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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance SYSTEM is a Disaster OR We have a New Obstructionist Tool that Works Perfectly

 
Where the jobs are, and aren't By Joel Kramer MinnPost

MNpublius.com Strib: Pawlenty attempting to Cheapskate State’s way to Greatness Jun 14th, 2007 "Actually, this page preferred the old formula: Minnesota as a commonwealth, a place where nearly everyone swam or sank together."

News Hounds ~ DownWithTyranny! and The Brad Blog Track Reality Sunday, January 13, 2008 "P.S. An acquaintance of my husband is now going on 8 weeks of waiting for his first UI check."

Update Legislators grill Pawlenty administration about long waits for jobless benefits By Barb Kucera, Workday editor 14 January 2008

Dear Minnesota Officials….the New UI SYSTEM is without a doubt 'Unacceptable' and the treatment towards the claimants is the epitome of an extremely 'Ugly' Government.

Editorial Job Insecurities Washington Post November 14, 2007
"Americans rightly expect their government to help when they face economic hardship beyond their control. Preparing for layoffs, whether brought on by a downturn or by the continuing shift to a globalized economy, is the least that lawmakers can do."

Your View — The war on the middle class is going well by Carl Meyers The Mankato Free Press November 12, 2007 "Call your representative and senators and tell them not to be afraid, to end the occupation now, to reverse the insane trade policies, to take the cap off Social Security and to strengthen the social safety nets for the good of the American people."

WHO IS THIS HAPPENING TO In Minnesota…..

If you or someone you know, is having a problem collecting Unemployment Insurance money…at all or on time -- Call your Minnesota State Representative immediately.

You will want to contact the Legislative Assistant for that Representative. Its faster.

If you go online you can find the name of the Legislative Assistant. The Assistant will be able to go into action for you and resolve the problem within a day or so.

That is how it has worked so far.

Be aware that Representative’s telephone messages are picked up by the Legislative Assistants and you should receive a call back at least by the next day.

If you are not getting through to your Representative or Representative‘s Legislative Assistant, please contact another Representative’s Legislative Assistants office for help within two days of not hearing back from your own.

If you have had to pay fee’s out of pocket because UI was not deposited in your bank account by UI on time, please call your State Representative.

If your bank account is frozen because fee's can't be paid, call your State Representative.

If you have had to pay late fee’s for bills, because you did not receive your UI on time, please call your State of MN Representative.

If your utilities have been disconnected, can‘t pay for transportation costs for job search, can’t buy food or get to the neighborhood food shelf, have lost your car, or have been evicted from your home or are skidding into foreclosure…..because your UI has been severely delayed by weeks or months, please call your State of MN Representative immediately.

If you can’t apply for UI, because the new SYSTEM won’t let you…Call your State of MN Representative!

If UI has not replied to your requests for your UI benefits, call your Representatives office.

If the new SYSTEM tells you that there is an issue, repeatedly, when you are calling in or using the online reporting method….Call your State Representative.

If your UI is delayed and/or decreased at all….Call your State Representative‘s office.

Who Represents Me?
and Legislative Districts

House Public Information Services - Call House Information for

assistance with finding your representative and senator.

Phone: (651) 296-2146 or 1 (800) 657-3550
TTY: (651) 296-9896


Taking action when satisfaction can't be achieved.....I came across some very caring State Capital Staff, who went above the call of duty to help a few people get the services they deserved. This will undoubtedly help many more people in the coming weeks, I am hoping.

The normal waiting period for your first UI benefit check used to be 3 weeks up to four - a one week check, the first week held back. But since the new SYSTEM, delays have been 5 weeks and in some cases 6 weeks out. This is not normal. This happened because of the elimination of UI staff and the new UI SYSTEM. The changes that have occurred under UI in the last two years especially, are not good for anyone who becomes unemployed. It used to be one of the best hands on (people / public centered) departments under our -MN Government umbrella.

Bringing Benefits into the 21st Century Equity in Unemployment Center for American Progress September 14, 2007
"Unemployment insurance plays a significant role in reducing rates of poverty for those who receive benefits, as the Poverty Task Force reported earlier this year."

Ohio: New Rules for Unemployment Payments By BOB DRIEHAUS New York Times October 31, 2007
".....as the only state that reduces unemployment payments to people over 62 by the full amount of their Social Security benefits."

