Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There are many rumors, opinions and documents circulating regarding the prospect of us working for minimum wage; since we do not have a budget.  The current situation appears to be that the governor does not consider us exempt even though we are public safety employees.  The controller stated he would not pay any state employees minimum wage, even if he were compelled to do it. He stated that it would take months to make the changes with the existing computer program.  IF (and that is a big if) we were paid minimum wage, anyone that works any overtime would get paid their full paycheck and their overtime.  The bottom line is no one really believes we will get minimum wage.

Overtime has NOT been prohibited for case carrying agents.  For those agents working in areas with high caseloads, you will need to request clarification from your supervisor.  If you cannot receive overtime authorization and work needs to be done, you need to let your supervisor know (daily if necessary) that essential work is not getting done.  If you cannot get your board reports done, home visits accomplished, etc.; you must just do your required hours and go home.  Do not be insubordinate.  If you are ordered to do something after your workday or work on weekends, put ALL time worked on your CDCR 998.  Contact your reps if your supervisor does not modify/waive specs and/or authorize OT.  We are going to start writing grievances in every unit statewide that is not following policy.

I know that agents are conscientious and want to do their job.  However, if we keep doing all the requirements without adequate compensation, we are only hurting ourselves. Working for free does not force management to see that the workload exceeds what can be done in a 164-hour work period.  GPS agents have been calling me with reports that supervisors are asking them to adjust their schedules to avoid paying overtime.  We know that those agents are responding to phone calls 24/7.  We may try filing a grievance for standby time.  We cannot do anything until we can show that GPS agents are responding constantly to calls.  

We are receiving information that non-case carrying agents are having their state issued vehicles taken away.  FUNAs and PACT agents have been instructed to park their vehicles at the offices.  In at least one instance, an agent was instructed to find a place to park the vehicle because there was concern that the vehicle would be vandalized at the parole office.  Agents have signed Home Storage Permits.  That should mean you park your cars at your residence.  For all of you that have been instructed to drive your personal vehicles to the office, start keeping track of all related mileage and extra time associated with this process.  If you are losing time out of your normal workday to drive extra miles to get to the office to begin your day, keep track.  Save all the mileage you are accruing on your personnel vehicle.  CCPOA will be reviewing this situation to determine the best action to take on addressing this situation.  All of you that were promoted into and/or interviewed for positions knew that you would receive a vehicle as part of the job. Since the department is now taking that benefit away from you without noticing the union, we will be filing a PERB Unfair Labor Practice.  Funding for these positions included vehicles.  

EOTS are pending for August.  I am waiting for an answer from Mr. Hoffman on whether moves will go forward.  There was discussion that we would do the same thing that we did in May.  Moves would be noted on paper, but would not be implemented until we have a budget.  Remember, we will be getting extra EOT positions due to an arbitration settlement.  Put in requests for all locations you are interested in immediately.

DEC has been implemented.  The message I got from talking to agents at the Burbank PAAC meeting is that virtually no one is clear on exactly what is to be done with this process.  Since there is looming adverse actions for those that do not complete all the processes timely, I advised all agents to send emails to their supervisors as often as necessary explaining that they do not understand all the processes. That is the best way to protect you until the policy is released and better training or instructions are presented.

The Parole Agent II Supervisory issue continues to be problematic.  There are approximately 40 PA II vacancies statewide.  The Director has indicated those positions in field units will be filled with PA II Supervisors.  I have talked to the attorneys and labor reps at CCPOA.  We will be filing a PERB Unfair Labor Practice on this issue.  Our position is that we should be noticed on this change.  It is taking a significant number of rank and file positions and making them unrepresented employees.  Since there is an impact on PA Is and IIs, we have been asking for notice and negotiations.  We have still not received a duty statement for the new Parole Agent II Supervisor. 

There is consideration for a modified academy in September to accommodate the DJJ agents coming to DAPO and other empl
oyees needing training.  There is still no word on future academies.  There are approximately 140 PA I vacancies statewide.  The impact on remaining field agents is significant since we continue to have areas with caseloads in excess of 200 points.

I try to return all your phone calls and emails.  If you do not hear from me within 48 hours, please call me back and always leave a contact number.