Thursday, September 25, 2008

We now have a budget, but there is still a hiring freeze. We did EOTs in all four regions this week, but now it is unknown what the status is of those moves. Hopefully, there will be resolution early next week. Once again, there was concern that Region IV was taking a large number of agents from Region III. It is noted that agents also moved into Region III from other regions, so the net loss is not as significant. It is anticipated that academies will be scheduled in the near future and that will also allow Region III to fill vacancies. There are approximately 140 PA I vacancies and 40 PA II vacancies statewide. There are many acting out of class positions and retired annuitants.
Remember, once your work schedule is submitted and approved, your supervisor cannot make you flex your schedule to avoid paying overtime. You can mutually agree to that, but your schedule is approved before the start of the month and you have the right to know that your schedule is approved.
PAAC will be meeting with management in October on GPS issues. I have received very little input to date on the pilot program issues at those specific locations. If any GPS agents have issues that they want addressed, email me so I can bring them to management’s attention. I anticipate receiving a rough draft of the GPS policy and negotiations should be in the near future. Most of you are operating with no policy and that is problematic.
Now that we have a budget, the Director stated that DAPO will be scheduling testing for the Parole Agent II Supervisory position. PAAC continues to try to get a definitive job description and notice for negotiations on the change of classification.
Just a reminder, if you have not already filled out a PHYSICIAN DESIGNATION form CDCR 912, you should do so immediately. That allows you to use your personal physician if you have a job related injury, rather than having to use a state assigned physician.
There was a recent incident in a parole office where a parolee suffered a seizure in a program. Agents performed CPR however, the parolee died. If you are in a situation like that it is important that you use a CPR mask is to lower any risk of exposure to diseases. Always know where there is a mask in your office, if you keep yours in your car.
Agents were spit on during an arrest involving use of force. If you receive any exposure like this, your supervisor needs to provide you with information so you can seek appropriate treatment if needed. Also, if you are involved in use of force, you should ALWAYS contact a rep or CCPOA to get an attorney to assist you.
Negotiations will occur on October 7th for Parolee Service Centers (PSC). Any members associated with those programs that have issues with workload specifications, contact me before that date.
Negotiating teams will be meeting October 2nd and 3rd with DAPO regarding mandatory use of the computer. This policy is very far reaching and again adds work that is currently done by support staff and supervisors. Negotiations have been unproductive for many months, so I am not optimistic that we will get any positive movement on this topic. We continue to get more work with no compensation. We need to document any and all extra work. I will be talking to CCPOA about options on this issue.
PA IIIs also will be negotiating on the computer use issue. John Bernal, PA III, South Central is the contact person for supervisor issues. He will be heading all issues we are trying to bring forward. Only CCPOA dues paying members will be on the negotiating teams.
I am trying to get Parole Service Associates (PSA) issues centralized. Les Reynoso will be heading that committee. Contact her with your issues. I will provide her union email contact in the next blog.
The DAPO policy unit is working on establishing a Field Agent Guide with quick references on a variety of topics. If you have suggestions on what should go in that document, you should contact the policy unit that can be located on the intranet.
Corey Davis, CCPOA Labor Representative, is looking for members that have been harmed in the “apprenticeship program”. If anyone has been extended for turning in their DS 103 late, they need to contact him at 916-372-6060. Other pertinent information they are requesting are examples of management losing forms, apprentices who can show that no one is monitoring what they are doing, no training being provided, etc.
The convention was very controversial, but now concluded. The delegates reelected Mike Jimenez. The PAAC board voted as follows:
Dan Rafferty-7 votes
Mike Jimenez-2 votes
Abstain-1 vote
There is an email circulating that is addressed to me (and not authored by me) regarding a regional representative. Any recall issues are directly handled by CCPOA and not PAAC. Members have the right to address issues with their elected officials (me included). The process is done through PAAC and CCPOA bylaws. Democratic processes allow members to have a voice in their union. Conflict is not discouraged and we all deal with it frequently. Please just make sure you do not violate policy or union bylaws when you are making your statements.
I recently testified at an informational hearing at the legislature on Proposition 5 (NORA). It is on the November ballot and has the potential to deal DAPO a devastating blow. It will allow 6 “bites of the apple”, far exceeding Proposition 36 allowances. You should research the initiative and encourage everyone to vote no on this proposition.
Open enrollment is now occurring. If you want to change health providers, enroll in flex elect programs, etc., now is the time to do so.
Job steward training will be held October 29th at Springhill Suites Marriott, 99 N. 2nd Avenue, Arcadia, CA. Contact CCPOA Southern Office at 800-221-7397. You must do the training on your own time. It is great training and empowers you as you learn your rights. You do not have to be an active job steward if you do the training, but is great for protecting your rights as a BU 6 members. Internal affairs investigations continue to increase and we desperately need more job stewards in Region III and throughout the state. I encourage you all to sign up for this training.
The next PAAC meeting is October 18th at Embassy Suites, 250 Gateway Blvd., South San Francisco, CA. Please attend this meeting to get current information on DAPO polices, CCPOA issues and the issues in your region. Fresno had an excellent turnout, at the last meeting, with over 60 members in attendance. I am encouraging all of the Region II agents to please try to attend to get your questions answered. Management and union representatives will be in attendance.
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.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

There is still no budget and as a result, lingering rumors about the status of our paychecks.  There are no definitive answers on continued speculation of minimum wage.  Most believe that will not happen.

