Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tom Hoffman will be at the the PAAC meeting in San Diego May 3rd.  If you have questions, concerns, or issues, it is important for you to come to the meeting so you can ask him in person.  He has been receptive to listening to your concerns and has been following up after he leaves the meeting, if he doesn’t have the answer that day.  Please attend if possible.  It is located at 1441 Quivira, San Diego, CA 92109.

We met on GPS workload specs on 4/29/08.  We have reached some tentative guidelines for several units to, hopefully, try on a trial basis, before we get to full negtotiations and get locked in to the caseload requirements.  We will discuss further at the San Diego PAAC meeting.

EOTs will be done again on May 16th.  Get your EOT in immediately if you have not already done so.  The next one after this should be July 1st.

Four units in the state will be going to Diamond Bar for 3 days of training in May for the pilot program (using the matrix for sanctions), which I previously discussed. If any agents have specific problems/hardships with this travel, please call me.  This has not yet been negotiated, but I hope we will be able to sit down with management on this BEFORE the training and pilot program begin.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I have received numerous phone calls in the last couple of weeks, asking about my resignation.  I HAVE NOT RESIGNED.  I am not sure who started the rumor, but if members have questions, please call me or email me.  I try to answer all contacts and it is better to operate on facts than rumors.

We have been noticed on mandatory use of the computer; however, we do not yet have a negotiation date.  It does seem that this is one topic that they want to move quickly on.

Negotiations for DECS (Disability Effective Communication System) started on 4/24/08.   Many issues remain unresolved and we will have another date scheduled in the future.  My concern is that the increased workload is significant and is not being recognized my management.  When we asked how agents were going to be compensated for all the extra work and training, management responded, “There is no compensation”.  They indicated the work would take “30 seconds.”  Mandatory DECS training has already started and is additional work.  The work associated with this process is time consuming, involves repeated DECS reviews and completion of the 1073. Keep track of all the time you do on these functions, as they are new work.  The fact that progressive discipline training was done with Supervisors before their DECS training is noteworthy.  If you don’t have time to complete these tasks, you may be disciplined.  They can track your checks on computers, so make sure you document when you ran it on your computer.  Be aware this process is a no win situation for agents.  Provide written documentation to your supervisors often when you are not able to complete your work due to vacation, sick, excessive points, etc.  This will be our best defense in the long run.  For those of you that continue to work with excessive points, inadequate overtime and supervisors that do not sufficiently modify points, contact your reps.  We need to start documenting all this extra (free) work they want us to do, so we can keep the CCPOA attorneys aware of this.  There is more work coming our way with COMPAS and the matrix, just to name a few.  Keep track of your work hours and document your requests for overtime in writing and/or email so we have a paper trail.  We must absolutely be united with this continuing increase in workload specs with no adjustments made.  DOCUMENT WELL! 

Negotiations to date have not resulted in any satisfactory resolutions. Management is unwilling to put any agreements in writing.  We continue to meet, talk and leave with no solid agreement on what will happen when new programs are initiated.  This is just one of the many results of the Last, Best and Final Agreement.

We are waiting for notices on 4 pilot programs (1 in each region) on use of the “matrix” in imposing intermediate sanctions.  Training is scheduled to begin in May for the effected units. The workload associated with this program is also all new work.  This program involves a risk assessment and a list of sanctions that is tied to this matrix.

PC 296 relative to DNA samples was initiated in 2005.  There are approximately 600 cases that still need to be completed.  There are also PALs that will require DNA samples being done when they are arrested.  The 2005 policy (05-04) will be utilized.  Lists should be distributed to the field soon and agents will be required to do the DNA swabs and palm prints.

I continue to hear of incidents where members are not utilizing their rights to have a representative.  Managers, supervisors, EROs will tell rank and file members they do not need a rep.  If they really do not need a rep, the supervisor should not have a problem with an agent or PSA bringing a rep to what could potentially be the start of adverse action.  It is the agent’s belief that adverse could arise from questioning that drives the right to a representative.  ALWAYS EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO A REPRESENTATIVE IN POTENTIALLY ADVERSE ACTIONS.  If you are a witness in an investigation, you also have a right to a representative.

