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Saturday, August 17, 2013

SILENCE IS DEAFENING

Editorial By:  B-Polished
When I was a kid, I use to watch the adults in my family as they played Dominoes and Spades at family gatherings and barbecues. There was always the one uncle that got louder and more excited than everyone else when he won a hand or a game. The other adults would blast him with quick put downs and one-liners when he lost a hand or missed picking up some money (points) that was on the table. One of his libation fueled pearls of wisdom that resonate in my memory is when that uncle would joyfully say, "All money ain't good money. Sometimes you gotta drop a quarter to pick up a dollar" Of course at nine years of age, this made no sense to me.

I understand that saying a bit more after being affiliated with a union (either Teamsters or CCPOA) for the majority of my adult life. In essence, sometimes it's better to leave a little ‘money’ on the table during one hand to pick up a bit more in the next play. So why bring up this analogy? It is now mid-August and still no word on our contract negotiations. Since we have gone this long without any word from CCPOA regarding a contract offer for the membership, it may be a fair assessment that the tentative MOU will not be a favorable one. Going by past history the longer the negotiations take, the worse the contract language usually is.

CCPOA has been stead fast with concentrating on increasing monetary gains for the membership in the last three contract negotiations going back to the Schwarzenegger Last, Best, and Final Offer which ended up opening the door to furloughs. Although some may debate if we deserve a salary increase, there are other topics that obviously need more attention that line staff has been on the short end of the stick for far too long:

1. Regaining our status as essential state employees
2. Improving the slumping medical coverage 
3. Move from 7K (168 hour work base) to a 40 hour work week – which would reset the overtime calculations to a 30 day month
4. Assure our well deserved pension level ramains aligned with national Peace Officer standards
5. Adjusting the sick call, holiday, vacation time usage against the overtime accruement

These are just some topics to fight for. Instead they want to concentrate on more money so they can increase union dues. Their greed in playing politics is robbing us on everything Don Novey and the original CCPOA fought for and gained including parody with other law enforcement agencies, which they've already gave up in this current contract - supposedly the best we've ever had.

State and local union leadership silence is deafening. It is understood that during negotiations, contract information cannot be filtered. Information from within the MOU is not requested, yet. Where the talks stand is another thing. There has not been a single mention of how talks are going or if we are even close to a 'tentative' agreement. It has become standard practice for state leadership to be silent on topics that is important to the membership. What is disheartening is that the local leadership has been just as silent. I would speculate the reason is that the one doesn’t know what the other is doing. State leadership has never been big on filtering correct/up-to-date information to line staff unless it paints them in a positive light. 

A burning question that is on many of our minds is the local staffing package. DVI is supposed to be staffed for a maximum capacity of approximately 2,368 inmates. The unit population was supposed to max out at 200 inmates per unit. Most units are at or near full capacity except for inoperable cells, which are not being reported to Sacramento. DVI's inmate population is currently around 2,780(www.cdcr.ca.gov). Add in the amount of staff transfers and promotions and the actual staffing shrinks considerably more. We just lost over a dozen more officers to the CHCF Stockton facility with no replacements coming from the academy or transfers any time soon. Get ready for more overtime that the public doesn't understand we get mandated (forced) to work.

So what is the union stance on the staffing package? Again they remain silent as staff continues to struggle to complete daily logs, security checks, run a safe program, and monitor inmate movement. CCPOA’s silence is more proof that the Executive Council (EC) has checked out and is no longer in the business of representing on the behalf of the line staff. Political ploys and government hobnobbing only validates the Sacramento leadership to themselves. Everyone else hears and watches our membership get trampled in the media and on the job site while those that supposed to take up the cause on our behalf only shows interest in their own personal gain.

The pendulum has swung back against us in part due to experimental maneuverings of the governor and CDCr in an attempt to release pressure from the federal court system. And where is CCPOA during this experiment? Silent! Non-Custody staff is being trained to do custody (POST) work like arrest & control techniques and clothed & unclothed searches. All the while CCPOA stays quiet as a church mouse all in the name of a 'medical' experiment that will end up going horribly wrong if the staffing packages do not change. But then again, none of this is a problem since it doesn't exactly affect the E C, does it.
I’m Just Sayin…

9 comments:

T Gonzalez said...

You're absolutely right on every point. The current POS president and EC are not looking out for the members. They are worried about collecting more money for their paties and all paid vavacations on the members backs. The lapdogs will argue that our current resentatives at ccpoa headquarters are doing a great job for the members, which we know is bullshit. I guarantee you that next mou will be garbage, and fat mike will come out along with most chapter presidents that hang on his nuts defending the acquired mou. I sure hope fat mike chokes on a cheeseburger very soon.

Daniel Klotz said...

Then we should not bow down and say yes to a shitty contract. Thats what they expect of us. We own that union not Jimenez or the rest of the bafoons that are up there.

Jack Johnson DVI said...

What? Every single member has an equal share in voting for or against a contract. It seems old that you rent and rave about contract negotiations taking running their natural course. Would you be happier if the leadership bent over and took it by accepting what the State offers? The more we fight for our rights at the EC level the better for all of us. I for one have great admiration for our brothers and sisters who figh for us without getting an extra dime for their troubles. Tisk, tisk is all I can say to a person who bit he's and complains for money and benefits while disregarding the efforts of people who give up so much for nothing in return. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you have given to the cause. In the modified words of JFK, ask not what our union has done for us, ask what we have done for our union."

Joe Blow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Blow said...

