TOPICS DISCUSSED-WAVE 5, CPSRM WORKLOAD STUDY, SEX OFFENDER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (SOMP), STATEWIDE ONE-TIME EMPLOYEE TRANSFER, RE-EMPLOYMENT, ANTI-NARCOTICS INSTANT TESTING (STATEWIDE), VEST COMMITTEE, CCPOA CONVENTION RESULTS, OVERTIME, MEMBER PARTICIPATION
Wave 5-Wave 5 has been completed. There were 3 PSA’s impacted statewide and each was provided the opportunity to relocate in order to avoid Layoff/Demotion. From all indications it appears BU 6 members will not be impacted by future waves.
CPSRM Workload Study-In July 2014, there were a number of Units that participated in a CPSRM Workload Study. Numerous calls were received regarding participation, as well as questions as to whether this was additional workload. PAAC responded to the inquiries by assuring those units (via e-mail) participating in the study that this was a study we supported and have been requesting in order to demonstrate caseload sizes are too large, and that all staff participating would be compensated. At 53:1, CPSRM caseloads are too enormous to do effective/quality parole casework in our estimation, and therefore the reason to request the study. Your Board would like to thank all who participated in the study. Each of you provided valuable insight to DAPO-HQ as well as the Department of Finance, which is currently reviewing the results. We are hopelessly optimistic this will result in caseload reductions. We will keep you posted.
Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP) -Negotiations for this policy were extremely contentious on both sides of the table. As your representatives, PAAC had many issues with the proposed SOMP policy as presented. Our team argued that the entire Containment Meetings process (i.e., scheduling, completing forms, file review, participating in the meeting, and contacting witnesses and participants, etc.) was additional work and caseloads should be reduced to mitigate the impact. The State argued that this was not additional work and was no different than a case review. Over the course of four days, our team identified numerous areas that were problematic to the implementation of this policy and strenuously argued that caseloads should be reduced to 20:1 to ensure caseloads were manageable with the increase in workload. DAPO summarily rejected all proposals passed and offered no reduction in case work prior to implementation, despite the department’s own Task Force recommendations indicating caseloads should be at 20:1 with the additional caseload specifications. Where you find difficulties supervising these caseloads, please contact a local Board Member so that we can address issues as they arise.
Statewide One-Time Employee Transfer–In October 2014, PAAC and DAPO agreed to a Statewide One-Time Employee Transfer, which would allow parole agents that were previously prevented from transferring out of certain locations due to the 10 percent rule for years, to transfer. This was a mutual agreement which required both parties to stipulate to a change in BU6 MOU section 19.06(B) for a period of 30 days. The agreement was completed on October 7, 2014 and transfers were awarded on October 23, 2014. PAAC would like to thank the DAPO administration for agreeing to this process and allowing employees to get closer to home. Congratulations to those who were able to avail themselves of this process and for those who were not successful, be assured your Board will continue to work to see transfers continue in the future.
Re-Employment –For nearly eight months PAAC was requesting information for DAPO HQ regarding vacancies. After being repeatedly told there were no vacancies, we were able to obtain a positions roster (with the assistance of CCPOA Vice President Chuck Alexander). Upon evaluating the documentation, we identified 213 vacant positions. DAPO HQ immediately disputed the count and questioned the integrity of the documentation. Upon pressing the issue further, DAPO acknowledged there were vacant positions and committed to filling some of the positions. So it is with great pleasure that your PAAC Board is able to announce that staff that were impacted in the prior waves 1 thru 4, will now find themselves able to return to work permanent full-time off of the Re-Employment List. Certification letters went out about a two weeks ago and had to be returned by October 20, 2014. It is our understanding that approximately 70 agents will be returning permanent full-time and this may just be the beginning. We will keep you posted.
Anti-Narcotics Instant Testing-PAAC and DAPO recently negotiated ANT instant testing for all units statewide. For almost two years this has been a pilot program and now DAPO intends to roll this process out statewide. This is a huge departure from how we have done business in the past, but in most cases, this process should streamline the testing process and cut down on the amount of samples sent to the lab monthly. If you have concerns regarding this new procedure, please share them with your local PAAC Board Members immediately.
Vest Committee-Last year in December 2013, DAPO put out a new policy regarding Ballistic Vests. PAAC immediately received numerous complaints regarding the new policy. In return, PAAC filed a grievance regarding the new changes, not because we feel it is non-essential that staff are safe in the field, rather that; 1) the current vest is more suitable for tactical situations; 2) the current vest presents some health and safety concerns; and 3) because in our estimation Parole Agents (based on training and experience) are best suited to make the call when vest are needed. PAAC and DAPO met on this issue, and the Administration agreed to form a Vest Committee to try to address member concerns. Recently the Vest Committee met and have been tasked with exploring vests that are lighter weight, more breathable and more concealable. As we progress through the process of trying to select a more suitable vest for daily wear, we will make updates as soon as they become available.
Convention Results–In September 2014, CCPOA held a statewide election for CCPOA President. The candidates included Chuck Alexander and Ali Guitron. Mr. Alexander overwhelmingly won the election and will take over as CCPOA President in January 2015. PAAC realizes that some of our members take issue with Chuck Alexander and felt that your Board Members should have made a statement by standing against his election. Your PAAC board takes ours responsibility to represent our members seriously and would like to assure you each of you that your board members cast their vote with the best interest of members in mind.
Overtime-Intimidation, retaliation, denial are all terms that have been conveyed to PAAC representatives regarding overtime and member interactions with some supervisors. If you find that you are over cases or need overtime to complete work, approach your supervisor and make the request for OT. If there is a denial, follow up with a written request via e-mail. It is imperative that if members are having issues regarding the approval of OT you contact a PAAC Board Member/Representative, immediately. PAAC is continuously reminded that there is no issue regarding overtime as agents are not coming forward and expressing concerns. We (PAAC) need to know if you are having difficulties regarding OT, if we are going to address the problem.
Member Participation-PAAC has conducted five General PAAC Board Meetings this year. Participation has be minimal and the perception that Management gleans from the low attendance is that there are no issues as it relates to Parole Agent work conditions (i.e., overtime, ballistic vest, caseload sizes, CSPRM/SOMP specification, transfers, etc.). Unless you are there expressing your views (especially when the DAPO Director or Deputy Director is in attendance) your voice will not be heard. Your views are extremely important and truly the only way to make change. It’s time to stand, TOGETHER!