August 2012 Round Table Report
The Department is anticipating hiring an additional four DPO’s for Realignment and perhaps an additional three DPO’s for a pre-trial pilot project.
The PPOACCC continues to meet regularly with Administration in order to have open and candid dialogue about issues raised by both sides. One such issue is a trial program for the use of metal detectors in the main office in Martinez.
Congratulations to PPOACCC President John Ebrahimi and Secretary Rich Berkery for being selected to serve another term as Executive Board Members.
The Department celebrated the Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week (July 15-21) with a series of employee appreciation luncheons at various job sites, including the main office and Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility.
The Chief anticipates some units will be armed by the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Good Luck to long-time, dedicated service as Probation Officers, Ehu Sako and Diana Faz, on their pending retirement. Congrats to both of you!
Budget went extremely smooth this year. There were no pink slips or lay off notices distributed throughout the budget cycle. Our budget even allowed for all marked vehicles to be fitted or retro fitted with safety lights as reported in Fresno’s prior roundtable report. Our Department continues to fill vacancies with the hope all Deputy Probation Officer vacancies will be filled by or before this coming Fall. Communication with our Department administration remains open and positive. This is key as our association will be soon starting the election process for executive board positions and we will be headed back to the negotiation table at the start of 2013.
As always, be safe out there.
Inyo County Probation Peace Officer’s Association remains in negotiations. Negotiation staff submitted an equity study to the Board in hopes of showing the need for pay increases given some long standing discrepancies between job duties and pay scales. Staff continues to receive training on EBP and is implementing many programs throughout the department. Inyo County Probation Department is celebrating its centennial this year and officers have been given an opportunity to purchase a commemorative badge which will be “retired” after a year of service.
We have finally reached an agreement with the County on a new contract. We had been working without one since June of 2010 and were imposed on in April of this year. The agreement is a three year concession contract with some additional training/certificate pay. The first year included implementation of a new retirement calculation, 2 @ 50, for all new hires and replaced longevity pay with “STC Certificate” pay. The second year of the contract included a 2% pay raise and agreement for members not paying into retirement to pay 1/6th of the employees’ retirement contribution; which is approximately 2% of salary. In the third year, that same group will pay an additional 1/6th of the employees’ retirement contribution, with the County agreeing to a salary re opener only.
STC Certificate pay is an idea which mirrors what other law enforcement receive via POST Certificate pay. It works as follows: after 7 years of service and completion of all required STC training, the officer receives a 5% base salary pay increase; after 15 years of service and completion of all required STC training, the officer receives an additional 7% base salary pay increase (total of 12%). STC Certificate pay is 2% more than what we would get for longevity and it takes only 15 years to realize versus longevity which took 30 years.
Our Department is still in the process of hiring 25 Juvenile Corrections Officers and 15 Deputy Probation Officers. The challenge for our Department has been that many of the DPO candidates are from our JCO ranks.
Kern County received $23.4 Million dollars this year for AB109. The Probation Department’s allotment was $8.8 Million. Our Department is planning on adding an additional AB 109 Unit to the existing two units.
Local law enforcement has seen a rise in property crimes in the last year. According to the Kern County District Attorney, complaint requests for property crime related charges are up 33% from the same time a year ago. She attributes it to the re-alignment.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of going to the Kern County Board of Supervisors to ask for 10 million dollars to receive 100 million dollars to build a new jail. The soonest the new jail facility could be built would be in four to five years.
We will be starting a JCore class of about 25-30 anticipated at the end of August. They are also hoping for a BPOC in January but nothing is set in stone.
Hello everyone, this is the first round table for Plumas County Probation. Unfortunately, we were not able to send a representative to this meeting, but hope to in the future. We are in the process of forming our association and are still working on the finer details such as establishing non-profit status and getting the finances set. In addition, our department is in the arming process and we are also working on the finer details such as policy/procedure and getting enrolled in a legal defense fund.
