January 2011 Round Table Report

CONTRA COSTA

Again, The Probation Department was the “Large Department” winner for the recent Holiday Food donations. Chief Kader thanked everyone who contributed and participated in raising so much money for the worthy cause of the Contra Costa Food Bank. Many Probation Peace Officers are gearing up for the upcoming annual “Law Enforcement Appreciation Night” with the Golden State Warriors. As reported in this space in the last edition, a contract was ratified by the Board of Supervisors, which includes Probation Peace Officers, requiring them to use 96 hours of “Furlough Time” by June 30, 2011. It is anticipated that contract talks will commence soon between the PPOACCC (Probation Peace Officers Association of Contra Costa County) and the County.

Based on the San Diego County Probation Field operation story, the Chief reminded all staff to be careful when participating in field operations. Kudos goes out to DPO Ehu Sako, who received “Certificate of Distinguished Service” from the Chief. Ehu was nominated because of her continued commitment to the Department and the clients. The Department has scheduled its annual luncheon on February 14, 2011, to celebrate “Black History Month”.

The Association is working with the County Election Department to reinstate eligibility of Probation Peace Officer’s to have their voting information remain confidential. This is pursuant to Senate Bill 506 and Election Code 2166. Recently, the PPOACCC recognized Probation Officer and Probation Counselor James White as “PROPS (Peers Recognizing Outstanding Probation Service) Award winners for the last quarter of 2010. P.O. Ingram continues to do an excellent job and she goes above and beyond her normal duties to help her probationers. For a number of years, P.C. White has acted as the Juvenile Hall “Acting” Graveyard Supervisor and despite the work hours, he has always displayed a friendly and encouraging “team player” attitude toward his fellow workers.

Those present at the PPOACCC General Membership meeting on February 2, 2010, will be voting to ratify a revised version of the Association’s Bylaws.

Congratulations to Probation Officer Phyllis Manoogian, Probation Counselors and Shop Stewards Christine (“CJ”) Joseph and Jerry Smith, who recently retired!

INYO COUNTY

Negotiations should commence fairly soon as June is approaching and our contract will be up. Sounds like we'll be paying more into our benefits, which is disconcerting as our county appears to be in a good fiscal position. We'll have to wait and see. Lots of questions as to the effects of Governor Brown's budget and realignment possibly of probation and parole. May mean our department is rearmed sooner
rather than later which would be a good thing. Everyone is really busy and we're looking to some new hires at the Hall and a new PO by the spring.

KERN COUNTY

The Kern County Probation Officer’s Association is in the midst of negotiations with our County. Are current contract expired on June 30, 2010. The County declared impasse in November, even though we had only met four times over a three month period and were only in the beginning of negotiations. The County is also in the midst of negotiations with almost all of the Counties bargaining units as well.

The County appears to be, one by one, declaring impasse with each unit and setting us all up for imposition.

The County, as like many public entities, is big on pension reform during this round of negotiations. They want to change to retirement for new hired safety employees to 2@50 from 3@50. They also want to change employee’s contributions for medical benefits and retirement benefits. We are fortunate; we still have members who pay half of the employee medical contribution and do not pay any employee contribution for retirement. We have indicated to the County that we are not apposed to pension reform, but would like to discuss how it is going be done in. If we agreed to the current proposal the County has
offered, members would be looking at upwards of a 25% take home pay cut.

We are currently at impasse with the County and we are set for State Mediation on January 25th. We have gone through State Mediation before with the County and since it is non binding, there is not a whole lot of movement that happens. Therefore, we expect imposition to occur sometime in February. As result we are looking at losing more veteran officers with years of experience and knowledge. The County wants them to leave because they cost the most in salary and benefits.

With all this said, the relationship with our department administration is good, as we both are doing what we can to save the VLF funding.

Happy New Year!!!!

MEDERA COUNTY

Madera County is trying to bring the year in right!