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING AT ALL?

New features that improve government service????

The state said.....

"The project was delivered on time and on budget at $42.6 million.

Phase I of the project has already enabled the UI Program to reduce its staffing needs. The new UI online system will continue this trend while enabling accurate and timely benefit payments. "


But wait a minute….there was a request to fill 50 job slots in UI, just last week.

What happened to all of the UI Reps that were located at the undisclosed Call Center in Roseville and the others from around the State of MN?


A person was actually told not to count on getting their UI on any specific date....that there was no set date anymore, via an UI Rep. that answered the phone.

WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT THIS?

I’m a tax payer and I’ve had a front row seat in watching and hearing about the devastation that the new SYSTEM has caused and still is causing. I jumped through every hoop thrown at me, I tried diplomacy and advocacy and so did others. But nothing worked.

"August was bad enough when the SYSTEM was coming into daily play with new claimants. But luckily the old SYSTEM could still be relied upon at the time for most existing claimants."

More Apply for Jobless Benefits From The Washington Post By The Associates Press August 10, 2007

"Then comes October and then November. The stories were getting worse. Time to spring into action, after a wise and wonderful acquaintance gave me a nudge."

Jobless Claims Up Slightly for Week WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 From The Washington Post (Reuters)

Jobless claims fell The Washington Post By Nancy Waitz Reuters Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thanks to .Common Sense for this post US Government Caught Changing the Truth On Another Economic Subject posted 12-05-07 "It's been proven that the Bush administration's Labor Department lies about jobs numbers" which leads to this post... Faking The Savings Rate by Losing Money To Inflation Wednesday, October 3, 2007 "Such a miracle! All of a sudden, the personal savings rate is positive for all but one quarter."

"I support paying taxes for a myriad of programs and services, because it is my investment in the quality of life that this state provided. Good Government means planning, foresight, vision, common sense and logic with a nice big touch of humanity. We did have it that way...it did exist...until now."

Minnesota 1973 ~ Peace On Earth Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MNpublius.com Strib: Pawlenty attempting to Cheapskate State’s way to Greatness Jun 15th, 2007 Comment by Kathy "Matt!! Your long post is the BEST I have read so far that explains the relationship of good investing into a State’s infrastructure and Quality of Life. The two are important when Employment numbers are high, the State’s economy also benifits."

The truth will out Reversing those trends by Norwegianity "-- restoring the fine public services and high quality of life that Minnesotans once took for granted -- will require more money and higher taxes."

Minnesota...for gods sake. Never thought I’d see the day that this State would slide into sub-standard services.

I suspect that the Iraq Invasion / Occupation is at the fore front of the terrible domino affect that every municipality is facing. I am not willing to just sit on my hands when citizen rights are being obstructed. I'm not going to tolerate it and I'm not going to back off.

UI is an Entitlement! It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. There are many, many people dependant upon this temporary service. It exists to help the job seeker while they are in transition to another job. When people lose their jobs in Industries that will not recover, they can go to school under a program that is also connected to UI. The people train for a job that brings them back into the fold of full tax contributor once again. They once again give back to the entire infrastructure of our society. A societal system that should always be in working order.

Open Congress

House Votes ...expanding Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and extending the program to include... The Washington Post Thursday, November 8, 2007

For: 264 /Against: 157

"The House sent the Senate a bill (HR 3920) expanding Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and extending the program to include workers in service industries and some government employees."

The shame industry by Norwegianity "Hmm, how did this post start? Oh yeah:"

But the new SYSTEM is not really meant for people. A diverse array of people need to connect with a professionally trained UI Representative. Instead we are served a 'Less' SYSTEM because the state thinks a people-less and paper-less SYSTEM means less money being spent. Wonder if the 50 plus people to be hired are going to be part of a Contracted Call Center like the New Contracted UI SYSTEM.

It really makes one wonder about the personality profile of (the 24 percent Republican Neocons) those in charge -- . We let these people run our government and manage our services. Are we insane?

The other aspect of the Conservative tax cutting agenda has been to use cuts as a means to, as they term it; "starve the beast". It's been conservative policy to try to assure that social programs for education, childcare, healthcare and the poor are "starved to death" due to the lack of available federal funds. by Duke1676 at Daily Koz

WHAT CAUSED ME TO BLOG ABOUT IT…..

