Sunday, November 23, 2008

I met with Mike Jimenez on 11/19/08. We talked about many issues including my request to be involved when Mike is discussing parole issues with legislators. I had received information from Region IV that he was making “CCPOA proposals” regarding reentry beds. I wanted to know what our involvement would be in this arena. He indicated there were no proposals. However, he acknowledged that Stephen Walker from the CCPOA legislative office was flying to southern California today to meet with officials from Cops and Clergy to discuss reentry beds in Riverside County. We discussed the class action grievance regarding increased workload for parole agents. The attorneys will review and assist in determining how to best pursue this issue. Mike, Chuck Alexander, Steve Weiss and I discussed DAPOs plans to convert Parole Agent II Specialists in field units to Parole Agent II Supervisors. It was decided that further discussion would be needed after an information request was done for a description of the duties associated with the supervisory position. This may be an unfair labor practice. I hope to be able to maintain consistent contact with Mike to ensure that our issues are represented at CCPOA. He was receptive to working with me.

EOT moves will be done the first week of December. Make sure you submit your applications before the end of the month if you want to be eligible. If you encounter problems, contact your local representatives immediately.

If you are injured on the job and want to utilize your personal physician for treatment, rather than a state doctor, you must fill out a CDCR form 912 and have your physician sign it before you turn it in. You should do this immediately. The form must be in your personnel file before any injuries occurs.

Mandatory use of the computer policy has been implemented. If you are not PROFICIENT on the programs, do NOT sign the proficiency form. Training should be available in the future to assist you in learning the different programs and to help you become more efficient. However, I don’t think it is available at this time. We do not know how supervisors are determining proficiency, but they are requiring Agents to sign the form. Proficiency was not defined at the negotiation table.

We had approximately 140 PAAC members attend the general membership meeting in Ontario 11/22/08. Tom Hoffman and Robert Ambroselli both spoke about the pending budget cuts. Although we know cuts will probably occur, it is still unknown what they will be.

I asked Tom and Robert about lateral moves from Parole Agent II Specialist to Parole Agent II Supervisor when the agent is not on a promotion list. Tom and Robert both stated that personnel had confirmed that this move is legitimate. That would allow PA Specialists to transfer into the PA II Supervisory position, even if they had not taken the supervisor test. We had questioned this move since it was in a promotional path. Tom did indicate that the PA II Supervisory test should be given after the first of the year. Their interpretation would not require existing PA II Specialists to take this test, if they can simply lateral. We need to confirm this process.

Robert presented a power point presentation on the redistricting of the parole units/districts. It was well received by the membership who saw how caseloads would be geographically assigned for more efficient use of agents’ times in supervising parolees. He briefly covered the PVDMI tool that is being used in four units/pilot programs and the automation involved in writing reports. Future SOMS computer use was also discussed, again reiterating the efforts by management to streamline some of the work we do daily to be more efficient.

CCPOA Vice President Chuck Alexander spoke to the members about what CCPOA is doing to try to get a contract. He also acknowledged that we would not know anything about budget cuts until after the first of the year at the earliest. He answered many questions regarding CCPOA budget issues, a pending lawsuit and other topics.

I have a meeting with DARS Director Thomas Powers on 11/24/08 to discuss agents’ issues. DARS agents that will be attending are: Debbie Sallie, Houston Whisenton and Becky Hoover. We have an agenda and hope to cover a variety of topics. Job Steward Whisenton met with Parole Administrator Chris Diesslin last week to deal with specific complaints about a supervisor. There was a productive discussion and a summary of the meeting was written. If you have questions about these issues, contact Agent Whisenton.

A PAAC/BPH meeting will occur with Executive Officer Martin Hoshino on 12/3/08. If you have issues with BPH that you would like us to address, let me know before that date so it can be considered for the agenda. Send me an email with any topics you want discussed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I have no new information about the budget cuts proposed by the Governor. Tom Hoffman will be at the Ontario PAAC meeting on the 22nd to answer questions. I have given Tom a list of specific topics to discuss. Members will also be able to ask their own questions. Robert Ambroselli will present the proposed redistricting that will begin in Region III and then move throughout the state. The presentation will allow everyone to see how efficient caseloads can be when they are assigned geographically.
Chuck Alexander will also attend the Ontario PAAC meeting to answer questions about how CCPOA is handling the budget cut proposals and issues related to Last, Best and Final.
Rumors continue unabated. There are not many answers and we need to be patient until we hear where the actual budget cuts will occur and what the impact will be on our profession. Call or email me if you have questions. If I do not know the answer, I will always try to get it. Until the special session of the legislature ends, we will not know how we will be affected.
I attended the Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument PVDMI training in Oakland on Friday and Saturday with the agents from the units that will be participating in the pilot programs. Those units are Stockton, Santa Maria, San Fernando, and Chula Vista. It is a new way of doing parole work and there is going to be lots of monitoring to address problems that occur within the pilot, so it can, subsequently, be rolled out statewide. There is a significant automation in the documents, but also new work. PAAC and management met to “discuss” the pilot program prior to its inception. We anticipate negotiating the workload after completion of the 90-day pilot program, before it is implemented statewide.
A class action grievance on Essential Functions of the Parole Agent classification will be filed the week of November 17th. This is based on different documents being used by the department. There is an approved version signed in 2007. There are other forms, which may be “bootlegged” forms, used for agents that have been off work due to worker’s compensation or other disabilities/illness and also attached to the policy requesting a vehicle accommodation. Only one form should be the basis of consideration for all of these issues.
I am anticipating EOT moves in the last quarter of 2008. Since November is almost over and some of the September EOT moves have not yet occurred, we can hope for December to resume the process.
Exemptions are still being signed and moves and promotions continue. The above issues and many more will lead to an interesting PAAC meeting this weekend.
The PAAC meeting is November 22, 2008 at the Hilton Ontario Airport, 700 N. Haven Ave., Ontario, CA 91764 (909-980-0400).

