CAN I VENT?
By Stacy Ford, Camps VP
Sisters and Brothers, I want to thank all of you for attending the rally. Because of you, we were successful. Approximately 300 people showed up from the Coalition of Probation Unions – Local 685, Local 721, and Local 1967. We had a ton of support from the Coalition of County Unions (CCU), AFSCME Council 36, the L.A. County Firefighters’ Union, the L.A. County Federation of Labor, and others.
The rally was filled with high energy. Sisters and Brothers, let’s not stop there. Let’s keep the momentum going. We stepped into the ring; now we have to keep fighting.
What’s next for us? In order for us to be productive, we have to take our camps and halls back. The Board of Supervisors (BOS), the Probation Oversight Commission (POC), the community-based organizations, and others have taken away our tools, equipment, and resources, and have basically put their foot on our neck. As Probation officers and as a department, we have been demonized. And you know what? That’s ok because when 685 fights, we win!
During this process, we have been beaten up, assaulted, injured, and hospitalized. But we are survivors. Listen, sisters and brothers, I survived cancer. Some of you are cancer survivors as well. So, we know what’s it like to fight. We have to take that same energy and fight for our existence. WE MATTER!!
Some members of the BOS and the POC are saying, “The DSOs, GSNs, and POs are not coming to work.” That’s not necessarily correct. Some officers are injured and cannot come to work due to their injuries. But some of us are at work. Like myself, I come to work. But some of our members have watched their female coworkers get beat down, punched in the face, and knocked to the ground. Some have seen their male coworkers brutally beaten with very little support. This is enough to scare anyone from coming to work.
We can do this. We can regain control if we fight. There is strength in numbers. That was proven at the rally. Sisters and brothers, those of you who can, please come back to work. We need the numbers. Those of us who are at work need you. We cannot continue this fight without you. Two officers in a unit will not work. We need all hands on deck. This can be done.
If you are able, step back into the ring. We can’t provide services to the young people we serve if the facility is not safe. Together, we can stabilize one unit at a time. Come back to work and get back in the fight.
By you coming back to work, we will show the BOS, the POC, and others that we are not going to stand by and let them privatize our careers. We are going to demand our safety.
The rally was just the beginning of what’s to come. We cannot win the fight without you. So, get back in uniform, get back to work, and let’s do what we do. The youth, the community, and our probation family need us to do our jobs.
We are one department. When one division within the department is under attack, we fight together as a whole. REMEMBER, AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!