We continue to work on the overtime issue statewide.  Overtime is available, despite the budget issues.  Policy 08-08 still is in place.  However, is not adhered to in most units.  If you are over 154 points (or above 20 or 40 for specialized caseloads) and your supervisor does not modify specs or authorize adequate OT, you need to let your representatives or me know immediately.  We will write grievances to show a complete over view statewide of the failure of the department to authorize appropriate compensation for high caseloads.  A previous action over 10 years ago cost the state millions of dollars.  We are hoping that we can start fixing these problems, but have not had much success to date.

If you are a GPS Agent and one of your parolees is arrested, the case should remain active on your caseload until the revocation process is complete.  If this is not occurring, let me know immediately.  We will be meeting with management this month to review the pilot program.  Policy is being written at this time.  We hope to negotiate GPS specs soon after the pilot is completed 10/1/08.

EOTS are pending.  I hope to get a date for the 3rd quarter EOT meetings at the Director’s meeting 9/10/08.  In addition to seniority picks for every other vacancy that currently exists, we will be getting additional moves due to the arbitration settlement.  Put in your EOT requests immediately for all locations you are interested in, if you want to be considered for the next EOT meeting.  Once again, the selections will be done on paper, but agents will not be allowed to move until we have a budget.

Disability Effective Communication Systems (DECS) has been implemented.  At our PAAC meeting in Burbank last month, we learned that many agents do not know about this process.  After checking with HQ, I have been told that they are trying to get exemptions to allow trainers to travel and resume training.  It is anticipated that all agents will be trained by the end of October.  The training for your supervisors included information that failure to complete these processes shall result in agents being referred to the Inspector General’s office for adverse action.  The work associated with this system can be very time consuming in cases requiring disability accommodations.  We previously “negotiated” DECS, with no agreement on how to compensate for the extra work attributed to this system.  With no contract, true negotiations are virtually nonexistent.

I was in several complexes in Region III last week.  Agents were required to sit at the reception desk during part of their OD periods in the San Fernando/Van Nuys complex.  They were not allowed to leave the reception area during that time, which prevented them from doing initial interviews or other requisite OD duties.  Subsequently, management agreed to put a support staff (Bargaining Unit 4) in that location, like all other parole units in the state.  Sometimes when we attempt to deal with issues, there are mixed responses from the agents.  I understand that we cannot always satisfy everyone.  In this situation, agents were required to do work that is not part of their job duties.  We are continuing to work on other problems in that complex. 

At the Burbank PAAC meeting, there were a number of agents who were interested in taking job steward training in Los Angeles.  I provided that list to CCPOA Labor Rep Michelle Arteaga in the Rancho Cucamonga office.  She will be scheduling training in October.  If you are interested in that training, let me know and I will get your names to her.  If you would like to take the training in another location, let me know. We will arrange training as soon as we have enough interested people in other areas.

DARS Job Steward Andrea Zahner and I met with Executive Officer Martin Hoshino from Board of Prison Hearings (BPH) last month.  We discussed workload issues, work schedules and overtime for the PA IIs who work for that division.  Management was receptive to our concerns and overtime was ultimately offered the following day.  There are several vacancies in that unit, driving excess work.

I met with Division of Addiction & Recovery Services (DARS) Director Thomas Powers. I expressed concerns regarding DARS promotions/hiring practices. Several agents indicated that possible irregularities occurred during the requests for cert lists, interviews and pending hires in a certain area.  A possible DPA appeal may be filed regarding this issue. I addressed the disparity of workloads throughout the state for PA IIs at DARS.  SB1453 continues to drive excess work and appropriate overtime has not been forthcoming, as was agreed at negotiations.  Houston Whisenton, Debbie Sallie and I met with DARS Parole Administrator Joh
n Bailey in Ontario.  We discussed overtime for SB 1453 and the failure of the Department to negotiate the MCOP pilot program.  I plan on having periodic meetings with DARS Administrators in an attempt to address issues.  Contact Agents Whisenton, Sallie or me with issues you would like to see us address.  We are trying to get a finalized seniority overtime agreement for DARS.  This is important because DARS lost a mini-arbitration case last year because they did not do overtime based on seniority in an institution.

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