Friday, November 7, 2008

I met with the academy class on 11/3/8. There were 34 students, with 2 being PA IIs and 1 PA III. It appears because of the tentative hire letters, some potential employees decline job offers. A significant number of the parole agents/students are from outside agencies. This academy will continue, but there will not be any future academies scheduled until further notice.
September EOT job offers were finally back on this week. Anyone that was selected from that process should have start dates by now. I do not know if future EOTs will occur in the current budget climate. I will let you know as soon as we get an answer from the Director. I am filing a class action grievance on this to maintain any positions we have lost and/or will lose in the future.
The Director’s meeting was cancelled this week, so there are no answers to many of the questions we had on our agenda. I hope to reschedule before the end of the month. Let me or Paul Labbe know of any issues you want addressed.
I went to South Central Parole office on 11/6/08 and met with management and Cal OSHA. Cal OSHA’s issues were relative to leaks in the building, mold, and security. I filed a Health and Safety grievance relative to the air quality concerns in that building. I will keep those agents updated on responses to this grievance. Corin Perez in that complex has a copy of the grievance and the attached documents.
Matt Cate met with approximately 75 DAPO staff on 11/7/08 at Region I HQ. He stated that CDCR might potentially incur $1 billion in cuts. 70% of CDCR costs are staff. He indicated the biggest cuts are projected to come from parole, which could mean layoffs. The current proposal must pass the legislature if it is to become reality. We won’t know the true outcome until the end of the month.
Scott Kernan indicated that any “furlough” days would require meeting with the unions.
We still have not been given notice on the GPS policy, so still no negotiations. If you answer calls after hours, the Rafferty Arbitration Rule applies. Any call that takes more than 7 minute equates to 15 minutes of OT. We may file a class action grievance on standby time based on a higher level of expectation that agents with these caseloads be readily available after hours.
Don’t forget we have a PAAC meeting at the Ontario Hilton on 11/22/08. We plan to have representatives from CCPOA and DAPO HQ to answer as many questions as possible regarding the current budget crisis and the impact on parole agents.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

By now you are all seeing the nonstop increase in workload associated with policy after it has been implemented. We meet on some of the issues, but “negotiations” as I previously have noted are non existent. We are repeatedly told, “There is an overtime policy” to address the extra/new work. However, we know that Policy 08-08 is not followed appropriately most places. A class action grievance will be filed soon.
Mandatory use of the computer involves extensive new work. If you previously dictated reports, you should still be able to do so. Clerical can also update your Cal Parole information. The only improvement is that we can now do Mileage Logs online. You enter the mileage at the start of the month and then at the end of the month. No daily entries and no start and stop times needed.DECS is probably one of the most labor intensive policies in many years. More problematic then the work is the fact that all deficiencies are to be referred to the Inspector General’s office. This can result in adverse actions.
Exposure control plans should be available in all offices. I continue to hear of blood borne exposures and am not sure if the appropriate follow through is being completed by managers. Ask your supervisor where your exposure control plan is in your office. It is also important to know where the closest facility is for the treatment medication. All hospitals do not keep this “HIV cocktail”. You should know what is supposed to happen before you or anyone in your office has an exposure. If your office does not have the plan, contact me immediately.
We continue to try to deal with “problem buildings”. Many sites are unable to relocate due to various reasons. Cal OHSA is involved in the South Central Complex and we will be following through on all problems.
Off duty behavior can result in internal affairs investigations and possible adverse actions. Always be aware of your rights and what you need to do if this occurs.
Job Steward training was held last month in Arcadia. If you are interested in taking this training, send me an email with your location. We will try to schedule more training in each region as soon as we get enough agents and/or PSAs signed up.
Les Reynoso is doing a great job of compiling information regarding the PSA classification. You can contact her at She is identifying committee members from each region who will be instrumental in trying to work on issues specific to that classification. Les and I will be meeting quarterly with management at HQ to address problems and request clarification on the classification.
John Bernal has a negotiation table on computer use for supervisors this month. PA IIIs can contact him at his email address for questions and suggestions on what issues need to be addressed for that classification.
DARS agents should be receiving overtime if they can reasonably articulate the need to get other work done on SB 1453 cases and/or other duties. DARS is allowing ASCAT hearings to be done via telephone. During recent conversations with DARS management, it appears they will be mirroring DAPO policy on computer training. We hope to have a meeting with Thomas Powers before the end of the month on DARS agent’s issues. If you have any concerns or questions, email Debbie Sallie or Houston Whisenton and let them know what you want discussed with Mr. Powers.
Leo Pierini and I have met with Rick Rimmer from the Office of Correctional Safety (OCS). He has indicated that CCPOA/PAAC should be receiving a notice on the taser gun soon. Once we have met to discuss the impact to agents, the program should roll out. Contact Leo at if you have any questions or suggestions on that issue or other topics.
EOT moves are once again frozen. I do not know the reason and certainly have no idea why this has occurred. Even in a budget deficit, there is no cost for EOT moves. Usually agents are moving closer to home, so there is a cost saving. If an agent is moving to a unit where points will be reduced, there is also a cost saving. I will be filing a class action grievance. We recently had an arbitration settlement on the same issue, where the department admitted wrongdoing on a freeze from 2006. We had agreed on a settlement, when the new freeze occurred. We have lost third quarter EOT moves. It is unknown what will happen to those original EOT job offers from the September EOT.
I continue to try to return all phone calls as soon as possible. If you do not hear from me, please call me again.