CLINTON—The DeWitt County office of the state Department of Human Services will close and merge with the office in Lincoln that now serves Logan County.
It will be one of as many as 18 offices to close and consolidate with others, said Green. And while clients and employees will have to drive farther for services and to work, most services now are accessible by phone and Internet and no employees were dismissed.
Tom Green, spokesman for DHS, said the department plans to consolidate some 19 offices, all of them with six or fewer employees. The Clinton office will to close on May 21, at the same time the lease for its location at 1275 State Route 54 runs out. Three employees now will then begin commuting to the Lincoln office, he said.
Green said the consolidations are driven by the department, not the governor’s office, and have been in the works for about a year
According to Marielle Sainvilus, another DHS spokesperson, combining workers into larger sites will enable employees to spend more time with more clients.
Although Sainvilus said that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents most state workers, is in talks with DHS about the closings, a union spokesman disagreed. Anders Lindall said the union only recently learned of the closings, through workers, not managers, and wants the state to bargain over the closings.