June 2011 Round Table Report

CONTRA COSTA

Recently, the PPOACCC’s Negotiating Team met with the County to commence contract talks. Collectively, with Retirement Contribution, Salary Reduction and increased Medical Costs, the County is proposing approximately a 15% reduction from our paychecks, and all the while stating that they are looking at everyone for “shared savings”. The negotiating team explained to the County that the Members of the PPOACCC have consistently participated in the “shared savings”. Furthermore, the PPOACCC questioned whether the County was consistent with all county employees as it pertains to “shared savings”. The Negotiating team encouraged all of its Members to contact the County Board of Supervisors and voice their displeasure with latest “o!er” from the County.

Association President, John Ebrahimi, continues to meet individually with County Board of Supervisors with the purpose of educating them on the important function and service that Probation Peace Officers provide for the community.

Due to budget issues, one unit in Juvenile Hall was shut down and impacted staff has been reassigned within the institution. Fortunately, there will be no layoffs from the PPOACCC ranks. However, it is anticipated that the Department will lose 20 vacant positions.

The Department received a significant increase in SB 678 revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. This revenue was utilized to not only save banking virtually all of Adult Services / Supervision, but also used to enhance Evidence Based Practices. Furthermore, with these funds no Probation Peace Officers will be laid o!. However, the funding requirements will require some movement and consolidation of staff in the Juvenile Division.

Chief Kader believes that the Department has been successful in aligning Probation with our Justice Partners. He also believes the Department has been successful in getting additional press and increased traction with the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator. He remains hopeful that this e!ort will bring additional benefit to us as we plan for our future.

Congratulations to Probation Officer Tamara Hamilton, who was honored at a luncheon on April 13, 2011, as a Community Champion, by CVS (Community Violence Solutions) for her work in prevention and intervention of sexual violence.

Good luck to long-time Probation Counselor Roland Williams and even longer-time Probation Counselor Mike Major on their recent retirements. Kudos also goes out to recent retirees, Probation Officers Kathleen Callahan and Eddie Tanaka.

INYO

Inyo County Probation Department is looking at some extremely busy summer months.  With the BPAI grant award, our department will be undergoing STRONG training in adult in June, as well as EPICS (July) and MI (August) trainings department wide. Additionally our juvenile division is engaging in PQCR in June and moving along with PACT's on juvenile o!enders.  Inyo County Probation Peace Officers Association is in negotiations with our contract ending June 30, 2011.  Looks like county wants to cap our insurance and move towards two tiered retirement and benefits. Not good.  Had a long winter with almost no spring and many are anxious for summer, despite that fishing's been good.

FRESNO

Our association reached a tentative labor contract agreement with the County. The agreement included a substantial salary reduction of 7.5 % for the next two years. Due to this significant salary loss to the DPO classification and established positive working relationship with Department administration, our Chief authorized DPO(s) to work overtime shifts within the institution on a voluntary basis for the remainder of this fiscal year as a means to o!set wage loss. Also, as we prepare to move into local annual budget talks, it is still uncertain the impact VLF and the morose economic forecast of the nation may have on our Department, as the potentiality for layoffs remains. However, we are hopeful that prior dialogue with Assemblyman Perea will prove fruitful in the near future in regards to VLF and realignment funding.

ORANGE

  1. Our DJCO's were approved to carry pepper spray at the camps.  This will occur after they are retrained, which will be happening within the next month or two, we are told.
  2. The armed DPO's were approved to carry a baton (asp type) and will be trained for use within the next month or two, we are told.
  3. The Department is preparing for the prospect of realignment by restructuring the BPOC training, in the event that we need to hire new DPO's to carry out realignment.
  4. DPO's are currently conducting Thinking for a Change.  They recently graduated one class.  The Department has yet to meet with the union on this matter.  We are also utilizing the CPC (Correctional Program Check list) to evaluate our community based programs on their effectiveness.  We were trained by the University of Cincinnati.  The Department has not yet met with the union on this matter.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY

Our Department is facing an 8.1 million dollar shortfall this year which would result in the layo! of 57 sworn Officers and the shutdown of 5 units within our Juvenile Hall which is our last Juvenile Facility in the County.  This would cause our Department to only be able to confine a total of 140 juvenile wards in Sacramento County, taking our capacity back to the level of 1967.  This will be our fourth year of reductions and if passed would result in our Department having been reduce by 44%.   If the VLF Funding from the State is not continued then our Department would face an additional 5 million dollar shortfall which would eliminate all but 1 of Juvenile Field Units. Our Department is actively researching and looking to implement a impact weapon as an intermediate force  option for our armed Officers.  We are still in the discovery phase of our

Probation Mandates Lawsuit against the County and appreciate all of the support we have received so far.  If your organization is willing to help support this unprecedented and vital Probation Litigation we would greatly appreciate it. 

