December 2013 Round Table Report

CONTRA COSTA

Regarding the ongoing issue of the Pension Lawsuit against the county retirement board, it is anticipated that the presiding judge will make a decision by February 2014, on whether not only Contra Costa, but Marin, Merced and Alameda County’s employees may apply “Terminal Pay” to their final calculations toward retirement.

The Department celebrated the Holiday Season with festive luncheons at the  Field and Institution’s sites and in the spirit of giving, the Association made a donation to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. The Association continues to meet with the Department regarding the proposed attire policy for Members who work at the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility.

It is anticipated that the Association will send a contingent to the annual crab feed for Senator Mark DeSaulnier.

A Big Thanks goes to outgoing Probation O"cers’ Vice President, Michelle Keith, for her dedicated service to the Association over the past two years. Also, welcome to Leandre Williams for assuming that position. 

MODOC

Modoc County has seen an influx of juvenile placements in the last five months. Since July 2013, placements have gone from 1 to 9. Our county has only one juvenile o"cer, who supervises informal, formal, Wards, and placements. In addition, the juvenile o"cer is responsible for on-call, arrests, searches, report writing, Court duties, meetings/committees, state reports (SIP, Disaster Plan, etc.), and daily tasks that come with the job. Modoc Probation hired an additional Deputy in May 2013, who is being trained in both adult and juvenile to be a support person to either adult and/or juvenile. Because of AB109 and some influx in adult o#enders as well, our new Deputy has been performing more tasks in the adult probationer arena and is also co-facilitating our BIP (Batterer's Intervention Program). Modoc County is heading into their Peer Review (also known as PQCR) and CSA (County Self Assessment) this January/February 2014.

SAN BERNARDINO

The association is still in the process of building out our association o"ce. We hope to have construction completed by Christmas. We also sponsored a Christmas Party for our members and our support sta#. It should be lots of fun with good food, prizes, Santa Claus, etc. 
The membership is still anxious about our next contract, but those negotiations won’t start until later in 2014. We continue to supervise AB109 probationers without any major incidences.

SAN JOAQUIN

As an update from my last report regarding the four probation o"cers that were selected to become Taser instructors, they attended and completed the required Taser training this last October. As a result of the training, the o"cers were able to provide input into a revised draft policy that the Department had been working on. Additionally, based on the Tasers that they trained on they recommended that the Department switch from the X-26 to the X2 Taser. After some discussion and consideration, the Department chose to make the switch to the X2 model, a superior version. The current timeline for the implementation of the Taser is as follows: December 2013 - orders will be placed for the X2, Dec 2013-Jan 2014 – finalization of the Taser and related policies, spring 2014 – sta# instruction on the Taser with Tasers being issued at the completion of training.

Things have been fairly quiet since my last update. In looking ahead to next year, our Association is expecting contract negotiations to begin in February or March, with the contract set to expire after June 30, 2014. It is also expected that the County will come to us once again asking for increased contributions towards our retirement costs – percentage of our retirement COLA Cost Share. The passage of PEPRA will only add to the leverage that the County has, in addition to the state of the economy, with regards to retirement costs. The one upside is that other recently negotiated contracts in the County have resulted in a slight increase in yearly COLA payouts. Apparently the COLAs have now been tied to the County’s yearly revenues, in lieu of the traditional Consumer Price Index (CPI). A di#erent approach and one who’s merits are still undetermined. It remains to be seen whether any equities will be worked into the next contract. Comparable counties have not seen much in the way of increases in recent years, and I don’t see that changing over the next year or two. 

In September, our Association joined the San Joaquin Labor Coalition (SJLC). The SJLC consists of local unions in San Joaquin County that joined together to show that working people in the county care about and are involved in the local community. The coalition currently includes fire, probation, corrections, building trade, and other city & county locals. The mission of the organization is to improve the community through service projects, such as park clean ups. Like our local, the SJLC is also fully engaged in local politics. The SJLC held their first labor and community fundraising dinner on Nov. 1, where the group gave more than $2,000 back to local community organizations including the United Way, the Women's Center of San Joaquin County and the Child Abuse Prevention Council. On November 20, the SJLC sponsored their first ever Turkey Drive in cooperation with the United Way and S-Mart food stores. Over 100 turkeys were delivered to help feed a Thanksgiving meal to families across the county. Gift cards were also distributed which were used to supplement the meals for these families. Future efforts are in the process of being planned.

SAN LUIS OBISPO

On November 25th a Swearing In Ceremony was conducted at the Board of Supervisors Chamber and 23 Officers were sworn in and applauded by colleagues and family members. These consisted of new Juvenile Services Officers for the institution, new Deputy Probation Officers as well as the promotions of Deputy Probation Officers and a new appointed Supervising Deputy Probation Officer. 
San Luis Obispo is looking into implementing a Pilot Project for AR-15 rifles.  We will also soon be implementing Mobile Dispatch Terminals and looking into Emergency Lights in our Marked Units.

In regards to our negotiations, the County has denied any increase or raise and we are currently at impasse.  This is very disappointing as our association of current and past members have worked very hard at informing them of the difficulty of our jobs in these challenging times.

SISKIYOU

We just completed negotiations and we lost a 5% training stipend, but the county offered to increase their portion of our health insurance to from 80% to 90% for 2014, 85% for 2015 and then back to 80% in 2016 to o#set the increase in PERS premiums.

VENTURA

The Ventura County Professional Peace O"cers Association (VCPPOA), approximately 300 sworn members, continues to work without a contract since this past June. For the past six months, VCPPOA has met with county negotiators on numerous occasions and continues to fight for a fair contract for our membership. The county has refused to acknowledge the changes facing our profession since AB 109 and appears to want to keep its probation and corrections officers as one of the lowest paid groups in the southern California region. VCPPOA continues to educate the public and community stakeholders about the impacts that AB 109 has forced upon us as public safety professionals. Another contract negotiation meeting is scheduled for the middle of December.

On a positive note, VCPPOA has reached a tentative settlement with the county regarding a Flextime/ Overtime grievance which was originally filed last year. This was a collaborative e#ort by our board president, Don Douglass, Probation Chief Mark Varela, and Assistant CEO Catherine Rodriguez. This pending side letter agreement will be brought before our membership during this months' general membership meeting and also during an upcoming county Board of Supervisors meeting later this month.