The Probation Department will be hiring in at least 3 additional staff for JSD by February 2011 to compensate for some of the recent staffing losses. We are also purchasing two kiosks where adult & juvenile clients can electronically report in each month. The idea behind this would be to save staff hundreds of man-hours each month. With all these positive things happening within the County, we continue to remain vigilant with the issues surrounding the VLF funding and the new State Budget as well as local budgeting complications. Madera County needs to reduce their expenditures by approximately 4 million this year and 7 million next year, counting on the fact that there is no change to the current furloughs. Sometimes the gap in our budget seems as wide as the Grand Canyon.

From our County to yours- Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY

The New Year is upon us and we are bracing for the new budget cycle with the mounting budget shortfalls for the County, layoffs could be on the table again. The mandates law suit is in the discovery and deposition phase we will update you as it unfolds. We have recently settled our FLSA law suit against the County regarding miscalculation of overtime and we have over 200 of our members being reimbursed pay they should have earned. We have two additional law suits against the County and the Department. The first one is in regards to a freedom of information act on obtaining video from the institutional cameras.

We had three riots in a week in our institution back in September and requested the video and the County denied us access. Our most recent law suit is in regards to POBR issue, that have potential been occurring in the institution. We will provide an update on this law suit at the February meeting. On a positive note, our contract remains closed until 6/30/2014 and we are scheduled to receive a 2% to 4% COLAS for each remaining year.

SCPA would like to thank the agency’s that have provided support for the Mandates Law suit and we remain committed to creating new case law for probation mandates.

SAN BERNARDINO

2010 proved to be a challenging year; most especially due to the state of the economy. It definitely had an impact on us at the local level, and I only expect it to remain tenuous for the next year at a minimum.

Even though four of our members were laid off and another half dozen were demoted, by year’s end we saw the reinstatement of the four that were laid off and re-promotions for all but two of the members that were demoted. This is a very good start, but we will not rest until all of are members are made whole.The County will soon officially begin negotiations with SEIU, the largest union in the County.Unofficially,they have already begun their media campaign to mount an effort to turn the tide of public opinion against Labor's efforts. Why I bring up their negotiations, is because it could impact our bargaining unit along with others that reached concessionary deals last year. Just yesterday, in the local newspaper they indicated the following; “County officials have said they will be looking to reduce staffing costs, which could mean asking for changes in pension plans or addressing the rising cost of medical benefits.” This will only mean that the County will try to leverage any deal with additional concessions (i.e. retirement & medical) from all of the county's bargaining units. I say to them, be prepared for a fight! This is just an example of one party (the County) trying to take advantage of a bad economic situation. They of all people, should realize that our locally run retirement association is fiscally sound; while the medical plan currently in place, is funded on the back's of the county's workers. Leave our retirement alone, and give us the freedom to shop for competitive health plans!

Through a Meet & Confer, the Association and the Department reached agreement on a revised Discipline policy. Both sides worked to meet the goals of the other. The main goal for us was to retain, and if possible enhance, members' rights.

At recent Labor Management meetings, we discussed issues surrounding the transportation of direct file youth (minors going to court while being prosecuted as adults) to and from court. More specifically, the increase in duties since the transportation unit was dissolved due to budget cuts back in mid-2010. Last week, the Department recreated the transportation unit, albeit truncated. Continued monitoring will be needed to determine the reinstated unit's effectiveness.

Lastly, I want to thank the SCOPO members, and non-members, that responded to my recent request regarding POs being armed in the office. Your information was most appreciated. Several weeks ago, our Chief made the decision to allow officers to be armed while working in the office! Good news indeed.

Happy New Year everyone!

SAN DIEGO

Well, San Diego has been very busy this last month. We just ratified our contract proposal from the County. This is what they offered to all Public Safety units in the County. Our membership ratified this contract by a 60% vote. Not a good contract, but with the economy in a shambles we can hang on.

  • Two year contract
  • 2% bonus check of each officer's yearly base salary. Issued on August 5, 2011(one time)
  • 5% increase toward each officer's Health Care Flex Credit, each year
  • The County will reduce it's contribution rate towards each officer's pension by 1% the first year and 1.5% the second year. Total of 2.5% over the next two years.

