Top issue: Layoffs. Will they affect us and if so, how much? We don’t know the answers at this time. There are many stories floating around and in the press. What will actually end up being factual will be determined in the future.
The union has received a layoff list from DPA. The surplus notices were premised on having 15 months service or less. CCPOA’s Labor and Legal divisions are actively seeking information and preparing for any actions that may be available.
Members can check the CCPOA website and the 5150 hotline for additional information. They can also log into the DPA website at www.dpa.ca.gov.
I attended the Senate hearing 5/19/09, where Matt Cate presented his proposal to cut $400 million in CDCR. Without a doubt, parole reform is the focus. The plan is to direct discharge 35,000 paroles. Mr. Cate proposed reducing caseloads to 40-1 for all remaining parolees to allow for more intense supervision. This could preserve the majority of parole agent positions, but we don’t know if the legislature will fund that ratio. We still have a vacancy number of about 200, however, it is unknown if this will mitigate layoffs. CCPOA is preparing a position paper regarding the ways the state can save money. The report should be released soon.
I emailed the PAAC Board of Directors earlier this year about the possibility of resigning as President. That communication was based on my perception that due to some union issues/conflicts with leaders of CCPOA, my remaining as President would be detrimental to the parole agents I represent. Following ongoing discussions with other chapter presidents on the CCPOA State Board of Directors, I realized that things I was experiencing were not exclusive to me. That fact and a current attempt by CCPOA members to weaken PAAC by breaking it into two chapters has resulted in a renewed and continued commitment to represent all the members of PAAC to the best of my ability. I am not resigning.
Now, more than ever, it is important for all PAAC members to be an active part of what we should do as a corporation to represent, protect and promote our profession that is under attack. With the state budget in serious crisis, significant cuts are proposed for DAPO. Additionally, there is an internal move to divide PAAC into a north and south chapter, with the south controlling all aspects of negotiations due to the number of agents in Region III and IV. A Region III agent presented that proposal, which was supported by chapter presidents from several institutions and the EC of CCPOA. Factually, the state board does not have the authority to vote on this division so they voted to “support” this concept. We are our own corporation, so only the PAAC Board can vote to change the current PAAC bylaws.
We also have a member of the CCPOA Retired Chapter trying to organize region III agents to and take a direction legislatively with no input from the PAAC Board of Directors. The PAAC chapter gets $4.00 a month of your $79 dues. Our entire budget is $113.000.00 a year. Pam Douglas (retired parole agent) is the Director of Corrections Institute of America and head of a policy group at CCPOA. She receives more money as an individual to operate her program than our entire chapter receives to represent 2,500 members statewide. After she began to organize “her” direction for Region III parole, I called her and requested that we operate together and requested to attend her meeting. She did not respond. She also submitted a letter to the CCPOA EC requesting it be published in the Peacekeeper, in which she denigrates the PAAC Board. She has full support of CCPOA, who funds her travel to our meetings.
It is important for members to have input with the direction of PAAC. If the majority of the PAAC members believe I should be removed, that democratic process should be followed.
With all of the current conflict, I want to reassure all members that the majority of the PAAC Board of Directors is working as team to fight for our rights daily and for the future of our profession. At the state board of directors meeting in Bakersfield April 18th, Region III Parole Agent Luis Robles presented the proposal to separate PAAC. He indicated I was not a leader and that I did not represent Region III. One astute chapter president stated that this appeared to be a personal issue and the agent should follow the appropriate channels of recalling me if I was not representing my chapter. I agree. President of the largest chapter in CCPOA is a daunting undertaking. I am aware that there are limitations on anyone that is in this position. Members have an absolute right to criticize any of us in elected positions. If the majority of any group believe their leader is not doing the job they were elected to do democratic processes are always an option. Certainly there are many of us in CCPOA being scrutinized. I thank all of you who continue to support me and appreciate those that call also to share negative concerns about my actions. I have had conversations with many of you and learn from them all. There is no doubt that everyone will not always be happy with the direction of CCPOA and/or PAAC specifically. Having said that, we all strive to represent our members and work towards a contract and other protections for our members.
Paul Labbe and I continue to work with Tom Hoffman regarding the units that are not getting overtime despite the fact that they are well over the cap of 154 points. We are not making much progress. Region III and Region I are the most problematic areas at this time. It is imperative that you request overtime or modification of specs in writing (preferably email) to document. In the event you are audited or a case becomes problematic, this will verify that you were not able to perform your duties adequately. Compton parole has points over 370 and getting minimal OT with inadequate modifications of caseloads. Bakersfield also has excessive points and policy 08-08 is absolutely not being followed. We will pursue different channels if we cannot get management to address these and other problem areas. It is important for agents to let us know where this is occurring.
Contact your representatives if you are not getting appropriate overtime or modification of specs. If you request OT and your supervisor directs you to report to his/her office with your mileage log, 998 and field book, contact your rep. This is not an appropriate response, but rather an intimidation act. Bakersfield has been a very problematic area and we are trying to work with management to rectify this problem. Caseloads exceed 200 points and there is very little OT and insufficient modification (if any) of specs. We continue to report these situations to management, but are having no success in resolving. Grievances have not been successful and are not timely for responses. Therefore, we will provide this information to legislators for the impacted areas to see if they will get involved.
EOT moves are again frozen. Despite the fact that there is a hard freeze on lateral moves throughout the state, management lateral moves continue. Since EOTs are no longer occurring, we will never recoup the positions we continue to lose. We have been noticed on this issue and will be negotiating on June 2nd. PA II promotions are occurring, which results in lost EOT moves also to those positions. CCPOA has been noticed by management regarding their plans to change the EOT process. It is one more “take away” by management that we will not get back. It will essentially remove Sideletter 19, as we previously knew it. The arbitration we prevailed on last year with a number of moves granted to us appears to have now been discarded.
I have been meeting with different legislators to try to get information out on what we do and the importance of our duties. They are responding to my contacts, especially when the information pertains to their areas of representation.
Increased training continues which results in agents losing more time to do their field contacts. Keep track of your training and request overtime, if needed, to ensure you can get your job done. Motivational Interviewing is the most recent 8-hour training being scheduled. Policy 08-08 should be followed. Motivational Interviewing training was funded for overtime. If you need time to make up work on our caseload, put the request in writing.
I am trying to answer every call and respond to emails. If you do not hear back from me, please call back. I am still doing real parole work in the midst of negotiations, meetings, etc. Your regional reps are doing a great job of handling issues in their respective regions and they should be your first point of contact. I am staying in touch with them and trying to provide them the most current information I have.
We are negotiating PVDMI and COMPAS next week. Team members are Todd Gilliam, Gilbert Gil, and Carl Crawford. Contact them on the global if you have concerns about these programs and associated workload.
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