Member Action Alert – Let Your Voices Be Heard!
Last night, more than 500 Local 685 members participated in the General Membership meeting to voice their anger, frustration, and feelings of despair and helplessness concerning recent actions of the Board of Supervisors, Chief Executive Office, and Interim Chief Probation Officer.
The dominant sentiment of members: The Board, CEO, and Interim Chief do not care about Probation employees (rank & file, supervisors, managers, non-represented employees, and the executive team). Local 685 members describe the current situation as a “divisive unsafe nightmare.”
On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Board of Supervisors took the following actions:
Fired Chief Probation Officer Adolfo Gonzales
Appointed Karen Fletcher, Interim Chief Probation Officer
Rejected the Union’s Tentative Agreement Settlement Proposal.
On March 8, 2023, Karen Fletcher’s first action as Interim Chief was to reaffirm Chief Gonzales’ March 6, 2023, notice to reassign 100 Field Deputy Probation Officer II positions to staff the juvenile halls for one year without bargaining the effects of management’s unilateral action. We still do not know when they intend to implement this action.
At our bargaining table, the Board is insisting on making radical changes to Article 16, thereby re-opening the door to pervasive and rampant discrimination against black and brown members, as well as against women and gender-expansive members.
The Local 685 Executive Board is carefully reviewing the situation and available options with labor counsel to determine the next steps.
In order to immediately protect your rights, the Executive Board directed our attorney and labor negotiator to take the following actions:
Issue a cease and desist letter to the Probation Department to stop reassignments until the bargaining process is completed.
File a Declaration of Impasse with the Employee Relations Commission.
Prepare for Impasse Resolution procedures, which would include mediation and fact-finding proceedings.
Other legal actions are being reviewed to determine if there is a statutory basis for challenging the County’s unilateral actions.
Work to the Rule – Follow Management Directives and Orders
Your Executive Board is advising members to follow all Department orders, policies, and procedures. Why? Because failure to do so is insubordination, which could be used as grounds for discipline including warnings, suspensions, and termination.
Your Executive Board understands the toxic nature that has been created, specifically what appears to be a discriminatory attack on the Probation labor force for exercising their protected rights to bargain for wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, including:
Protection from targeted unfair discrimination.
The right to work in a safe and secure environment.
Protection from juveniles that assault and harm staff.
Collective bargaining MOU protections.
In the weeks and months ahead, we urge members to make your voices heard so the Board understands the impact of their actions on the health and safety of Probation employees.
Employees need to feel valued, appreciated, and supported – this is clearly not the case in this season of the Department.
Your Executive Board has heard your voices loud and clear and will keep you informed of our efforts to protect your rights.
Solidarity Forever, United We Stand, Together We are Stronger!
Your Local 685 Executive Board We are fighting for you!