Update on Involuntary Reassignments
A message from the Local 685 Executive Board
By now, many of you have received an email from Interim Chief Karen Fletcher about Department incentives for members assigned to the juvenile halls. The following is an update for members on the situation in the juvenile halls, with field staff, and with the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC):
Last Tuesday, March 28, some Field DPOs received an incorrect email advising them that they were being involuntarily reassigned to the juvenile halls. By March 30, the Department began to send out corrected emails advising them that they were being involuntarily reassigned to the juvenile halls and would be required to attend training on April 3-7. Many Field DPOs did attend, and they are scheduled to begin involuntary reassignment to the Juvenile Halls starting Monday, April 10.
The Department anticipates that these staff will receive another week of training within the next 30 days. Based upon the current number of Field staff who attended this initial training, it appears that the Department will be involuntarily reassigning additional DPO Field staff to reach their stated number of 100.
This action by the Department violates Employee Relations rules and is a violation of the Impasse process we currently are in with the Department. Further, the Department has violated Employee Relations rules and the Impasse process by its unilateral action providing incentive pay as identified in Interim Chief Fletcher’s email today.
We are scheduled for our first Mediation session on the Impasse, and – to protect our contract rights – we are demanding that the Department cease and desist from any and all actions that violate the Employee Relations rules and the Impasse process. We are also filing additional Unfair Labor Practice charges based upon the implementation of the involuntary reassignments and the unilaterally determined incentives. However, the reality is that the Department will continue to violate the rules and suffer Employee Relations penalties because, in their view, the alternative is not acceptable.
As we have shared with members in the past, the BSCC notified the Department in January that both Barry J. Nidorf and Central Juvenile Halls were in violation of state regulations and were in jeopardy of being closed. The Department provided a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) on March 14 to the BSCC. On March 23 and 27, the BSCC notified the Department that its CAP was not sufficient to prevent the closure of both halls and gave the Department until April 3 to submit further plans. The Department filed an amended CAP on April 3, and the BSCC is set to hold a suitability hearing on April 13 to determine if the Department’s plans are sufficient to prevent closure of the Halls.
One of the most significant issues for the BSCC is the critical staffing issues in the halls, something that the Board of Supervisors’ actions – and lack of action – has caused over a period of many years. The Department’s involuntary reassignment is a part of its CAP plans and is central to shoring up the staffing issues. Therefore, the Department appears willing to violate the Employee Relations rules to avoid the BSCC closing the Halls.
We are opposed to any violation of the rules and all of the Department’s unilateral actions, and we will fight relentlessly to stop all these violations.
We want to make sure Local 685 members get the most accurate information possible about Department actions, so you are working off the best possible information.
Today, the Department announced that it will be providing monetary incentives to staff providing direct supervision of youth in the two juvenile halls. The incentives are similar to the previous incentives (October 2022 through March 2023), will be retroactive to April 1, and apply to all DSB, RTSB, and Field Staff who supervise minors in the halls.
The incentives will be paid in a lump sum at the end of three specific terms based upon the number of hours worked in the Juvenile Halls as follows:
1,000 Hours worked within 6 months – Flat Payment of $3,500
1,500 Hours worked within 9 months – Flat Payment of $3,500
2,000 Hours worked within 12 months – Flat Payment of $10,000
Payments are earned at these specific intervals and are cumulative based on total hours worked in our juvenile halls up to a maximum of $17,000. The Department is still considering how these incentives may apply to staff who are deployed less than full-time in the halls.
Your Executive Board is 100% OPPPOSED to these unilateral actions taken by the Department without meeting and conferring with us. We are at IMPASSE with the County on our contract, and these actions make for further violations by the Department. We are set to begin formal Mediation under Impasse on April 20-21. We are demanding that the Department Cease and Desist from its unilaterally imposed actions.
We will keep you informed as we obtain further information and as matters continue to develop.
Local 685 Executive Board