We just approved Agency Fee payer for the 153 non members. The Hudson notices went out today. Non members have until March 4, 2011 to respond. Hopefully these non members will see the advantages that our members receive and will join to make us all stronger. We are still on mandatory overtime in the institutions and our case loads still remain at unmanageable levels. Hopefully we can get back to Probation work soon and not just put up numbers.

SAN FRANCISCO

We at Adult Probation are still waiting to hire 10 to 15 new Probation Officers. We have two new courts, a Parolee court and a Probation Reentry court. The City asked all Departments to submit a budget with a 10% reduction in an addition to a 10% contingency reduction. We are anticipating the use of the COMPAS assessment tool. We have had mandatory training with a short time notice.

SAN JOAQUIN

The County will soon officially begin negotiations with SEIU, the largest union in the County. Unofficially, they have already begun their media campaign to mount an effort to turn the tide of public opinion against Labor's efforts. Why I bring up their negotiations, is because it could impact our bargaining unit along with others that reached concessionary deals last year. Just yesterday, in the local newspaper they indicated the following; “County officials have said they will be looking to reduce staffing costs, which could mean asking for changes in pension plans or addressing the rising cost of medical benefits.” This will only mean that the County will try to leverage any deal with additional concessions (i.e. retirement & medical) from all of the county's bargaining units. I say to them, be prepared for a fight! This is just an example of one party (the County) trying to take advantage of a bad economic situation. They of all people, should realize that our locally run retirement association is fiscally sound; while the medical plan currently in place, is funded on the back's of the county's workers. Leave our retirement alone, and give us the freedom to shop for competitive health plans!

Through a Meet & Confer, the Association and the Department reached agreement on a revised Discipline policy. Both sides worked to meet the goals of the other. The main goal for us was to retain, and if possible enhance, members' rights.

At recent Labor Management meetings, we discussed issues surrounding the transportation of direct file youth (minors going to court while being prosecuted as adults) to and from court. More specifically, the increase in duties since the transportation unit was dissolved due to budget cuts back in mid-2010. Last week, the Department recreated the transportation unit, albeit truncated. Continued monitoring will be needed to determine the reinstated unit's effectiveness.

Lastly, I want to thank the SCOPO members, and non-members, that responded to my recent request regarding POs being armed in the office. Your information was most appreciated. Several weeks ago, our Chief made the decision to allow officers to be armed while working in the office! Good news indeed.

Happy New Year everyone!

SAN LUIS OBISPO

San Luis Obispo County has hired two DPO’s and one JSO. With next year’s budget being up in the air, several positions will remain vacant. With the recent elections SLO County has one new member on the Board of Supervisors. Also our association is in the process of setting up a political action committee. SLOPPOA has set up a meet and greet to educate and inform the newest Supervisor of what Probation does in this County. SLOPPOA is reaching out to local legislators and requesting there support of the VLF.

SLOPPOA was under contract with C.O.P.S. for the legal representation and contract negotiations. In mid December our association was informed that C.O.P.S. would no longer be able to provided services. Our association decided to retain the services of Silver and Kats for legal representation and contract negotiations. Silver and Kats are associates of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and now our association will be able to benefit from all the services of FOP. We were informed that SLO County is the first entire Probation Association to become members of FOP.

SOLANO COUNTY

It has been some time since our agency participated in SCOPO, and the welcome back has been much appreciated. Our Department, as did most, took what felt like a substantial hit over the past year due to budget cuts and resulting lay offs. During these tough economic times, we are doing more with less, as is everyone else. The good news is that the latest round of layoffs did not come from our Department, and we have been fortunate enough, recently, to be able to bring a few of those previously laid off back. The Solano Probation Peace Officer Association was recently formed to give our Probation Officers, Supervising Probation Officers, and Group Counselors an identity under which we may stand united. A movement is currently underway to decertify our parent organization, in the hopes of one day standing alone as an Association whose primary purpose is to support and foster our unique Peace Officer interests.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand United as Probation Peace Officers. Although the nature of our work often goes unrecognized or misunderstood, by the Public we serve, we DO make a difference We look forward to continuing to build on coalition relationships, and again appreciate the support we have received to date.

Stay Strong and Stand Committed