State of Our Union
January 7, 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
2015 was an extraordinary year that saw dramatic changes in the Probation Department, in the composition and style of the Board of Supervisors, and in our wages, benefits, and working conditions. The hard work of the Local 685 Executive Board delivered – despite the tragedy of the passing of two of our stalwart leaders: Steward’s Chair Bernie Cade and Chief Steward/Second VP Sue Cline.
Here’s a look at what we accomplished in 2015:
A successor Unit Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that includes:
* 10% pay raise over three years.
* 2% special Advanced Educational Degree bonus.
* Increase in the number of sick days.
* 70% increase in our Uniform Allowance.
* A comprehensive study to enhance public and personal safety, that includes:
- Professionalizing the Juvenile Halls;
- Instituting a bonus for all high risk offender assignments (both juvenile and adult) and specialized cases in all units - field, camps, halls, and transportation; and
- Establishing a DPO III position to serve as a Training Officer, or to handle highly complex and specialized cases under AB 109 and SB 678 programs.
A successor Fringe Benefit MOU that includes:
* Choices: 18.5% increase in the County’s contribution toward our health and dental premiums.
- By 2018, your annual allowance will have increased by as much as $4,130 (an increase of $344 per month for families of 3 or more).
* Cesar Chavez Holiday: The first new paid holiday in 30 years.
* Paid Vacation: Employees with 20 or more years of service will accrue an additional 8 hours per year, to a maximum of 40 additional hours of vacation.
Additionally, in 2015 we saw:
* The swearing in of two new labor-backed members of the Board of Supervisors, Hilda Solis and Shiela Kuehl, creating a solid pro-worker majority on the Board.
* The resignation of Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers, who steadfastly refused to follow the terms and conditions of our legally binding contract with the Board of Supervisors.
2016 has arrived with a full plate of crises and opportunities that will continue to demand our full and tireless attention:
* An ongoing effort to resolve the more than 100 Unfair Labor Practice charges filed against the Probation Department for failure to follow the policies and procedures in our contract with respect to promotions, discipline, and a host of other grievances.
- Why is it taking so long for the Employee Relations Commission (ERCOM) to hear our grievances? Because the entire Commission resigned in 2013 in protest of draconian changes imposed upon them by the former majority of the Board of Supervisors. The newly elected Supervisors have committed to restoring ERCOM under the equitable rules in January 2016.
* Implementation of our contractually-mandated study to enhance public and personal safety, specifically professionalizing the Halls, creating a new DPO III position, and instituting a bonus for all high risk assignments.
* Search for a new Chief Probation Officer who has the qualifications and experience to manage the largest Probation Department in America while respecting and following the contract between our great Union and the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, experience has shown that Cal Remington, who is returning as Interim Chief, is more sensitive and open to the needs of employees, and he respects our contract!
* The election of two new members of the Board of Supervisors to replace termed out Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich.
* Two possible ballot initiatives – sponsored by former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio – that, if approved by voters, would permanently decimate our retirement security. Read more. * A U.S. Supreme court ruling on the case CTA v. Friedrichs, a lawsuit that challenges the authority of Unions to collect dues. Read more.
* And of course, election for the new president of the United States of America!
Our plate is full, but with the solid backing of Local 685 members, we are focused and ready to do our job!