San Benito County’s bargaining unit is the DSA. (Deputy Sheriff’s Association.) We are currently meeting with the County for concessions as they have requested an additional $200,000 from the Probation and Sheriff’s Department. The DSA had initially offered concessions that the County declined as they felt it was “not enough”. This declination caused some delays in returning to the table for future meetings on concessions. At this point with theSheriff’s Department losing up to 8 Deputies and the Probation Department possibly losingProbation Officers through layoffs the members have agreed to re-visit proposals from the County yet nothing has been agreed upon to date.
The Probation Department has already lost 3 Clerical positions leaving one Office Assistant for the Department. We recently held a Meet and Confer to address changes in our duties which would now include all day clerical responsibilities on our assigned Officer of the Day and the need to change office hours, as well as other duties not previously listed in our job description. We were able to come to an amicable agreement on the changes in duties and how those duties will be assigned.
On another note, 6 Adult PO’s with higher risk caseloads were trained and provided Tasers in Mid May and all armed officers continue to receive monthly training and quarterly qualifications to maintain arming status. We currently have 42 PRCS and 46 1170 H offenders being supervised by the one PO assigned to AB 109 and no additional staff have been hired to supervise the increasing caseload as of yet.
The two biggest chances this reporting period is our contract situation and implementation of AB 109. Our negotiations were at the fact-finding stage. We began fact finding with the County's CEO as the county's fact-finder and me as the association fact-finder. I was able to make further suggestions directly to the CAO and the fact-finding slowly evolved into negotiations. We reached a tentative agreement that is pending a vote by the membership. We were able to get some offsets to the last contract that was voted down. In general, newer members will lose some money but only 50% of what was originally posed. Some members will break even and older employees will get a small increase. As we are down to about 30 days to imposition, we think we have something acceptable if not perfect.
Thanks to AB109 funding, the department has hired about 70 new probation officers. Two more training classes are planned and we should be at about 400 officers by the end of the year.Interestingly, most the new hires were promoted from juvenile hall or hired off the streets. Very few are ex-parole agents.
We opened our first Day Reporting Center. We also utilize electronic handprint reporting via a Kiosk at the court house.
Since last fall, the Department has hired a total of 5 officers and yet still has over a dozen plus vacancies to fill in our Adult Division with another half dozen in our Juvenile Division. While the Department has said that finding qualified candidates is the problem, and to some extent that is true, the County itself is an obstacle to getting our vacant positions filled. This is partly due to the Civil Service Commission and Human Resources’ hiring rules, and more to do with the fact that the County has no incentive to fill vacant positions. If anything, the argument can be made that the longer they hold off on filling vacant positions, the more they benefit in the form of savings from unfilled positions.
Contract negotiations have dragged on all year, and while we are closer to getting a deal done, as of this writing we still do not have a deal to present to our members. The County is focusing on structural changes to medical and retirement. Currently, employees who are considered “Employee only” for the purpose of medical coverage pay nothing towards their premium cost share. The County is proposing that “Employee only” participants begin paying an 80/20 split for County plan participants and a 90/10 split for Kaiser participants. “Employee +1, or Employee + Family” participants would see no change. For retirement, the County is proposing that employees’ contribution rates to their retirement COLA cost share would effectively double, adding an additional 4.395%. Additionally, new hires would see the following changes: a 2% at 50 retirement formula calculated on a three-year average. Current employees work under a 3% at 50 retirement formula calculated on a one-year average. The County has not been interested in any of our proposals, whether they are economic or non-economic in concept.
We have not had a Labor Management meeting since May, but when we next meet in August we will continue to push the Department on several issues: The need for an Evidenced Based Programs (EBP) programming unit, purchasing ASPs for use as an intermediate force weapon, installing disposable sharps containers to dispose of needles at all three of the facilities we work in, and for the Department to purchase Pocket Packs with quick-clotting materials for use in the field.
