Despite statements made by Robert Ambroselli that there are discussions to allow Employee Opportunity Transfers (EOT), there is no indication that will happen. We are 60 days away from the next academy and no EOTs have been scheduled. It appears that new hires will again be offered jobs in the prime locations that senior agents should be able to have.
GPS caseloads continue to be problematic. It is frustrating for those of you with GPS caseloads, when you see your peers with caseloads being reduced significantly. GPS agents have a workload that far exceeds regular caseloads and includes consistent after hour alerts/phone calls. I have received numerous calls about the GPS agents being required to adjust their schedule to work Halloween, without additional compensation. There is no statewide consistency on GPS caseloads or PA II duties in those units. Some units have reduced numbers so the job is able to be done. Other units have excess cases or are providing coverage for agents on leave. These agents are often not compensated appropriately.
Elections for PAAC offices will occur in November. It is important that everyone vote. If you do not get a ballot in the next week, contact CCPOA immediately. If you work in Long Beach or Pomona, make sure you get a Region IV ballot. If you have any questions about this process, call me.
Agents call me periodically to advise of BPH decisions that appear inappropriate and done at Probable Cause Hearings (PCH) without the AOR or victim present to ensure equitable input. The policy that allows for the review is on the intranet (Policy 09-12). Time frames must be adhered to, so make sure you pursue the review immediately.
Board Revocation Representatives (BRR) are Correctional Counselor I classifications and employed by the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH). Recently they have lost their vehicles and had changes in their work locations. We are trying to work with BPH management to resolve some of these conflicts. A workload grievance is being filed. If you are one of the impacted staff, contact CCPOA labor representative Nicole Clavo so we can document these changes. The main CCPOA number in Sacramento is 916-372-6060.
SROA/Layoff negotiations occurred this month for two PA II positions, which were eliminated from Division of Adult Institutions (DAI). The process was different than the previous OSATS Program 800 procedures and these two agents were redirected without the ability to choose the vacancies in which they were interested.
DJJ Preston facility is closing and DJJ field parole is also being eliminated. This is impacting more staff forcing relocations and/or change in job classifications. The loss of the DJJ field agent positions may have the most direct impact on DAPO.
I continue to meet with legislative staffers, even during the recess. This is a critical part of maintaining our profession and having a say on the direction we are headed. I find that legislators are not aware of the facts of our profession and need information (from those of us that do the job) to make them understand what we do in the community. This will be crucial when the legislature resumes session in December.
Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has said, as quoted in a newspaper, that part of the reduction in the CDCR budget could be done by integrating Probation and Parole. After numerous calls to his staff, he personally returned my call and we discussed his position on this topic. He said that parole should be reviewed for efficiency. He said that he needs information before he makes any changes. It was apparent he did not know where DAPO is currently headed with parole reform pilot programs. He assured me he will talk to PAAC, if he is elected Governor, to discuss what changes can and should be made to make us more efficient.
I have been to three of the Parole reform pilot locations (Tri City, San Gabriel Valley and Santa Rosa) and plan to get to Bakersfield in the next few weeks. My concern is that there does not appear to be real changes in these locations. There is more paperwork and some increased work. It is unclear what type of reform and/or success management is looking for when they do audits and other reviews in these units. I have been told that these agents are informed that the future of parole is dependent on the success of this reform. I would disagree and hope that objectivity occurs, not just change for the sake of change.
Pilot programs continue with little notice to CCPOA and no intention to have dialogue to allow input from the agents that are doing this work. As you all see, work continues to increase and there is not adequate compensation. There also is no indication that compliance with Penal Code 5058.1 requirements for pilot programs is occurring.
The “Hope” Program will start 11/1/10, in the Sacramento Metro #4 unit. It is a flash incarceration program that requires parolees in this pilot to be tested up to 8 times a month. A PSA will be assigned part-time to help with the extra ANTs. Parolees will be arrested immediately if the “quick test” is positive. Agents will immediately do an activity report. A BPH hearing could be held within a few hours. Valdivia requirements will be modified for this pilot program. The policy is so vague that it is difficult to understand how management will assess this pilot effectively. There is more information on the web: www.hopeprobation.org
Also, there are pending pilot programs for Re-entry Courts that have been funded. There is no notice to CCPOA, so the status of these pilot programs is unknown. There are reportedly 7 contract locations, but no imminent start dates for these programs.
Sacramento has trained three GPS agents for a “bike unit”. They trained with Sacramento Police, but we have no other information other than they plan to do this.
Deborah Shoup and I met with OSATS management this month. They currently have 4 PA II vacancies statewide and anticipate 5 or more by the end of the year. They hope to be able to fill positions as soon as the Governor’s freeze is lifted. They also will be hiring 7 PA I for transportation positions.
I have been working with CCPOA labor regarding the refusal to compensate Parole Service Associates (PSA) with education incentive comparable with Correctional Officers. We are pursuing a class action grievance to ensure PSAs have rights per the Implemented Terms (MOU).
PSAs are serving Valdivia revocation notices at a HDSP, CCC and local jails in northern California. We have not received a notice to change these job duties from a PA I to PSA. A class action grievance was filed last week
The lack of vehicles for parole agents continues to be a problem. Some agents from the last academy are still without cars. Robert Ambroselli indicated (at the last PAAC meeting) that private vendor contracts could fix this problem, but there does not appear to be an immediate solution forthcoming. If you have unsafe vehicles with high mileage and frequent breakdowns, please let your reps know. We need to file health and safety grievances in an attempt to force fixes to situations that can compromise agents’ safety in the field.
There was a work group last week to re-write the duty statement for PACT agents statewide. There were three PACT agents and I participating; with supervisors and managers being the majority of the work group. There is a push for PACT agents to have a caseload, which seems counterproductive to what these positions were created for in 2003. We are waiting for a draft duty statement and DAPO will need to notice CCPOA on these changes in working conditions for the PACT agents.
Furloughs have again been extended. We are still waiting to see if parole agents will be required to use the furloughs within the work period. A decision should be forthcoming. If you use our furloughs and are not able to get your work requirements done, document that in email correspondence to your supervisor and your PAAC representatives.
Penal Code 830.2 continues to generate much discussion among our members. I have talked to CCPOA and have requested that we complete a survey among all our members to ascertain if the majority of our agents want this classification change for our profession. I would like PAAC to be able to pursue this in the legislature (without CCPOA opposition), if it is determined that the majority of PAAC members support this legislation.
The CCPOA State Board meeting is December 5th at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, 3700 W. Flamingo, Las Vegas, NV 89103. The CCPOA convention is December 6th & 7th at this same location. Talk to your local representatives to see what elections are occurring and other topics that will be discussed at the convention. They represent you and should have your input.