The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance SYSTEM mess.

The Minnesota Legislature created the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program to provide workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own in 1936.

REASONS to not back off.....
The continuous excuses that it is the SYSTEMS fault.

The never ending lack of resolve.

The absence of immediate resolve accelerated ‘Economic’ destruction to individuals and their family members.

Meaning they lost basic needs because the SYSTEM is not working properly.

A Supervisor from UI, told a state employee that I needed to back off!

If I had ‘backed off’ then more people would've stayed 'STUCK' in the new UI abyss and would never have gotten the attention they deserved to resolve the matter, the attention that was warranted to resolve the matter and the attention that any citizen tax payer should expect to resolve any matter.

There is also an element who seems to believe that UI isn’t deserved, as if people pushed out of a job should just settle for whatever crumbs come along. Some seem to think that UI doesn't belong to those that lost their job at the hands of the employer, the employer who is required in this state to contribute to UI through taxes.

The shame industry by Norwegianity "Aside from the class bias in policies, the class bias in attitude is really appalling. The degree to which those of a certain professional class imagine their contributions to society to be special and unique really fascinates me."

When a person is eligible for UI, they are justified in seeking the service they were told it was going to be. They should expect nothing less.

"Oh yes, the other reason that I am blogging about this, is that this new SYSTEM was not ready to go and someone made a conscious decision to dump the old system knowing that the new SYSTEM was not ready!"

And no one is offering to reimburse any person who had to pay late fee’s / penalties or offering to get back a car or a roof over someone’s head. No one has talked about the moral implications of forcing the eligible claimant into the mess that the State of MN caused by not being ready to serve the claimant....one huge mess.

Remember Hurricane Katrina and Rita? All of the displace people? They couldn't get through to UI by telephone or online, no matter what state they were exiled to. That was Ugly government in its finest hour. That is still ugly government to the victims of the worst catastrophe in our time.

No Maintenance Republican Leadership by Grace Kelly MNBlue November 14, 2007

Remember the person at MNDOT who lost her job (only ONE so far) because she didn't come back when the I35 bridge fell down? Well, I've heard all about her and it is now clear, this is the type of personality we have woven through out our entire state system, these people were hired / appointed to be in charge of our infrastructure? I guess we are in a state of insane flux.

Clothes Line Why do bloggers blog? November 13, 2007 by barbara "...have taken journalism into their own hands and bypassed those that would con-troll the message."

What a perfect Obstructionist Tool.

Buy a computer SYSTEM that doesn’t work for the people. Buy a SYSTEM that is developed and formatted in a way that automatically rejects the claimant. No way to back up and review or correct the problem when the bells and whistles go off either. No one to talk to. How many people can sit on the phone for 10 to 15 minutes repeatedly trying to talk to a UI Rep (what few are left), why should they have to. Our 42 million dollar (factor in inflation and unforeseen costs) new SYSTEM is an awful, awful, Awful Anti-claimant system.

From Shining Light In Dark Corners Keynesianism: What it is and why it still matters

PS…if someone tells a claimant that they are reporting incorrectly, then ‘someone’ should be on the other end to help the claimant to do it right immediately. The old system allowed for real time human interaction between the UI Rep. and the claimant, before any problems could occur. It worked, pure and simple.

PSS…Never throw out an old SYSTEM before the new one is working. It wrecks the credibility of those operating that department.

Someone from the state told me that it would take ten years to fix our state, said it can’t be done because they’re too busy responding to people's daily emergency needs.

The real numbers of who try / tried to apply for UI and who is In the SYSTEM, is of course at the mercy of the new SYSTEM.

Hello…what about planning ahead?

Isn’t that how our bridge ended up falling down?

No planning. No will. No action?

It breaks my heart.

And why is our SYSTEM broken?

This one falls at the feet of our very own public officials.

The timeline sort of tells it all, who was able to get their grubby little manicured fingers on our infrastructure, on our incredibly strong foundation. Systematically deconstruct a perfectly logical, a brilliantly well laid out system that was citizen friendly. What happened to it?

Its all about OBSTRUCTION - its all about WASTE - its all about INCOMPETENCE. Never let these people run any kind of governmental program, ever again. Worst management of the peoples business on a local level. We have a list and its growing, in our state of insane flux.

