GOP asked for a bunch of info on the tech project with Gov Wolf and staff provided, but, now, naturally, that's not enough detail for the state Rs.

Enter ambitious Trumpkin R state senator Scott Wagner. He managed to blow up the entire deal. Since there's now not enough money in the budget to continue the tech upgrade and pay salaries, the department is closing 3 call centers. The delicious part is the call centers being closed are in the districts of 3 Republican senators. They don't like that at all. It got so bad that state sen Pat Browne (R) told Wagner to get lost when Wagner came to visit one of the closing call centers.

More background and links here: https://twitter.com/PA_Spotlight

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Reply PA Unemployment Call Center layoffs (Original post)
DeminPennswoods Dec 2016 OP
BamaRefugee Dec 2016 #1
DeminPennswoods Dec 2016 #2
DeminPennswoods Dec 2016 #3

Response to DeminPennswoods (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2016, 04:00 AM

1. Isn't IBM a Chinese company?

So patriotic of Pennsylvania Republicans to offshore their UNEMPLOYMENT upgrade.
No American ITT people needed work?

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Response to BamaRefugee (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 12, 2016, 10:28 AM

2. No, but they sold their Thinkpad

You're probably thinking of Lenovo, a Chinese company that bought IBM's Thinkpad.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 06:05 PM

3. the latest

The latest development in this layoff fiasco is that Wagner, the state senator who got the state senate to hold off voting on the bill that would have prevented the layoffs, went to Altoona and handed out cards with $150 cash to 100 laid off workers vowing to "get to the bottom" of the layoffs.

It's all true: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/20/wagner-money-furloughed-unemployment-employees/95661224/

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