We negotiated the new expansion units in Compton and Van Nuys on 4/11/08, in Region III.  Debbie Sallie, Diane Boudreaux, myself, Ken Ford and Capril Anderson met and discussed this topic.  We requested that all agents in Region III be allowed to volunteer for these positions, but management was not willing to do that.  We requested seniority moves into those units and were again told no.  Volunteers from the effected districts will initially fill the units.  If the units are not filled with volunteers, inverse seniority will be utilized.  This is part of the frustration of trying to resolve situations with an agreement between PAAC and management, only to be told no to virtually every concern/request we make.  These two units will have PA II Supervisors rather than Specialists.  We discussed that this was taking rank and file positions without noticing the union, which seemed like an unfair labor practice.  There has not been any history of a PA II Supervisors until recently being in full field units.  We are discussing this CCPOA for the appropriate recourse.

We had a GPS meeting 4/10/08, with Dan Stone.  Agents Santiago Audit
or, Eric Summers and I discussed the “draft” GPS policy and presented some concerns.  It was decided that the group would meet again to discuss workload specs for active and passive GPS caseloads.   You can contact any of us with input for policy.   We will meet again on 4/29/08.  HQ is currently writing a new policy to address transient paroles and the required daily telephone calls and reporting.  This should reduce the majority of extra work that is being done on those parolees.

I continue to talk to agents who are enduring some difficult working conditions, including harassment and disparate treatment to name a few.  Appropriate treatment of parolees is always enforced, yet treatment of staff is sometimes absent.  There are agents with 300+ points who are not given adequate compensation, nor sufficient modification of points.  We must document and file grievances in areas where this is happening.  CCPOA is tracking these activities where agents are not able to accomplish their duties within the work periods.  As a result of Supervisors not adhering to the policy, agents are either required to work for free to meet their specs or risk being audited and potential adverse action.  Again, a no win situation.  Existing policy outlines what must be done if caseloads exceed 154 on the 10th and 20th of each month, yet there are many units where this policy is not followed.  I have discussed this with Tom Hoffman and hope to get some assistance on how to handle this throughout the state, with areas consistently at high points.

Last, Best and Final returned EOTs to quarterly, rather than monthly.  They were done March 24th, which would indicate the next moves would be done the second quarter of the year, before the end of June.  The Director stated they would be done again in July.  I contend that is a violation of the existing LBF.  This was discussed again at the Director/PAAC meeting and was tabled while they talk to labor and get back to us with an answer. 

There has been no update on the rotation policy.  I have been talking to Tom and hope to have continued discussions, as the policy is refined.  We were told at the Director/PAAC meeting that there is no immediate plan for changes.  It was noted that the focus is still on the FUNA positions, rather than all positions listed in the current rotation policy.  I expressed concern for that fact.

Threats on Staff continue to be problematic.  We have cases that we know have not been tracked adequately and probably others that we don’t know about.  If you or any other agent has received a threat, please let me know so we can monitor management’s actions and ensure that DAPO and OCS do the requisite threat assessments in a timely manner and give the results to the agent that has been threatened.

PACT (Parole and Corrections Team) parole agents are not going to be given caseloads.  There has been concern that not all components of PACT are being implemented.  There is an emphasis on contacting law enforcement and doing follow up on parolees that do not attend PACT.  Dave MacIlvaine (Region I PAAC Representative and PACT agent) is monitoring this for PAAC and maintaining contact with HQ on PACT positions.  You can contact him on the global email if you have questions or concerns.

Some supervisors are writing agent deficiencies in ROS entries/case reviews and/or Activity Reports.  This is not an appropriate place to document personnel issues, since these documents are available to parolees and their attorneys.  If this is occurring, contact your reps so we can address this issue.

I will be meeting with DARS management the first week of May.  If you are a DARS agent and have topics you would like to have discussed, email me with your issues.  Debbie Sallie and Kathy Blanco will also be attending, so you can contact them also.  I hope to establish at least quarterly meetings to address statewide DARS agent issues.

