Hello to our membership,
Please welcome Deputy Probation Officer David Harris to the SDCPOA Board of Directors! Officer Harris brings with him 17 years of experience in the department ranging from institutions to case work. He is currently assigned to Juvenile Field Services High Risk. Officer Harris was a SDCPOA steward at JPC prior to taking on the position of director. We look forward to his fresh perspective on the SDCPOA board.
The SDCPOA would also like to extend congratulations to the 10 officers selected to attend the 2022 gang conference. Numerous officers expressed an interest to attend this year’s conference. Eight Probation worksites were represented at this year’s conference. The feedback I received from the event was extremely positive.
For years, the SDCPOA Scholarship Program has offered college scholarships to support our members’ children. Three of these students were awarded $1,000 each to be used toward their college education. The presentation of these awards occurred at our board meeting last month. Congratulations to those who were selected!
Here is another benefit for all of you SDCPOA members that are close to retirement. We will soon be extending your SDCPOA/SDPEBA benefit discounts after you retire!!!! The qualifications to receive these benefits for retirees are as follows: Retiring SDCPOA members must have no less than 5 consecutive years of continued membership with the SDCPOA prior to the date of retirement and must be a member in good standing. Retiring members who meet these qualifications will be able to keep the benefits upon retirement by paying SDPEBA directly. Here are some of the plans available after retirement: Aflac, Unum LTC, MetLife Dental, and other benefits. This new program begins with members retiring as of or after July 12, 2022
On June 23, 2022, we entered the final year of our contract. On July 1st Officers received a 2% wage increase. The County’s contribution toward flexible benefits also increased 7% earlier this year on January 1st. That said Officers from South Bay to Vista all have the same question. What can we expect in the coming year?
You will see me reaching out to you whether it be by email, phone or in person to ask you to register on our website. Why? Because just like in 2018, you will be able to vote from the comfort of wherever you are! One of the first questions I am asked by the membership regarding the contract is, “Edison, what do you need me to do?” I need you to register for the SDCPOA website and I:Que Portal via our website. It is the only way you can vote. If you need help, reach out to a steward, director, our Chief of Staff Khristina Smith or myself and one of us will walk you through the process. We need to fight for better pay to keep the officers we have and to bring in new recruits to fill the numerous vacancies particularly at the entry level position.
Entering the month of July 2022, we continue to endure staff shortages with both our case work officers and in the institutions. In ongoing efforts to address the shortages, the Correctional Deputy Probation Officer 1 is listed as a continuous recruitment. While this is a positive step, it will take time to get the department out of this dependency of overtime to compete with the workload.
The department did take positive steps toward filling vacancies. In addition to making the CDPO 1 position a continuous recruitment, they added investigators to assist with the background process. The Department was able to promote 4 CDPO 1’s to CDPO 2 and promoted 14 Senior Probation Officers to Supervisors.
However, I continue to express concerns regarding the position of Deputy Probation Officer and Correctional Deputy Probation Officer. There are numerous positions vacant which continue to keep officers in Adult Field Services and institutions on mandatory overtime. We cannot continue to rely on overtime to address the workload. My message to the department is one, promote officers who have invested years in our profession, and two, address the entry level position of CDPO 1.
It is important that you know what I am doing to keep our message at the forefront of those who make decisions that affect what we do each day. As president, it is not only important to meet with those at our executive level, but it is also critically important that I reach out to those of influence outside our department. It is important that those from the Board of Supervisors be told what struggles we face and the story of how we got into this position. The talent, energy, and resolve officers at the Probation Department have is second to none. But the vacancies and workload take its toll on even the best of us.
No one is better at the job we do! We have fought through the challenges of staff shortages and COVID-19. I am proud to be your president and honored to represent the SDCPOA.