Sunday, December 28, 2008

We still do not have any additional information regarding the “surplus” letters or the two-day furlough.  I am keeping in touch with Director Hoffman daily and as soon as we learn anything, I will let you know.  He met with his staff from HQ this week, but simply advised them that they do not have any direction as of this time.

We learned this week that Assembly Bill 8 (AB 1X 8) had passed the assembly and senate.  After reading it, we realized that the bill could cut us drastically if passed.  It, essentially, was a discharge for parolees after six months if they were not 290 PC, ll92 PC or 667 PC.  Upon contacting both Tom Hoffman and Scott Kernan, they advised me that the Governor had vetoed the bill.  I will try to meet with Stephen Walker from the CCPOA Legislative office and/or Mike Jimenez.  I am concerned that PAAC did not know this bill was so far through the process.  Hopefully, we will get information from CCPOA and a commitment to advise us when these bills are making there way through the legislature.  It is important that PAAC be involved when this type of legislation is moving forward.

Please stay focused on the facts.  Do not let rumors cause unnecessary alarm.  I have had agents ask what the cut off, in BU 6 years, is for surplus letters?  This question that has no answer at this time.  If and when we get to any point where significant changes will occur, CCPOA will have to meet with management to facilitate the processes.

TASER negotiations will be occurring in January.  I have team members from Region II and Region IV.  I need an agent from Region III to be on the negotiation team.  Please email me immediately if you are interested in doing this.

The Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument (PVDMI) began with a pilot program in 4 units in the state.  It is going to be rolled out to all units starting in February.  Those agents that are currently involved in the pilot programs should contact me ASAP if you are having problems with the instrument and to let me know if significant additional work is incurring in this program.  We will meet with management again before the program is implemented statewide.

I do not know the status of EOT for January 2009.  That section of the contract is still intact with Last, Best and Final. However, EOT is not being followed appropriately.  There is not currently a hiring freeze, but with no new academies it is difficult to see how the EOT will move forward.  If you are interested in moving, make sure your EOT is on file.

I still need input on the GPS caseloads.  Please let me know what is and what is not working.  I hope we will be negotiating workload specs and policy after the first of the year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Governor distributed a letter dated December 19, 2008, and an Executive Order S 16 08.  Those documents reference an implementation of a two-day furlough for all state employees and layoffs/position reductions up to 10%.  The Executive Order included a reference to a “limited exemption process”.  I spoke with Director Hoffman on Friday and he confirmed that we are not exempt at this time.  (Both parole agents and correctional officers are in this situation). 

It is unknown how they will implement a two-day furlough.  Will they have to pay OT to the GPS agents to run their tracks on the days they are off or will they waive that requirement?  Will the FUNAs and DRUNAs not be required to serve the 1502b notices timely or do they expect other staff to find the time to do the extra work without compensation?  Will field agent’s workload specs be reduced by 10% (139 rather than 154 point caseloads)?  There are no current answers to how the days off will be accomplished or how the work will get done. 

I will try to provide information as I receive it.  It is important to not mistake rumors for facts.   If SROA notices are sent out, it does NOT mean you are going to get laid off.  Remember we have 200 vacancies in our rank and file classification (PA I and PA II), which equates to approximately 10% of our staff at this time.  That is the current planned reduction per the Governor.  This should be some kind of buffer against layoffs.  I expect that all classifications will incur a percentage of reduction in DAPO, not just BU 6 members.

There is no doubt that there is going to be a lot of concern among our members.  The Governor has directed that “surplus” notices go to the bottom 20% of seniority employees.  That does not mean you will necessarily be laid off. 

Please call your local PAAC representatives if you have specific questions.  I will try to keep them informed of the most current information and update the blog also.  I will talk to CCPOA and Tom Hoffman to get the most current information.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I met with Tom Hoffman this week and discussed the EOT.  With no academies scheduled at this time, there is no way to fill vacancies.  This is causing problems in some of the Region III units.  We will be meeting in early January to discuss how to best deal with this situation.  Region III will begin the redistricting process right after the first of the year, so some adjustments to existing parole units may also help with vacant positions.

