Assembly Bill 109 was passed through both houses of the legislature and is waiting for the Governor’s signature. While there is speculation on the impact to our division, we will not know the full impact until the funding issues for this parole realignment are resolved. There is a lot of frustration and little direction from our division. Only time will tell on what the final outcome will be. It is important that you continue to talk to your local legislators about this. When I listen to legislators or hear them speak about this realignment, it is obvious they do not know what our job entails. Also, the data used by individuals to show revocation information does not appear to be based on facts.
There are reports of staff reductions and discussions regarding layoff notices. If layoff plans are developed, CCPOA will have to be noticed and the impact will be negotiated. When or if that occurs, I will keep you informed on the information we receive.
We have notices for negotiations on numerous topics. Some of the open issues are: OSATS PA II duty statements, Armstrong Remedial Plan II, Travel Reimbursement for parole agents in the academy, and EOT. There are also pending notices for the same topics for Supervisors. We are negotiating almost every day for the next two weeks.
The Field Training Program (FTP) table concluded on March 28th. It is important that everyone involved in that program provide input to his or her local representatives on how this program is working. If there are problems or positive input, let us know. When the program was originally designed, there was supposed to be a defined stipend, a percentage of pay while acting as a trainer. That premise has now been replaced by “possible” overtime, if needed. If there is no compensation, there is little motivation to take on a significant increase in work and responsibility. The proposed MOU has FTO positions for correctional officers. We will try to mirror any stipend they receive to our program.
I have received emails and calls from retired agents who are reporting delays in getting their authorization to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) after retirement. It is important to submit the paperwork as early as possible before your retirement date. If you are not getting your CCW or badge, contact your local representatives to have them see where the process is held up. I am trying to get direction on retired agents qualifying at CDCR ranges. They have been doing so for a long time and were recently stopped by Region I. The Weapons Committee is researching and should make a recommendation on the process.
There is also a backlog of payouts upon retirement. Retired agents have reported that several months following their retirement date, they still do not have all of their leave time cashed out. Check your final compensation closely, there have been errors noted.
The single, biggest complaint I hear from agents statewide is that they work in a “hostile work environment”. It is an ambiguous term that can just mean conflict or be more serious with violations of Title 15, civil rights protections or Implemented Terms. There are a myriad of situations occurring currently with low morale, furloughs and no contract just to name a few. The local PAAC representatives are working in many complexes trying to facilitate resolution for a variety of workplace problems. Responses from management have sometimes been slow or non-existent. Agents are taking different courses of action, such as taking their complaints outside of the department to pursue these issues, when they do not get an appropriate response.
I receive calls daily on violations of the Implemented Terms. A significant number of agents do not want to use their names or pursue a problem with a grievance because they fear retaliation. This is frustrating for the PAAC board because it allows management to continue to violate the basic rights we have achieved through bargaining.
If your supervisor is requiring you to adjust your schedule to avoid paying overtime, we need to know. If you think you should have a second agent accompany you on transports for safety reasons and are denied, contact us. If you are being told there is absolutely no overtime (not true) and are not being compensated for all the time you are working, it is a violation of Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
There are different areas where supervisors are requiring all agents in a unit to sign a “Letter of expectation”. This should be occurring only if the supervisor has noted problems with an individual, not for blanket use for all individuals. Get your local representatives the information so we can document and try to stop this as a routine process.
You will be voting on the proposed MOU very soon. Call if you have questions after you review the changes in the MOU. There are pros and cons contained in the new contract, so review all sections closely.
PAAC met with DPA on March 30th and discussed Section 19, which deals with parole issues specifically. Team members were myself, Todd Gillam, William Heaton and Terrance McMillan. We will be meeting again next week to try to conclude our negotiations. Most of Section 19 will just be retained, but there are some changes, which will be provided to the members. I am optimistic that we will agree on an EOT process.
If you are being called out after hours, make sure you are being compensated. You should never have to flex your hours at a later date to avoid paying overtime.
Region I has been cancelling PACT in many areas. This is an evidenced based program and it should be maintained to assist parolees in locating services immediately upon their release from custody. While we are fighting for the integrity of our profession, these types of cuts only hurt us.
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) field parole offices are being closed throughout the state. While there are not a lot of positions statewide, the impact to these agents will be felt between now and 2014 when these positions go away completely. A negotiation table last month has been dealing with staff that is being moved to other areas. It is anticipated that they will be able to transition to DAPO if vacancies exist.
There has been discussion about Parole Service Associates (PSA) working in the prisons. We need to ensure that they are working with safety equipment and better training than they were previously provided. Different divisions have been discussing these issues and we should know soon what they intend to change to provide better protection for these employees.
PAAC meetings are scheduled for the following dates:
April 9, 2011
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza Mall
300 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95815
May 7, 2011
Hilton Ontario Airport
700 N. Haven Ave.
Ontario, CA 91764
June 4, 2011
5555 Shellmound St.
Emeryville, CA 94608
Meetings will be from 9 AM to 2 PM. Chuck Alexander, CCPOA VP, has been invited to all meetings. It is important that we continue to stay strong and work together as our profession is facing changes. If you have questions, call your local representatives.