The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Michigan DHS Workers Demand Help

Dec 21, 2009

Cheers of excitement rang out amongst protesters as passing motorists honked their horns in support or stopped to talk. Department of Human Services (DHS) workers at the Sterling Heights, Michigan office demonstrated on December 18 to publicize the desperate need for more human services workers to be hired immediately.

Favorite chants at the spirited rally were: “D-H-S, WHAT A MESS!” “HELP THE CLIENTS FEED THE KIDS!” and “NO MORE THREATS!”

Workers have had it with the threats of discipline for not keeping up with their caseloads of more than 1000 people/families.

Frustration morphed into action at this office as workers put together this well-organized protest.

A simple fact illustrates the depth of the problem in Michigan. Food assistance cases have INCREASED 205% since the year 2000. Over that same time period, the number of DHS workers has DECREASED 28%.

As a father of four who joined the protest said: “The system is broken.”

More than 60 DHS workers participated, a highpercentage at this small office.

Almost 20% of the population of Michigan is now receiving some type of DHS assistance. The politicians are without shame for not funding more workers in this Hurricane Katrina-like situation.

Hopefully this will be the first of many demonstrations.

DHS workers taking to the streets could give the politicians the kick in the pants they need to fund the thousand or so more workers that are needed.