I have worked for the city for approximately 23 years. I am at the Human Resources Administration at the Rider Job Center in the Bronx.
I am a Job Opportunity Associate, which is a supervisory position. I supervise a unit in the Undercare section and oversee to make sure the workers interview and process applications of clients and address their problems.
I follow up to make sure the cases are properly done in a timely manner and that they are up to date and the clients are receiving their correct benefits, looking to see if our clients are not missing out on grants they are entitled to, as well that they keep up with their appointments.
We work with our clients to get child care when they need it, to assist them in emergency situations, such as evictions.
We steer our clients to be independent of the system—from public assistance—by engaging them in work activities, sending them to job fairs and seeing that they have proper credentials and resumes ready when they go off for their job interviews.
My staff is very dedicated. They deserve to be recognized for their work—they are the hardest working people I know.
The challenges for us are on a daily basis, being that we are short-staffed and we have to do numerous jobs. I have to be a supervisor, also a counselor at certain times. I have to mediate disputes between clients and workers, sometimes.
I have to work with management as well as with my workers whenever an issue comes up with a case. We work together to come to solutions in situations regarding our clients.
I feel a sense of satisfaction when we follow through and have steered a client to the right direction and see that the case has been resolved. When there are clients who come in stressed, upset, and angry, we try to work with them to assure them that we can resolve their issue. We can say that 85 percent of the time we succeed.
It is wonderful to be in a union.
The union is here to help us and they are so helpful. They advocate for us when we have problems, especially with management. We get protections and benefits, particularly with our health care.
We stay up to date with the union. I go to meetings when I can, and try to assist the union in what needs to be done.
Mr. Spicer came to the attention of Public Employee Press, thanks to a message through social media by a SSEU Local 371 retiree, Cheryl Cardin Shelton, a 33-year veteran.