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Resolutions & Amendments

28th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (1988)

Caseload Standards for Public Services

Resolution No. 34
28th International Convention
June 20-24, 1988
Los Angeles, CA


Far too many AFSCME members who work in human services and other programs are adversely affected by stress, burnout, and an inability to provide services effectively because of unmanageable and unreasonable caseloads; and


The high cost of the failure to address this issue exacts a heavy toll upon workers and their families and recipients of services; and


Runaway caseloads carried by employees in public agencies are indefensible. They make a mockery out of the delivery of services that clients are entitled law. They cause chaos in the workplace by creating serious worker turnover and absenteeism rates, demoralized staff and disgruntled clients; and


Public service agencies that tolerate the existence of unmanageable caseloads break faith with taxpayers' expectations that services to eligible persons be provided promptly, effectively, and efficiently; and


When workloads are out of control, recipients are denied the services they need. All too frequently this subjects them to unfair hardship and deprivation; and


Unmanageable caseloads, or workloads, have a profound impact upon conditions of employment. Because of this fact, they present an issue that should be addressed and resolved through the collective bargaining, or consultation process, or, failing this, through legislative or legal action; and


One remedy to the issue of unmanageable caseloads is the establishment and enforcement of quantifiable, realistic caseload standards in each program area.


That AFSCME councils and locals who are facing this issue are urged to address it through collective bargaining, consultation, state legislation or other alternative means, and to call upon the International Union for whatever assistance or support that may be needed; and


That the International develop ways to address the caseload issue at the federal level through the establishment of national caseload,standards or by altering federal reimbursement formulas in such a way as to provide incentives to states to set lower caseload sizes and increase staffing.



Max R. Liberles, President
Emily Houck, Secretary-Treasurer
AFSCME Local 2000
Chicago, Illinois

John Birnel, President
Cecilia Saari, Recording Secretary
AFSCME Local 843, Council 28
Seattle, Washington