We need more job stewards throughout the state.  Let me know if you are interested.  If we can get enough interest in certain areas, we can request that CCPOA conduct a training there.  I would also like to see agents from DARS and PSAs throughout the state get training.  We always have a shortage of job stewards.  Investigations/adverse actions are on the rise!

Next PAAC meeting is May 3rd at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, 1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA  92109.




Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My apologies for not updating this blog more frequently; there never seems to be enough hours in a day.

There is a lot going on and I will try to include as much as I can.  I would encourage everyone to try to attend the PAAC meetings in your areas, because a lot of information is provided at these meetings.

First, the EOTs occurred on March 24, 2008, in all regions except Region II.  Region II was required to do EOT moves the following week.  We questioning the information received, from Reg. II, regarding vacancies that they provided.  There was open statewide movement between regions for the first time in over a year.  I am not sure what will happen in the future, but the memo released on 3/21/08, indicates that management will do quarterly EOT moves.  It should be noted that management had agreed (at the February PAAC/Management Meeting) to do EOT moves in March and May and then evaluate the statewide impact.  A discussion with the Director will take place next week for further direction on this issue.  Arbitration on this issue will proceed in July.  A recurring problem is that “prime” units are being filled by new hires.  Numerous agents have contacted me and requested that EOTs be done to allow agents, that have started in less desirable areas, to transfer to more desirable areas. New hires should be hired to fill behind those who want to transfer.

Negotiations on Earned Discharge occurred on March 11 & 12.  The team was led by Bill McCliman and included Mike Taber, Martin Sasse and John Stiver.   Agreements in these forums are not in writing and therefore, I am not sure how valid these processes are.  Management has agreed to “negotiate”, but at this point will not sign any agreements on this issue.  This is a significant deviation from previous processes in which management (if they agreed) would actually sign agreements.  Although workload impact is always discussed, the team usually leaves the table not knowing what management is going to do when the work is implemented.  When I receive a written summary from our team and the CCPOA Labor Rep Michelle Arteaga, I will let you know where this issue is going.  Earned discharge has been a pilot in Region IV and the status of this program is unknown at this time.

Audits in Region III continue to be problematic (this is an understatement).  Apparently the Director said that when the statewide audits were conducted last year, they were not for punitive purposes.  They were done to get an idea of what was going on in the field and to deal with issues that arose.  It appears that those audits have now resulted in 100% audits in Region III and subsequent adverse actions.  The reps have been very busy handling all these investigations and actions.  We will continue trying to get these issues addressed.  I have requested the results of the questionnaires, completed by the agents at the time of the audits, be made available to us.  At this point, Labor Relations has indicated that the information is not yet available.  The MOU/Last, Best and Final (19.05) states that audit results must be given to AOR within 10 days.  Let your reps know if that is not occurring.  If agents have high points, are not getting adequate OT and the PA IIIs are not waiving sufficient excess points, the reality is that agents will NOT meet their specs.  It is important that all of us keep track of all extra training, work, lengthy BPH hearings, etc. so that we can support the reason why specs are not met.

FUNA positions’ being rotated is a hot topic right now.  It was apparent at the Covina PAAC meeting that this process was not being implemented statewide, nor done equitably.  There is a current policy (which is also being updated) that addresses rotation of not only FUNA/revocation positions, but also administrative assignments at HQ and other specialized assignments.  My expectation is that management will follow their own policy when doing moves and not just do selective rotations.

Overtime is not being distributed based on the current policy that was recently released from HQ. There are many flagrant violations occurring statewide.  Units with 330 points are not having specs waived adequately and are lucky if they get 40 hours of OT.  These points are more than double a normal caseload.  I hope that agents are not doing extra work for free just to get work done in these circumstances (I actually know many of you are).  If you are working for free, management will continue to withhold adequate OT.  Many agents are concerned that audits will be conducted and they will receive negative write-ups for their inability to do their job under these circumstances.  Region III has shown that this can happen and has in the past.  Grievances must be written when the requisite steps are not taken at the unit levels to address high caseload points.  Additionally, it is unrealistic for supervisors to assume specs will be met if agents are on vacation for two weeks.  We have asked that other agents be given the opportunity to assist with workload in these areas to assist field agents.  FUNA agents and agents in other assignments could help on their RDOs or weekends to ensure that cases are covered and work is done.

Geographic assignments of caseloads would assist agents in more efficient supervision.  The Director supports that premise.   Hopefully, this will occur in the near future.

A new policy on Hardship Transfers should be forthcoming.  It appears that these transfers have been occurring and there seems to be an established criteria used by HQ (existing DOM).  The Director of DAPO has the ultimate responsibility for the final reviews of these cases.  If a local region has denied your hardship, make sure you route it to Tom Hoffman for his review. 

New policies are being released on a weekly basis.  The amount of additional work associated with these is noteworthy.  Despite “negotiations” occurring on some issues, management has been repeatedly advised that some supervisors are not compensating for this extra work.  This contributes to agents’ inability to accomplish all the work required in a month.

Hiring above minimum salary (HAM) was brought to the Director’s attention by Paul Labbe.  There are outside hires that take a significant pay cut to come to this job.  Tom is checking in to this process.  The request to receive this adjustment must be done before the individual accepts the job. 

Negotiations were held on 3/26/08, for transition of sex offenders from GPS to local law enforcement upon discharge.  The team was made up of: Santiago Auditor (mixed GPS caseload Region IV), Andrew Mounts (20-1 active GPS caseload Region II), Irma Dominicci (40-1 Passive GPS caseload Region II) and me.  Policy 07-47 had already been implemented when the meetings occurred, but we did discuss workload issues.  The directive from management was that the Unit Supervisor would initiate the process of the notification.  The team expressed concern with the process for documenting that the notification occurred, since these files are all disposed of after 6 months.  Management is willing to consider saving all these files indefinitely.  We asked that certified mail be used to ensure that notification is documented.  Management was not willing to commit to this process.  As a result, we were NOT able to reach an agreement at that table.

Negotiations on Electronic In-Home Detention (EID) were held on 3/27/08.  The team was made up of Joe Modesto (Region I), Irma Dominicci (Region II) and me. There is existing policy, but there will be a new policy (as a result of this meeting) that will supersede the existing one.  EOP and Second Strikers will be allowed on the new program.   Management will give one point to cases on this program (these points must be added manually, so keep track). If you are at 154 or have a 40-1 caseload, that should be overtime.  The problem with “one point” is that there could be work during a month associated with EID that exceeds one hour.  Equipment problems, repeated notifications by vendor of curfew violations, tampers, etc. might be more labor intensive than management was/is willing to address.  Any work that exceeds one hour should be submitted to your supervisor for additional overtime.  We did not reach agreement on this table.  However, I would note that even if we did, labor/management is not willing to stipulate that in writing.  This appears to be a direct result of the ongoing wonders of Last, Best and Final.

Remember there are currently N0 negotiated specs related to the GPS caseloads.  I have asked for negotiations to occur, since this two year pilot program continues to grow unabated into a third year with no defining expectations.  I will be meeting again, with management, on this topic in San Diego on April 10th.  I have received extensive input from agents on this subject.  Please continue to forward any and all information on related issues to me.  We will eventually negotiate these caseloads.

Extensive “mandatory training” related to EID, DECS and other policies is additional work.  Keep track and request OT for your caseload work.  Management did agree, at the EID negotiations, that this is additional work and should be compensated with OT.  This would be the same for DECS which is forthcoming and requires mandatory use of the computer. 

Any agents supervising 290 PC registrants as High Control (3 point cases), need to keep track of all additional work that exceeds the specs for HC cases.  If you are incurring significant work related to GPS distance determination and dally documentation of transient parolees, inform your supervisor and request the needed overtime to accomplish these duties.

 If you are required to participate in an investigation (administrative, internal affairs, etc.), even if you are a witness, ALWAYS invoke your right to have a representative.  Contact your local reps or me, so we can ensure a job steward or attorney will be present.

Next PAAC meeting is April 5th in Emeryville (Region II).  Please try to attend.