Friday, May 30, 2008

I have received many questions regarding EOT moves.  The selections were done May 15th and 16th in all regions.  Regions 2, 3, and 4 offered positions and Region 1 did not.  However, Region 1 representatives met with management and there is a list of positions and names that will be offered those positions. The EOT positions were all subsequently “frozen” due to the potential layoffs of staff at DJJ.   We will not know the full impact of that situation until the end of June or July.  Two youth authority institutions are closing the end of June.   It should be known at that time which staff are eligible to come to parole.  The numbers are small (8 or 9).  The Director and I have had several conversations about EOT transfers. I have been assured that once the freeze is lifted, positions will be given to those agents that were previously offered EOT moves.  The only exceptions would be positions that will be filled by DJJ staff.  Third quarter EOTs should also move forward at a future designated date.  We are experiencing individual problems in the regions with this issue, but are continuing to have dialogue with the regional administrators.

DECS is still not completely negotiated, but we have already started training and doing additional work associated with Valdivia issues. We met once and have not resolved many issues.  The workload associated with DECS is significant.  Even though the work is driven by a court order, I have concerns that DAPO is requiring more work than is required.   The process is also not clearly defined.  Supervisors were given DECS training, which included how to discipline agents who are not complying with the extensive DECS requirements.  With units still having high caseloads, this presents situations that can cause adverse actions when agents are unable to accomplish all the DECS tasks necessary, due to excessive work.

Internal affairs investigations and adverse actions continue to increase.  The biggest problem I am regularly seeing is that there is no progressive discipline.  Also of concern is that Supervisors and District Administrators are not handling issues early in the process that would allow an action (counseling chrono or LOI) and subsequent corrective action plan.  This should be the start of the progressive discipline process and there would be no “surprises”.  Several regions have situations where an agent may have been “negligent” in handling his caseload.   My question at investigative interviews is why a year or more goes by and the supervisor is not aware of the deficiencies.  By the time we reach Internal Affairs, the situation is much more serious than if the supervisor immediately handled the problem. 

The PSA classification continues to be problematic regarding the obvious absence of any language in the MOU/LBF regarding their working conditions.  As the numbers continue to grow in a variety of divisions, we are not being noticed of all the new job assignments.  The duties are so different throughout the state and the department that it is difficult to identify all the locations and the positions that exist.  When we return to the negotiation table, we need to address the PSA working conditions and other related contract issues.  Please begin to formulate issues that should be identified and addressed and start sending them to me via email so I can start compiling data.

CCPOA field representative, Corey Davis, advised me that he was at a meeting and received information about PSA retirements.  I am trying to get more information and will post it when I receive it.  I spoke to several PSAs in Oakland this week and I provided them some general information about this issue.  They will contact PERS to get clarification on the issue.

We continue to have inconsistencies throughout the state on supervision of GPS cases.  I am receiving calls on a daily basis about these caseloads.  HQ staff have told me that agents will be compensated with needed OT, if they exceed 20 (active) or 40 (passive or mixed) on specialized GPS caseloads.  Please contact me if that is not occurring.  In July, it is expected that a new caseload specs pilot program will occur in 4 units throughout the state.  It will consist of new, proposed caseload specs specific to an active or passive GPS caseload. 

I have been trying to meet with CCPOA President Mike Jimenez to ensure that PAAC has input on the direction we will be taking regarding legislation, initiatives, etc. that pertain to us.  A large percentage of press coverage and related legislation is directly associated with and related to parole.  It is important that PAAC have input regarding positions taken by CCPOA, so that CCPOA leaders understand our duties, concerns, etc.   The direct discharge issue never seems to go away.   Also present is summary parole, which has never clearly been defined.  There are many problems associated with both issues and we need to be a part of all discussions.  This will allow those who actively supervise parolees to share information and be a part of any future policy changes to ensure that those decisions will be successful.

MRSA still has not been addressed via policy for parole.  CDCR usually issues a policy relative to the institutions, but fails to address how we do business on the streets.  We have approached the Director on this issue and hope to have discussions in the future. I want us to have some direction, so that home calls and ANTs shall be waived on parolees with active MRSA.  There is always reluctance to waive specs if they are HRSO, HC, SO etc., but we need to have some direction to ensure the safety of our staff.

Threats on staff continue to be a problem.  This actually is an understatement.  This has been an issue wit
h me for years.  Having said that, I have repeatedly met with management on this issue. I never cease to be amazed that management fails to immediately and correctly handle threats on staff.  The agent should not be the one to do all the work to ensure that the policy/process is followed.  This recently happened in San Francisco.  I imagine it happens elsewhere and we just don’t hear about it.  Please contact your local reps or me if you hear of threats occurring, no matter how insignificant they may appear.

I recently attended Firearms Familiarization training in Region I.  The power point presentation that was on the screen during the training was incorrect and identified as such when it was presented.  We were also told that we needed to answer several of the questions “wrong” in order for them to be “right”.  I am concerned that a law enforcement organization would allow this to occur.  To teach wrong policies and then expect agents to keep the right and wrong issues separated when they return to the field is very bad practice.  I have since learned that this is the issue in many of the components at the academy also.  So we begin by teaching incorrect policy at the academy.  I have sent this issue to the director.  I would hope that some personnel adjustments could be made somewhere to ensure that lesson plans are approved quickly to allow correct policy to be taught.  The seriousness of teaching incorrect firearms policy is noteworthy.  The department wants to hold agents accountable for not following policy, yet they do not ensure that current policy is being taught.

The Director has indicated that the July and September academies will be cancelled.  The budget issues, potential of direct discharge and summary parole, plus other issues continue to cause many variables that make it difficult to plan for parole agent positions.  The June Academy will start on the 2nd.  We will have to wait for updates to see the direction DAPO will be taking regarding agent positions.

A retired Parole Agent (and previous Region III Rep) contacted me to advise that agents were not receiving their retired IDs and associated CCW when they retire.  He had previously worked to make sure the process was in place for this to occur.  I am talking to the Director about this.  Make sure you submit the requisite package prior to your retirement so you can have the process completed before your last working day.  If you know a retired agent who wants and has not received the retired ID and CCW, please have them contact me.  You should be able to get the paperwork from your regional personnel office to submit prior to retirement.

OT on caseloads that exceed 154 or additional work off caseload continues to be a problem.  It is difficult to understand how we have so much disparity throughout the state on this issue when a policy exists that speaks clearly to the issue.  I need names to provide to the CCPOA attorneys of agents that are experiencing this problem.  If you are not receiving adequate compensation, I need to know ASAP.

I have discussed 13 and 25-month discharge reviews with BPH.  There are many cases that have recommendations by the agents for discharge.  The recommendations are based on 13 to 25 months of violation free parole periods with positive adjustments in the community.  This is the place to reduce the parole numbers based on solid assessments.  If you have cases that you believe should have been discharged, but were still retained on parole by the Board, please get me those cases. 

Please let me know what questions or concerns that you have and want addressed.  We can have your local representatives address the issues in your region and/or bring them to the Director’s meetings.

PAAC has a new CCPOA Field Representative:  Phil Auzins.  He is located in the Sacramento office and has recently been assigned to us.  He previously worked in the Bakersfield CCPOA office.  He is now handling parole issues.

The next PAAC meeting is July 12 at the Spring Hill Suites Marriot in Fresno.