What have we done for our union? Funny you should ask... We give them approx 80 dollars of our hard earned money every month.

And for that 80 bucks a month we have gotten screwed over by these union bigwigs. And what do those union guys get you ask? How about fancy cars and vacations on our dime. Not to mention wasting our dues money to pay for lawsuits that they were stupid enough to cause.

So as far as them not getting an extra dime for their troubles, I have to reply to that with: What in thee blue hell are you talking about Willis?!

7 to 8 years ago we had a strong union, one willing to fight for what was best for us, today we have a union rolled over on it's back waiting for the state to rub it's tummy.

All because of back room deals that have the union's political nut sack in a vice. So when the great and powerful union finally does unveil the "contract" You'll notice that there isn't anything in the form of a cost of living raise.

You'll notice there isn't anything in there about the state paying more into our health or retirement.

You might see some changes in some very petty not cared about issues. But the union in it's current state is on it's knees in front of the state at their beck and call.

If for the last 5 years you have felt like we don't have a union, I'd have to say go with that. It's pretty accurate.

Relavent said...

Here's what we've done for our union, allowed the leadership to manipulate the ballot box to keep themselves in power (we need term limits on the statewide leadership to avoid the crap we've been experiencing). How else do they keep themselves in power with the majority of it's members preferring to have the state leadership out of power.

We have yet to hold them accountable for their ill advised legal missteps that has the members paying for their wrong doings in court cost(check out the legal documents they are public records). We pay for the cost monetarily via dues and with 1 hour of vacation time taken from every one of us once a year annually in July. That annual snatch and grab replaces funds the union did not return to the state for approximately 5 years, is that the so-called interest free loan California suddenly floated to CCPOA. Question what did we as union members borrow from the state that it cost us a hour of vacation that was picked out of our pockets, via the negotiations table instead of being voted on by members? How and when did this loan come into being and how were the funds accounted for, of course without transparency?

What have we done for the union? We have been patiently waiting for what we lost in the previous state wide CCPOA president a leader with a staff committed to providing us with the representation we definitely deserve and have been missing.

Meanwhile during that time frame, we lost the 2001-2006 MOU it just vanished right along with the parity remember that! Consequently, another state law enforcement agency got a pay raise based solely on parity. We were placed in a position for Schwarzenegger to continue dogging out the members of the CCPOA with the crap that was the last best and final offer garbage. That eventually turned into the so-called best contract that left us without a helluva lot more than we gained. Have you forgotten the furloughs, basically CCPOA members were informed they are not essential personnel when it is convenient for the politicians of California when it is in their best interest.
The conditions we are working under have become progressively worse. Look around and tell me about your working conditions are they far better than they have ever been. They are more dangerous than they have ever been why is that? A staffing package that got pass our union top dawgs with little or no attempt to address the danger issues. As Joe Blow mentioned in his commemt, "today we have a union rolled over on it's back waiting for the state to rub it's tummy."
That statement tell you just what your union leadership has been doing for you. Stop drinking the kool aid long enough to dig up and look at the facts, instead of the bull crap that's been served.

B-Polished said...

Wake up, Jack.
Either you are too new to the department or drank too much 'Jimenez punch'. Negotiations began in March... THIS IS AUGUST!

I admire and will back every single person who is willing to go the extra mile and fight for their co-workers. Unfortunately, many share the opinion that Sacramento no longer fights for our co-workers. Check the union history against that before MJ was in office. You will see a dire difference in who fought and won for us and who has not.

BTW, no one is b!#@hing for more money. Our contract is not just about salary. That's all the EC wants to fight for while the state takes everything we fought and won is slowly being ripped from our grasp AND the minimized staffing package that is being ignored by those who is supposed to fight for us.

Believe me, MJ and the EC has gotten a whole lot more than just their regular paycheck. Why do you think we're contractually obligated to give up an hour of our vacation time every year during this last MOU?
Answer: To pay back State salary funds the union leadership never returned in the sum of $4 mil.

Do you actually believe they only get the same salary as us on the line? Really?!!

As for what I see in the mirror, I see one of the only persons to say what many think. I start the topic for discussion to keep those honest that needs the reality check. Apparently my article tapped you on the shoulder for comment.
I'm Just Sayin...

T Gonzalez said...

Fat mike and the EC are a bunch of crooks with no shame. The majority of chapter presidents are to blame for being spineless dirt bags as well. They vote against the members wishes and_ are too afraid too stand up to fat mike and his trolls.

A-Polished Relevance said...

I love how the haters are under the delusion that they are in the majority. If this were fact, all the chapter presidents along with their boards would not be reelected and you would have had MJ out years ago. You may be the loudest but you are not the majority.

As far as the "good ole days" of Don Novey, most of you probably weren't around then so are reliving glory days that never existed. For those of you that were, you will remember the same hatred for MJ was there for Novey. The same argument that he has rigged the state board so he will always be reelected. We had contracts in the 90's with take aways. Remember the first round of PLP? Many wanted Novey's head on a platter but still reelected him. The 2001-2006 MOU without a doubt the best contract I have seen in my 24 years, had almost 4000 NO votes out of the 11000 that bothered to vote. Yep, even with a 37% raise and no discipline for sick leave the haters of 14 years ago were not happy.

So go ahead and bad mouth the people who put their time, reputations and careers on the line every day for our brothers and sisters. I would simply prefer a "thank you" but I do what I do for the betterment of my members, not to curry political favor with the loud minority.

If you are not ready to step up, then step aside. The rest of us have work to do.