"Whether put out there accidentally or on purpose, the ones that are usually assigned to clean up the mess are not the ones who caused the mess in the first place."
I have never seen anything like this, here in the state of MN. Someone from the State of MN said that MN is at risk of becoming mediocre, over the radio last week. I think MN is in the throws of becoming just another sub-par / sub-standard state in the union. And it breaks my heart.

Paul Wellstone ~ A Champion for the People by awakening Friday, October 26, 2007

BACKGROUND INFORMATION.......
Find Articles Unemployment Insurance Benefits System

"Tier Announces Subcontract with BearingPoint to Support Minnesota" Business Wire, Sept 29, 2003 Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

"The unemployment insurance market is fueled by the Reed Act. Of this $8 billion federal distribution, which was made in March of 2002, we estimate that roughly $2 billion will be earmarked for technology upgrades of state unemployment insurance systems," Mr. Weaver said."

In June 2003, BearingPoint, a FileNet ValueNet partner with operations in Minneapolis, MN, was awarded a two-year contract to design, develop, and build the first phase of a new UI system for the state of Minnesota.

Windfalls of War from The Center for Public Integrity
"BearingPoint has also found success in the area of international development, winning three contracts in 2003 for reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Tier Awarded Minnesota Child Support Payment Processing Center Contract Extension Business Wire, April 28, 2005
"Tier has been an excellent partner in assisting the Child Support Enforcement Division in carrying out its mission"

MN unemployment program launches Web site Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - by Carissa Wyant Staff Writer. East Bay Business Times Bizjournals Thursday, November 1, 2007 cwyant@bizjournals.com (612) 288-2108
“MN unemployment program launches Web site Minneapolis / St. Paul...The $42.6 million project began in 2001, with the first phase implemented in June 2005.”

New features that improve government service: "The State of MN says…..The project was delivered on time and on budget at $42.6 million." Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development November 1, 2007

"The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which administers the UI program, says the state is making the transition to online reporting because it is more cost efficient than paper-based transactions:"

CACHE
Minnesota Going to Online UI Filing Business Journal - by Carissa Wyant Staff Writer The $42.6 million project began in 2001, with the first phase

Resources White Papers
When Minnesota residents lose their jobs
CACHE
Resources White Papers
When Minnesota residents lose their jobs
"When Minnesota residents lose their jobs unexpectedly due to downsizing or for other reasons that are no fault of their own, they can turn to the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program."

Center on Budget & Policy Priorities UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FALLING FAR SHORT 48 States Fail Eligibility Standards, 23 States Fail Overall on New National Report Card FOR RELEASE: March 12, 2002 Henry Griggs 202-408-1080

Renters losing their homes without missing a payment by Adam Doster Raw Story Saturday November 17, 2007

"These residents are renters who had the unfortunate luck of living in houses whose landlords defaulted on their mortgages — a large but little noticed externality of the subprime fallout."

THE NEW COVENANT WITH AMERICA-- THE DEMOCRATS' CONTRACT WITH AMERICA Wednesday, November 09, 2005 From DownWithTyranny

"6. Restoring the middle class. We will restore the growth of the American middle class and of middle-class incomes. Supply-side economics, which rewards the rich with generous tax breaks and tells us that the resulting economic growth will trickle down to everyone else, has proven a cruel hoax. Little or nothing is trickling down. A quarter of all the benefits of economic growth now go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans. We are determined to reverse course."

Bob’s Semipolitical Blog In my opinion the 2006 election was unique in the fact that so many voters came out against incumbents and republicans that even if 10% of the vote were flipped Congress was still turned over to the Democrats by a slim margin.

A progressive plan for immigration reform by Duke1676 Sun Nov 11, 2007

But What Does All This Have To Do With Immigration?

"Who is responsible for this situation? The answer is simple ... the economic and social policies of those who claim to be Conservatives that favor an elite class of the economically privileged over the vast majority of Americans."


"They have taken two hundred years of struggle to raise the standard of living for the average American and thrown it to the winds, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility" and "smaller government." All along being neither fiscally responsible nor providing smaller government."

In Minnesota ~ One System Does Not Fit.... Thursday, December 27, 2007
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