Maureen Dunaway, DEED Local 501
All of us at DEED in the unemployment insurance department are working hard to serve Minnesotans. We are on the phone the entire time during business hours leaving us to work overtime to do determine eligibility. We are thankful to those who have come back from retirement and those who were redeployed and are getting a crash course. However, we are still short-staffed for the volume of calls we are receiving. We have processed over 300,000 applications in three weeks, and that is more applications than we did in all of 2019. When you let that sink in, I think we are doing a really good job. Wait times are, as expected, longer than usual, leaving some callers frustrated. But many callers are thankful and understanding. If you know of anyone who is going to apply, please encourage patience. I am thankful that I am now able to telework; it has been a slow transition. It is going well for those who are teleworking so I'm hoping for the safety of my colleagues that more can get approved to telework soon. These are certainly unprecedented times, I think our department and all of my fellow MAPE members all deserve kudos. Keep up the good work everyone!