Update: At a Central Health board meeting Wednesday, members could vote to shuffle roughly $7 million in funding from its reserve fund to Integral Care in an attempt to offset these staff cuts. You can find the latest on that update here.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — To remedy a roughly $22 million shortfall in federal and state funding next fiscal year, Travis County’s largest mental health provider is slashing nearly 10% of its staff positions, some of which are vacant, a board meeting Thursday revealed.
Outside of one Integral Care facility, a staff member said employees are “stressed, overwhelmed” and said the staff cuts are only going to make a case load that’s already heavy much worse.
“It’s unexpected. People are going to lose their stability. Not only for employees but for the clients,” that employee said. We are not naming them.
Integral Care provides resources for people with mental health illnesses, substance use disorder and intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to its website. Those resources include crisis services — such as the operation of the region’s 988 call center — along with counseling and case management, drug and alcohol treatment and housing services.
The Integral Care board signed off on a budget Aug. 31, which includes eliminating 115 positions. Of those positions, 48 are filled positions and 30 are program services positions, staff said Thursday.
Some people may be offered the opportunity to shuffle into vacant positions, staff said in a board meeting Thursday.
For those who aren’t being moved to open positions, the Integral Health board — which is made up of Integral Care leadership, Travis County and Austin officials — opted for a 12 week warning for staff. It means those without another position will leave Nov. 24, according to Integral Care.
“The Board approved an extension of 6 weeks of employment to 12 weeks of employment for those affected by the RIF and offered to work with the executive team to identify additional funding to reduce the number of employees impacted. We are confident Integral Care will continue to meet the needs of adults, children, and families in Travis County,” said Trish Young Brown, the Board Chair for Integral Care.
The United Workers of Integral Care praised the push from a 6-week notification to 12 weeks, but said it wants the board and staff to find ways to fund programs that have to be cut as a product of the budget cuts.
“The union is now calling on the City of Austin and Travis County elected leaders to use this 12 week period to urgently work with IC Board and EMT to secure additional funding to prevent any employee layoffs and cuts to services,” the union wrote.