San Francisco Adult and Juvenile:
Morale continues to be low at Adult and Juvenile Probation among line officers. Supervisors at Adult are also experiencing low morale. Two probation officer from Adult were transferred to a first ever field office in a high crime and serious gang area. Both officers are concerned for their safety. We are having a meet and confer on this issue.
Adult Probation officers have completed an average of 120 hours of training in the past year. Most of this training is mandatory.
Adult Probation has just had a reorganization where officers were transferred without their wanting to be transferred. It appears that seniority is not recognized, valued, or appreciated. Adult Probation is expecting to hire 20 to 22 new Probation officer by early September of this year.
Juvenile Probation is having difficulty with administration having regular Labor Management meetings. One supervisor at Juvenile is giving problems to one officer. Several officers from the Serious Offenders Unit have been reassigned.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
We are switching to the Monadnock Baton from our ASPS. We are also going to be starting training for the Tasers for the armed officers. We continue hiring officers for the institution as well as Deputies and Supervisors for the units. We will also be hiring additional DPO III's for field training officers.
The PRCS caseloads continue to grow and present challenges to the assigned officers. Our department held a staff appreciation luncheon which was well attended and the board collected gifts for raffle with 1/2 of the proceeds going to San Luis Obispo Law Enforcement Assistance Foundation - SLO LEAF. The board of supervisors recognized probation and presented a plaque to our Chief.
Our AB 109 unit currently has two DPO II’s supervising 72 PRCS. However, field visits and physical residence verifications have not occurred. Residence verifications are being confirmed via telephone call to family members by the unit supervisor. An additional estimated 8-10 PRCS are being supervised on other intensive caseloads. There is a third DPO II working closely with the correctional officers in the jail; monitoring defendants on the CAPS team. The CAPS team supervises post sentencing defendants that meet the criteria to be monitored on an ankle bracelet. There are plans to enhance the unit in the near future with a few more DPO II’s and Probation Aides. One of these DPO’s will have a caseload of just 1170(h)’s. There are currently 30-35 1170(h)’s and the number continues to grow. Recent issues for staff and law enforcement with PRCS is that our department has overlooked the use of PRCS holds, and flash incarcerations must now be manager approved.
Our department recently made the decision to move forward with plans for implementation of a new risk assessment instrument to replace Assessments.com. It appears the department has selected to move forward with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s (NCCD) Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) and Corrections Assessment and Intervention System (CAIS) for adult offenders. The department has also directed DPO’s to start using a VOP grid when “responding” to violations.
With probationers/PRCS being monitored on GPS, DPO’s requested to have smaller and lighter technological tools available to us in the field. Due to security issues, IPads were not an option. We are currently in the test phase with the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC.
During contract negotiations, almost a year ago, it was agreed upon that larger badges would be issued to DPO’s and intensive field officers would receive a uniform. The badges have been finished, however the final wording regarding policy and procedure of badge use is still being finalized. Uniforms are still being worked out. In addition, our Officer Safety Committee has brought up concerns regarding lack of safety equipment (handcuffs, search kits, evidence locker, vests) to management and discussions are currently in the works.
Greetings from Solano County.
We continue to do well with our new Chief. The communication lines are open and we find much more is getting done through conversation than through fights and grievances. The Department continues to seek out new employees to fill some of the AB109 positions and that process seems to be taking forever.
After our last round of negotiations, we filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with PERB; for the County’s failure to bargain in good faith. We have just learned PERB filed charges and we now have an informal hearing scheduled.
The County Budget has passed and thank goodness things don’t look as bad as they could have. While we are not out of the woods, we continue to hope things will move in our favor.
Working with our new Chief, we extended an invitation to our Board of Supervisors to have them ride along with some of our field staff. It was our hope this would educate them some on what we do, what we need, and the challenges we are currently facing. Three of the five Supervisors took us up on the offer and so far the response has been favorable. Overall they had little idea of what we do, thinking our work was done in the office and not in the field.Some were surprised by our lack of safety equipment, and one went so far as to ask our employee where his gun was. Hmmmmmm
That is it for now. Stay safe my friends.