SAN DIEGO

The roller coaster ride is just about to begin. Two important issues are facing us as we come to the end of this year’s budget. The VLF, Vehicle License Fee and AB109, Parole Realignment. The VLF is due to sunset on June 30, 2011. Our department will face a $16 million dollar shortfall. The County Board of Supervisors has already said that they will cut two of the three Youth Day Centers and 7 more positions, the old Prop 36 positions and one GPS Sex O!ender position. Obviously more cuts will have to take place.

AB 109 Parolee Realignment is on its’ way. The Supreme Court has ordered the State of California to comply and release approximately 33,000 state prisoners over the next two years. This means that Probation Departments across the state will be charged with supervising these prisoners once they are released from County jail. The key is that adequate funding needs to accompany this program not just the body. If the funding comes through, this could be a plus for us all, hiring new staff, promotions and movement throughout the department. If not we will be worse o! than we are now. Too many cases, not enough Officers and unreal expectations. “More with less”

The POA has been in Sacramento meeting with numerous legislators and most of our local legislators. We have been able to push our cause with the assistance of SCOPO (Capitol Advocacy) and PORAC (Aaron Read and Associates). Most of these legislators have promised to support Law Enforcement, but getting them to concede on certain items is not that easy. One plan is to extend the VLF until November of 2011 and take it to the voters. The other is to let the Assembly and Senate vote on the VLF and extend it for another five years. The State’s budget is due on June 15, 2011. If the budget is not approved on that date the legislators start to lose their pay checks. If the VLF passes and adequate funding comes with AB109 we should be looking good for some time. Hopefully this roller coaster ride ends soon.

A few things that I’d like to share with you,

  • Otto vs. LAUSD, this has to do with site file entries and records of discussion (ROD’s). Basically these become a grieveable issue if it contains a “punitive action” or “adverse comments”.
  • Example: One - Tardiness Rules Policy and Procedures Section 2.6.1.I have discussed this policy with you and the importance of being on time to your work location.
  • Example: Two - You have been tardy twice in the past week. If you are late again I’ll have to give you a letter of warning.

Example Two now becomes a grieveable issue.

SDCPOA General membership meeting on Wednesday June 22, 2011 at 6:00pm at the POA Hall of Valor 8388 Vickers San Diego Ca. We will be presenting a By-Laws change allowing Supervising Probation Officers to become Association-Benefits members.

SDCPOA Picnic Saturday September 3, 2011 at Admiral Baker Park, same as last year.

Be Safe,
Ernie Susi SDCPOA President

SAN FRANCISCO

The Public Employees Coalition finished a meet and confer with the City. Current Probation Officers will remain in CalPERS retirement.

At San Francisco Juvenile Probation we recently had to deal with a Brady issue and are in communication with that administration. Morale is low with 11 Officers being o!. We have a meet and confer pending on two issues.

At Adult we just hired a new Chief Deputy Probation Officerr from out of state. The Chief is preparing for the realignment. We are expecting to start using the

Compass assessment tool soon. We have hired 15 new POs who have gone through the core training. We are doing well with our SB678 numbers.

SAN JOAQUIN

We are cautiously optimistic about the possibility of not having any layoffs or demotions this year. On paper we are within budget, and even though the County has allowed our Department to submit a budget that includes the VLF and sales tax revenues the state’s budget is not yet finalized. Unless the state can get its financial house in order, we could again be challenged with budget restrictions that include the loss of positions.

