Illinois child care workers on April 28 again called on Deloitte Consulting to fix the problems with a Deloitte designed computer system that has caused delays and mistakes in payments that they are supposed to receive.
“I was waiting on late payments until recently, but my fellow providers are still suffering,” said Sharon Norwood, a child care provider from Evergreen Park, Illinois. “We provide critical services to working families so I don’t understand why Deloitte isn’t taking this issue seriously.”
In 2010, the Illinois Department of Human Services awarded a $9 million contract to Deloitte to design and implement the Child Care Management System (CCMS) that was supposed to improve management of the state’s program for providing child care services to low-wage workers.
CCMS was activated in January. Since then, child care workers have experienced delays in getting certified, incorrect and delayed payments, and in some, cases, no payments at all.
Back in February, a delegation of child care workers organized by SEIU Healthcare Illinois called attention to the problem by demonstrating at Deloitte’s Chicago headquarters. Some of the child care workers tried to speak directly to Deloitte managers to urge them to fix the problem. Deloitte management refused to talk to them.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do, it has become a hardship,” said Dorothy Riddick, a child-care provider to WLS television at the demonstration.
According to SEIU, some child care workers are facing eviction, have had utilities cut off, and were charged late payment and overdraft fees because of late and missing payments.
The Illinois Department of Human Services responded with a statement assuring the child care workers that most of the problems had been fixed
But SEIU said that Deloitte was dragging its feet and didn’t want to fix the problems because its CCMS contract is about to expire and the company didn’t want to spend more resources on the project.
In April, child care workers continued to experience the delays and mistakes that caused the February protests.
Recently, hundreds of child care workers flooded Deloitte’s headquarters with phone calls describing the hardships that Deloitte’s computer system has caused and demanding that Deloitte fix it.
On April 28, a delegation of child care workers hand delivered a letter to Deloitte headquarters with the same message. Norwood, a member of the child care workers delegation, assured Deloitte’s management that the child care workers weren’t going away until Deloitte fixed the problems
“I will continue to fight back until every provider receives the payments they’re owed and Deloitte’s system is fixed,” said Norwood.