We just finished the hiring process for one new deputy probation officer and a new juvenile hall superintendent.
The department still has a DPOIII and Supervising DPO positions vacant.These are unlikely to be filled this fiscal year due to budgetary restrictions.
Our AB109 allocation is far less than needed to adequately staff up.
We are in the final testing/decision phase of new department firearms. Our current weapon, the H&K USP 9mm, is fifteen years old and ready for replacement. Our officers are armed based on assignment and experience.
All the labor units’ employment contracts expired on December 31, 2011. With the recent appointment of a new CAO we have tentatively agreed to extend a status quo contract thru December 2012 with the expectation that negotiations for a new contract will open soon.
The department recently purchased the Lexipol policy and procedure manual. Editing is currently underway and will take some time as the manual is really designed for a police or sheriff’s department. Monterey County Probation has been generous enough to allow us access to their recently completed Lexipol manual.
AB109 releases remain higher than projected but do appear to trend towards leveling out. Our courts are sentencing 1170h cases to straight custody far more often that split sentences. This is largely due to many of the commitments being for only 16 months.
The big news is that effective August 1, 2012, we have two armed officers. These DPOs supervise the AB109 offenders, high-risk probationers and sex-offenders. We hope to have approval for one more armed officer soon, and the Chief has made a commitment to secure baton training for all supervision officers sometime this fall.
There are currently 52 adult offenders in the Day Reporting Center program run by Behavioral Interventions. We are seeing good progress from our offenders, in terms of rehabilitation, and only a few revocations.
Soon we, and the deputy sheriff’s in our county, will begin contract negotiations. We’ve heard the county is going to look to us to give quite a bit back in the way of salaries and benefits. We are preparing our members for a prolonged negotiation period and to tighten their belts and we don’t believe we can keep what we have now.
Fortunately, realignment has provided our department with adequate funding for adult, high-risk supervision. Unfortunately our juvenile unit has shrunk and funding sources are not as secure.
As reported in the May 2012 roundtable report, the Agency continues to hire new DPOs and CSOs to handle the expanding AB 109 caseloads and ongoing promotions. As the Agency is also anticipating several supervisor vacancies, it is also in the process of conducting promotional interviews for those positions. The spirited drive by the Agency to get as many DPOs through the arming process continues despite waning interest among the rank and file. A primary concern among staff is the Agency’s inability/unwillingness to provide armed staff proper training and support. As a result, new staff are hired with the understanding that they may very likely be assigned to an armed unit, while previously armed DPO’s are being “encouraged“ to reconsider being re-armed. During the June general membership meeting, Chief Mark Varela addressed, to a standing room only crowd, many of the concerns that were voiced by the rank and file. Unfortunately (for the Chief), his comments were not well received by staff as his underlying message conveyed the fact his primary concern is the potential liability to the Agency and the County.
In July, staff completed the second annual management/leadership survey which assessed the performance of the Chief and his executive staff. A preliminary report revealed that there continues to be a systemic break in communication and trust between staff and management, despite several changes that were implemented by the Chief. The final results are currently being tabulated by the consulting firm hired by the Board, Lavell Communications, and a detailed report including an analysis of the data and recommendations to improve working conditions will be again presented to the Chief and his management team at an executive team meeting.
In late June, our Chief (Marjorie Rist) announced her resignation to pursue consulting work in the criminal justice arena, and to pursue her education. In early July, our Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Marlon Yarber, was appointed as Interim Chief Probation Officer. We would like to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate Interim Chief Yarber on his appointment. With the changes in Administration that have taken place in such a short time frame, we are anxious to see what the future holds. The County will begin the recruitment process for a new Chief Probation Officer in the coming weeks. The YCPA is invested in having line staff involved in the candidate interviews, and to have some input as to who the next Chief will be.