I will be meeting with Thomas Powers of DARS on 12/15/08.  We continue to try to get resolution on issues in that Division.  One of the continuing problems is DARS hiring practices.  We are also trying to ensure that policies relative to blood borne pathogens and other critical topics are followed.  DAPO has policies on these issues, but it does not seem like DARS has incorporated all of these procedures into their division.  Also, we are still trying to get a seniority overtime agreement to deal with specific geographic/institution situations.  In the absence of that, seniority OT should still be followed.  There are just no written limitations on distance traveled to do the OT, as is noted in local regional OT agreements in DAPO.

At the last Director’s meeting, we talked about previous legislation that required Supervisors to complete basic and advanced supervision training within 6 months or they were not able to continue to act in a supervisory capacity.  I received information last week that a significant number of individuals statewide, in DAPO, are not in compliance with this requirement.  Those required to be in compliance will be scheduled for this training in 2009. 

I received information last week that PAST trainers in Region I required agents to strike the bag with their baton for over 20 seconds with no stops to evaluate.  This is not in compliance with PAST/baton training.  Also, some agents indicated they were extremely sore after that exercise.  Workers compensation claims are significant with “approved” training, but this training could cause more injuries.  I have requested the approved lesson plan and will be following through.  If you ever have information and/or questions about training that you receive, contact your PAAC representative.

Adverse actions continue unabated.  Make sure you have a representative if you are contacted to participate in internal affairs investigations, whether it is as a subject of an investigation or as a witness. 

I am aware that Policy 08-08 regarding overtime/modification of specs is still not being followed in many units statewide.  We continue to write grievances, but there does not appear to be any accountability in this area.  If you do not get approved OT and cannot meet your specs, send an email to your Supervisor noting that fact.  Send me a copy also, so we can build a statewide information base on this topic.  Also, make a note in your ROS that OT was not authorized and specs were therefore not met.  Include the fact that specs were not modified in writing as required.  Then if a case is audited, you have covered yourself.

Crown Victoria caged vehicles are being replaced when they reach high mileage.  Apparently the new Impalas do not have enough room in the back once the cage is installed.  If you are not getting the caged vehicles replaced with a caged vehicle with adequate room to transport parolees, contact your local reps.

The next PAAC meeting will be January 10, 2009 in Sacramento at the Holiday Inn, 300 J Street.  Chuck Alexander, CCPOA Vice President and Tom Hoffman, DAPO Director will be guest speakers.  Matthew Cate and Scott Kernan have also been invited to attend.  If you have any questions about what is going on with CCPOA or DAPO, you need to attend this meeting and talk to these individuals.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Debbie Sallie, Houston Whisenton, Becky Hoover and I met with DARS Director Thomas Powers on November 24th. We discussed many issues including: hiring practices, retired annuitants in ICDTP community based programs, lateral moves, pending negotiations, and EOT between DARS and DAPO. Five Parole Agent positions are on hold until July. Mr. Powers said that he has not filled the ICDTP Community positions because they have not yet negotiated with the union. However, it was noted that there actually are agents and retired annuitants in those positions. Management is going to resume conference calls with management and staff. Sherry Gauger stated that they have also scheduled meetings in the north and south to allow staff to interact and meet with management. Houston Whisenton will be writing a summary of the meeting. Contact him if you want information regarding all the things we discussed.

Andrea Zahner and I met with BPH Executive Officer Martin Hoshino, Jay Virbel and Pat Cassidy on December 3rd. The workload for agents at BPH was discussed. Jay said that they have been allowing flexibility with schedules so work can be accomplished. Since they are short staffed, OT will be authorized if needed. They should be hiring two new PA IIs next week. We requested that training for agents in BPH be consistent with block training for DAPO agents. This ensures that agents will have updated training if they return to DAPO. PAAC continues to pursue the possibility of EOT for BPH agents. There was discussion on field parole agent’s reports that parolees are retained on parole even if an agent recommends discharge. Pat will provide stats that show they are trying to deal with this issue.