Locally, we’re seeing an interesting dynamic between labor and local government. The City of Stockton’s City Manager, former County of Sonoma Administrator Bob Deis, is up to his old tricks again trying to break the back of labor. Using the current budget crisis as a background for his efforts at resetting the bargaining table, he and the City Council have twice declared a fiscal emergency in back to back years (2010 and 2011). Speaking to our brothers and sisters for one of the City’s labor groups, it appears that Deis’ game plan is to move the city towards bankruptcy. Then, using the bankruptcy as cause, renegotiate all contracts; effectively wiping out all current contracts and bargaining for new less effective labor contracts. In its’ place, would be new contracts that would be more costly to employees with less benefits being o!ered. I mention this, because this appears to be a growing trend. If the cities can find some measure of success doing this, it’s only a matter of time before counties get the same idea. At the moment, SEIU (representing about 70%-75% of the County’s workforce) is at the table with the County. Some of what’s been proposed to SEIU has been draconian in measure. I am concerned that the County may come back to us in the near future with similar proposals impacting our medical and retirement costs. Our current contract was extended last year through June 30, 2012 and I am thankful for it. That year gave us breathing room to put o! what is likely to come this year for SEIU and its members. In the end though, we know that changes are coming, the question is how drastic will they be? Interestingly, while the County has asked SEIU to take on more of the burden for medical and retirement costs, they have not talked about reducing the costs of their “Cafeteria Plan.” The Plan is available to the Board of Supervisors, department heads, other management and select employees. The Cafeteria Plan allows recipients who don’t enroll in the county’s health care plan to take a cash payout instead; a payout equal to the cost of health care premiums. This year the county’s health plan premium went up 25%; effectively giving those recipients a $2,273.76 per month ($27,285.12 per year) salary supplement! It should also be noted, that over the past decade county leaders have cut the county work force by 1,061 positions; while the number of county executives has grown from 28 to 30! What’s wrong with this picture? I thought we were supposed to see a shared sacrifice.

SOLANO

Greetings from Solano County

It has been rather cold and dreary these days, in our fair County, and the morale within the Probation Department is only slightly better. On a very positive note, we won our decertification election, 3/8/11. Good riddance to SEIU. SPPOA (Solano Probation Peace Officerr Association) is hard at work putting things into place, and we are working on reopening communications with management. So far everyone involved seems eager to begin working together towards making our Department the best it can be. Already we are accomplishing things, and we hold steadfast to the belief that it takes small steps to climb big mountains. We are excited about what lies ahead in this regard.

Our Department continues to struggle with getting by with less, and staff is feeling it. Morale continues to be low, with tensions high. Although the “work load hours” reviewed by management indicate many of us are “below the standard,” it sure doesn’t feel like it. As usual, there is much that we do which never gets captured in the metaphorical hours allotted for each case we work.

Budget hearings for the County begin in June, and we are eagerly awaiting our Department’s proposed budget. It is our hope that the recent early retirements will o!set some of our potential losses. We have a new Assistant Deputy Chief, and our Chief has announced she will be retiring in December. With these changes, and pending budget issues, things feel a bit like quicksand. We continue to appreciate the support of the SCOPO member Associations and now more than ever we need to stand together. All I can really say is that it is a good thing we love what we do, as it is this passion that keeps us moving forward.

We are a tenacious group, and we will Stand Together for Change.

Till next time….
Tarita Moehrke

VENTURA

After not hiring any new sworn staff since October 2008, the agency recently hired four new CSOs who are now assigned to the Juvenile Facility (JF).  The JF has been perpetually understaffed which has contributed to low morale as staff are often mandated to stay over and cover uncovered shifts.  staff have also been stymied when requesting time o! due to the lack of scheduling flexibility

that having additional staff would provide.  Recently, a new vacation bidding process, based upon seniority, has been implemented at the JF. The process is not without its problems; however, it is being examined and refined to provide fairness and opportunity for all staff.

VCPPOA has recently contracted with a consultant to devise an opinion survey for our membership.  The survey rates the effectivenessof our agency, the leadership of executive management, communication between executive management members, communication between executive management and line staff, and issues of employee morale.  The results of the survey will be used as a “snapshot” of line staff’s current perception of agency leadership.  The results will likely be shared with executive staff.  The survey will be conducted on a regular basis in order to map growth toward more effective leadership, greater morale, and cooperation among all staff as we provide public service and strive for common goals.  The survey, which will be conducted online, will occur later in the month of June.

Last year, after impasse, and four months after the prior contract expired, VCPPOA and the County ratified a new labor contract which is in place for two more years, until 6-13-13.

YOLO

Yolo County Probation Association is currently in the midst of contract negotiations. We have not experienced any layoffs within our ranks to date, numbering 89 total between probation services and the juvenile detention facility.

Several line staff are working with Probation administration concerning the implementation of AB 109, and are eager to learn how this will change the face of how we do business in the weeks and months ahead.

We recently gained a new Assistant Chief Probation Officerr: Marlon Yarber, former Deputy Director for Corrections Planning and Programs Division of the Corrections Standards Authority.  We would like to welcome Marlon to the Department.