November 2015 Round Table Report
The Probation Peace Officers Association of Contra Costa County had been without a contract for the past 4 months. We recently ratified a fair and equitable contract with the County. The deal included a 12% raise over three years. Despite the request for a front loaded deal, we received 4%, 4% and 4%. We were originally offered 12% back in August, but members voted it down. Our members had not been financially compensated in the past 9-years with a pay increase and it was felt that 12% over 3-years was not appropriate. The County came back with their last and final offer which still included the 12% over three years, but gave a onetime bonus of $700.00. The new proposal was put to a vote, and passed overwhelmingly. The County also agreed to allow our Probation Counselors, who work in Juvenile Hall, to change their names to Juvenile Institutional Officers.
I also wanted to let the membership know that this will be Contra Costa County’s last SCOPO meeting. Against my recommendation, our association members came to the conclusion that our long history with SCOPO as well as our membership was not a high priority, and voted to withdraw from SCOPO at this time. Unlike PORAC, SCOPO has been a long time advocate, specifically for Probation Organizations. Probation Departments have a definite need for a statewide organization that will speak for the interests of the line probation officers and institutional counselors. I appreciate all the efforts that SCOPO has done and will continue to do on our behalf, and hopefully we will once again be a part of the SCOPO family.
Inyo County Probation Peace Officers Association (ICPPOA) currently has numerous meet and confer issues unresolved. From camera policies to possible changes in work schedules at the juvenile center, the unit is constantly in flux. Most recently the county has requested staff be reduced (2 staff per shift vs. 3) at the juvenile center to save money as the department looks towards possibly moving the institution into a 96 hour facility. This new facility would be coupled with a day reporting center we are told, and staff would not be eliminated. However, there are many unanswered questions as to how this transition will look. The need for restructuring is attributed to juvenile crime trends around the state and the drastic reduction in detentions locally. Nothing has been written in stone and frankly it’s a hot mess. Either way, the facility has been funded until July 2016 and we will continue to work with the county to retain staff, retrain staff and keep on keeping on.
Modoc County hired another Deputy Probation Officer in October 2015. This now makes for a full-time Juvenile/Placement Officer, the new Deputy Probation Officer, Assistant Chief Probation Officer, and the Chief Probation Officer. The Juvenile Probation Officer is working to coordinate the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Court Program, which hopefully will be up and running by the end of the year. The goal is for the program to assist in preventing out-of-home placements and decrease our placement numbers. The target population for this program is high risk youth who are at imminent risk of removal.
We are currently in the middle of negotiations here in Orange County. We have been out of contract since June. Last year the county passed an ordinance known as "COIN" or Civic Openness In Negotiations. As a response, OCEA pressed hard for legislation to balance the playing field. We successfully passed legislation known as "CRONEY" or Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency. CRONEY effectively forces governments who establish COIN ordinances to play fare in all contracts including contracts with private companies. The county has since decided to suspend their COIN ordinance. COIN would have given the county the upper hand in negotiations by having the entire negotiations process made open to the public. We look forward to seeing you all in Orange County on December 11th.
The Santa Cruz County Probation Officers’ Association is currently in contract negotiations for the beginning of the 2016 calendar year. Our primary objective is to enhance wages to a competitive scale. Our primary concern in Santa Cruz County is officer safety and we continue to pursue logical measures to progress with the evolving environment of local supervision.
Stanislaus – Stanislaus County Deputy Probation Officers Association
In September, members voted to change their union dues from a flat rate to a percentage of their bi-weekly total gross earnings.
Our first group of new hires that passed the newly implemented physical agility assessment started this month. We continue to have an open recruitment for the entry level (Deputy Probation Officer I) and journey level positions (Deputy Probation Officer II).
We are in the midst of hiring a new Interim Chief Probation Officer to replace Adele Arnold who will be retiring at the end of the year. The goal is to have a retired Chief who has experience running a juvenile hall to run the department for a few months. Hopefully, we will have a permanent Chief hired from within the ranks of our current department.
We broke ground on the Motherlode Juvenile Hall in June, 2015, and contractors are hard at work constructing the 30-bed facility. It is scheduled to open in November, 2016. Our department is happy to have a juvenile hall in our county, and we hope to offer better rehabilitative services to our youth. Currently we transport our detained juveniles to Nevada County, a four-hour drive from Tuolumne County. The new hall will also alleviate the need for On-Call probation officers 24/7, 365 days per year.
We will begin negotiations for a new labor contract soon. We hope to contract for longer working hours over fewer days, a higher per diem expense reimbursement, and a long overdue pay raise based on a Class/Comp study completed earlier in the year.
The association continues to work on a comprehensive uniform policy, and is hopeful the members will be able to vote on a policy during our General Membership meeting in December. In addition, members will be able to sample uniform suggestions from various manufacturers and vendors at the December meeting.
After the September closure of the adult Work Furlough facility, displaced members are adjusting to their new shifts at the Juvenile Facilities. The agency is still working on opening an adult Day Reporting Center to fill the void of closing Work Furlough. Members were unable to transfer to and adult Electronic Monitoring program as it was ultimately awarded to the Sheriff’s Office rather than Probation.
The agency and association will be working together on Tasers for all field staff. Currently only about 40 armed staff are issued Tasers.
Open recruitments will be coming up for the Corrections Services Officer position.
Yolo County Probation is in the midst of hiring for several positions; including Detention Officer, Detention Services Aide, Deputy Probation Officer I/II, and Supervising Social Worker for our Juvenile Detention Facility and Probation Services Divisions. Our Juvenile Detention Facility is currently understaffed, and we are working hard to fill the vacancies created by attrition.
If you know of anyone looking for employment, please refer them to the Yolo County homepage, where all current employment opportunities are listed on the Human Resources page. Interested applicants may also search NeoGov for opportunities in Yolo County.
Also, we are in the midst of meet and confer on a Taser policy for our field probation staff. Once approved, use of tasers will give our field officers an additional tool to utilize in the use of force continuum.