PSA Les Reynoso and I met with Darby Lannom and Bill Cuellar on the 3rd of December. We discussed many PSA issues, knowing that these individuals are only responsible for PSAs in their units. We hope that this will give us a basic forum to discuss topics that will affect PSAs statewide. If you have specific issues, contact Les at so we can discuss them with management. Les discussed possible training issues, vest requirements in different institutions, work schedules and lateral moves.

DAPO is writing Essential Job Functions for the PSA classification. I met with Margarita Perez in a subsequent meeting. She advised that job functions might vary between different positions. However, the basic job description listed on the SPB website are the main criteria for the classification.

On December 4th, Paul Labbe, Irma Dominicci and I met with Director Tom Hoffman, Robert Ambroselli, Gil Rodriguez, Margarita Perez and Denise Milano. EOT will continue quarterly, with 4th quarter moves just completed. I have concerns that not all moves are being reported. We have been getting 2 EOT/seniority moves for each management pick due to a previous arbitration settlement.

The rotation policy has gone to another draft version. After reviewing the draft, I could not determine who would be in the rotation process. It is hoped there will be further discussion between PAAC and DAPO before a final policy is issued.

If you are not familiar with all the components on the computer proficiency letter, make a note so your supervisor can schedule you for training.

Agents had asked me to see what was being done regarding caged vehicles. There is concern that the Impalas are too small once the cage is installed. Originally, there were plans to purchase additional Crown Victoria’s from the CHP for caged vehicles, but that fell through. There are no other plans at this time. Let your representatives know if caged vehicles are going out of service due to high mileage and not being replaced with another caged vehicle.

MRSA negotiations are pending and should be scheduled in the next 45 days. There is a template plan that basically applies to institution settings. DAPO will be writing their own polices specific to field settings. I will be on the CCPOA table along with chapter presidents from institutions and DJJ. If you have any suggestions on this topic, contact me immediately.

Some things are not sent to the union with a notice for negotiations. Ralph C. Dills Act requires notice if there is a change in working conditions. If a policy and/or other directive comes out that impacts you, contact me to ascertain if we have met to discuss impact. There are some issues we have asked for a notice.

I have not yet received the response from the Health and Safety Grievance filed regarding the South Central Parole Office. CCPOA contacted Maria Burns and was advised that the response has been written and should be arriving soon. If there is not a satisfactory response, we will submit the package to Federal OSHA and possibly to local legislative representatives to see if they can assist us in ensuring that building is a safe work environment.

We have requested that a current list of “closed counties” for TIR be listed so agents know before submitting a transfer package. This information is supposed to be readily available on the intranet site according to Robert Ambroselli at the PAAC meeting. He discussed other automated information that will also be available to agents. That should help locate what units supervise a specific area so TIRs can be appropriately routed.

Agents have called and emailed me about rumors of “pink slips” for parole agents. At this time, there is no indication that layoffs will be done. The current legislature will be meeting to propose cuts to address the budget crisis. There are currently 173 PA I and PA II vacancies, 7 PA II Supervisor, 27 PA III and 6 Parole Administrators. That should give us some cushion if there are positions lost due to reductions. When we hear something, I will try to keep this blog updated so information is factual. As of December 4th, there was no information regarding any definitive cuts per DAPO Director.

The next PAAC meeting will be January 10, 2009 at Holiday Inn, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95818 (916) 446-0100. Chuck Alexander, CCPOA Vice President and Tom Hoffman, DAPO Director will be guest speakers

I try to return all calls as soon as possible. If you have not received a return call, please call me again and/or send me an email.