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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 01:11 PM
From: Senator Donald C. White
To: All Senate members
Subject: Opening Unemployment Compensation Service Centers to walk-in services
I plan to introduce legislation which would require the Department of Labor and Industry to open Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Centers to allow unemployed workers to access “walk-in” services in person.

The Governor’s recent decision to unnecessarily lay off staff and close three UC Service Centers (aka UC call centers) has greatly impacted the remaining centers’ ability to serve unemployed workers who are trying to file claims and get through on busy phone lines.

As a result of this backlog, unemployed workers in Indiana County are flocking to the area CareerLink job center to use direct lines to the UC Service Centers. Because of the lack of staff, unemployed workers are standing in long lines and waiting all day to use the phones—only to have many miss their turn when the UC centers close. Many constituents in the 41st District have contacted my office in frustration to point out the absurdity of standing in lines at the Indiana CareerLink to make a phone call to the UC Service Center—an agency which is located a mile away. Certainly this scenario does not come across to the public as “government that works.”

My bill will require the UC Service Centers to open their doors to unemployed workers so they can have face-to-face meetings with staff who can answer their questions and assist them in obtaining their benefits. I believe this effort—even if temporary—will help to alleviate the stress being felt by those trying to get through to the UC centers, as well ease the burden on CareerLink staff and operations.

Thank you for consideration of this proposal. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Anne Achenbach, of my staff, at 787-4404 or at aachenbach@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB268