MORE NEWS INSIDE—Attorney General, Hospital Police, Member BBQ, November Ballot Initiative
CSLEA ALERT Vol. 22
July 3, 2012
POC Fails Again to Sever CSLEA Bargaining Unit Legislature not willing to circumvent existing PERB protocol Unabashed by the March 2010 decision of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) denying its petition for severance, Peace Officers of California (POC) decided to take another crack at splintering Unit 7 through Senate Bill 252. This piece of legislation would have permitted severance to occur merely upon the filing of signature cards with PERB, a flawed process which is presently used for determining whether to grant a hearing on the severance petition. SB 252 was almost universally opposed by labor -including AFSCME -- when the bill was previously introduced, because it would set bad precedent for other disgruntled factions to legislate the makeup of existing bargaining units.
Fortunately, on June 20 and then again on July 3, the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security did not consider SB 252, effectively killing it for this legislative session. Although the bill is dead, it is important for all Bargaining Unit 7 members to understand that its purpose was not to benefit any other classification other than the Fish and Game Wardens. Consider these points: •
During the early stages of the 2007 severance campaign, the founders of POC stated in an internal POC memo that Fish and Game wardens would call the shots of any new union -- not DOJ special agents, not hospital police, not DMV investigators, not, ABC investigators, not Dept. of Insurance investigators, not even the wardens’ brethren, the state park peace officers. While under cross examination – and under oath -at the severance hearing, Warden Jerry Karnow admitted the wardens felt entitled to the entire 43percent pay increase (the 2006 re-opener got them 25 percent) even if it meant no other Unit 7 peace officer received a raise.
CSLEA, Administration Reach Agreement on Personal Leave Program Budget made clear all employee groups would shoulder new concessions The questions which have been asked repeatedly over the past few years are the following: (1) for how long is California going to be mired in this mess of an economy; and (2) how many times are public employees going to be asked to accept reductions in pay and benefits to help ease the state from this recession. The answers to these questions are unknown. What is known is that the Administration in conjunction with the presentation of the May budget revise made clear that all state employees, including those represented by CAHP and CDF Firefighters, would be required to take a 5% cut in pay for the 2012‐2013 fiscal year. Most labor groups have reached agreement implementing a Personal Leave Program (PLP) Continued on Page 2 •
Now take a look at the language of SB 252 (viewable in this same story on the CSLEA website). If the bill was really intended to benefit all CSLEA sworn peace officers, why did the justification for the legislation mention Fish and Game wardens 30 times, state park police 11 times, but not once DOJ special agents, hospital police, DMV investigators, ABC investigators, Continued on Page 2
From Page 1
that CSLEA is an extremely effective bargaining agent for Unit 7 members, commenting positively on the contracts it has negotiated over time and the legal defense offered
and, that the Department of Personnel Administration does not desire any change in its relationship with CSLEA, which it described as “mature” and “stable.”
DOI Fraud Investigators or any other sworn CSLEA peace officer? •
Ironically, POC announced a Memorandum of Understanding (the only MOU it will ever negotiate) with AFSCME, which jointly sponsored SB 252. Had the bill been successful, AFSCME would have been POC's choice to become the exclusive representative for the new peace officer unit. AFSCME represents hundreds of thousands of nurses, child-care providers, clerks, and sanitation workers, but very few peace officers. So on the one hand, POC argues that it needs to be in a peace-officer-only unit, and on the other, it argues that Unit 7 peace officers should affiliate with hundreds of thousands of non-peace officers. And the wardens are being disingenuous at best when they say severance will benefit all peace officers. For the past year, the wardens have been trying to become employees of the California Highway Patrol and be part of CAHP. The wardens have no intention of remaining members of CSLEA, or AFSCME for that matter, and would be content to leave all other Unit 7 peace officers - including their brethren, the state park peace officers -- behind.
Now, what do these efforts say to the non-sworn members of Unit 7? In the letters filed in support of SB 252, POC and AFSCME claimed (without factual support) that as long as Unit 7 peace officers continued to be in a bargaining unit which included a large percentage of non-sworn employees, they would never get the pay and benefits necessary to recruit and retain wardens (Letters available in this Alert story on the CSLEA website.) This old argument that non-sworn members of CSLEA are dragging the peace officers down has no factual or historical foundation. The composition of Unit 7 has never prevented the state from paying peace officers more than non-sworn members or stopped it from granting greater benefits. In fact, look at the 2006 contract reopener where Unit 7 peace officers received 16.9 percent to 25 percent increases and non-sworn (with the exception of DOJ Criminalists and agency communications operators) received 6.9 percent with a $1,000 bonus. And sworn members are entitled to longevity and education incentives. If the state wants to pay the wardens more money it can do so regardless of what bargaining unit they are in. We’ll leave the final word to Administrative Law Judge Shawn P. Cloughesy’s March 2010 decision denying POC’s severance petition where he found: •
that Unit 7 was purposely established as a hybrid public safety bargaining unit comprised of both sworn and non-sworn members
“We believe Senate Bill 252 failed because legislators clearly saw that it was union-raiding via the legislative process and a horrible policy precedent to set,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “The entire CSLEA membership has worked too hard for the past two decades building one of the strongest bargaining units in state government—one even an administrative law judge finds impressive. Even in these difficult economic times, CSLEA will not lose sight of its mission to preserve, protect and enhance all Unit 7 members pay and benefits.”
CSLEA, Administration Reach PLP Agreement From Page 1 which provides for a day of leave each month in consideration for the pay cut. Today, CSLEA joined the other groups and signed a side letter to the existing Memorandum of Understanding which is set to expire July 1, 2013. The PLP will obligate Unit 7 employees to take one (1) day of PLP each month, preferably in the month it is accrued. Management will have the right to schedule PLP days if an employee fails to do so. For those who are unable to feasibly take a PLP day within a given month, it will be carried over. However, PLP days have no cash value and will be required to be used before other leave, excluding sick leave. The side letter also obligates the state to reduce its reliance on the work performed by retired annuitants. CSLEA President Alan Barcelona empathizes with CSLEA members who just recently came off furloughs in April but stated that the Administration's position as set out in the budget left few options: "Unfortunately the Legislature has made clear that it will act to reduce employee pay and benefits as it deems necessary as demonstrated by the increased pension contributions and diluted pension formulas and the prior furloughs. Our options were to get the time off provided by the PLP or face the prospect of a pay cut with nothing in return." It is hoped that when negotiations resume next spring that the tax initiative will have passed and the economic outlook will be brighter than today.
Attorney General Kamala Harris, CSLEA Team Up To Save 101 Special Agent Jobs When last year’s budget cuts hit almost every state agency, CSLEA‐member special agents and other critical staff at the Department of Justice were not spared. But by using the extensive lobbying channels it has successfully built and nurtured over the years, CSLEA and Attorney General Kamala Harris, running a parallel effort, were able to minimize the damage that would have seriously threatened the public safety of Californians. Together we succeeded. Below is from a December letter to her colleagues. “We were faced with a mandate to lay off 322 DOJ employees, including 203 sworn peace officers and 119 non‐sworn personnel. Full implementation of this budget cut would not only have been devastating to our DOJ family, it also would have eliminated our statewide investigative functions and completely shut down two Bureaus of our office … I have refused to accept this budget cut as unavoidable … Our law enforcement partners from across the state have also stepped up and advocated for DLE. This collaborative work has met with some success. We have been able to significantly reduce … the number of sworn layoffs to 102 and the number of sworn to 21.”
Bill Arming Hospital Police Takes Historic Steps
based on the unique needs of each hospital, as well as directing the departments to craft a policy for arming their hospital police.
A bill directed at arming the police at state hospitals run by the Department of Mental Health and Department of Developmental Services passed the full Assembly 61-0 May 25, marking the first time the two decade-long goal made it this far. Assembly Bill 2623 then passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 4-to-0 vote on July 3 and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Through hard work and compromise, staff for the Assembly Appropriations Committee came up with amendments to CSLEA’s original proposal that will give management the flexibility to set policies
This compromise solution requiring DMH and DDS to finally establish a system-wide policy on arming hospital police passed without a single vote against it. This landmark achievement could not have been accomplished without the help of Hospital Police Association of California President Luis Jimenez, HPAC Board Members Lonnie Smith, Sgt. Adam Tharp, and Larry Holt, retired chief of protective services at Atascadero. All testified before the Assembly Public Safety committee early in the process and helped secure the 4-0 vote that made later passage less difficult. If you would like to be of assistance in furthering the passage of this legislation, write or email your senator urging them to support AB 2623.
Signed Up for the July 7 BBQ? It’s Not Too Late
The third of five regional CSLEA barbeques scheduled for this year will be held in San Mateo, Saturday, July 7, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The first two were held in Fresno and Arcadia in Los Angeles County and two more are planned for San Diego and Sacramento.
The BBQs are free and your family members are invited to come, but reservations are required so we know how much food and prizes to have on hand.
Registering is easy:
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Let us know your name How many people will be in your party What is your affiliate Send these three pieces of information to Richard Cota at email@example.com
San Mateo BBQ Saturday, July 7 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. San Mateo Central Park, Areas 1, 2, 3 50 East 5th Avenue San Mateo
Next Member BBQ: San Diego August 11