Every one of PPOA’s labor Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) contracts with the County of Los Angeles expires this year. The first contract to expire was Unit 612 (sergeants and lieutenants), on January 31. The remainder of PPOA’s contracts expire September 30. All active members will receive a pay raise in 2018 as a result of PPOA’s negotiation successes in 2015. Unit 612 received a 2 percent raise January 1, and PPOA Units 614, 621, 631 and 632 members will receive their 2 percent raises April 1. This will complete the 10 percent total raises that PPOA negotiated in 2015. It’s hard to believe that those three-year contracts are ending soon and that PPOA negotiating teams are already off and running to secure new contracts.
The Unit 612 negotiations team chaired by President Brian Moriguchi began the contract process with internal meetings in October 2017. On November 16, PPOA and County executives met at the bargaining table to begin Unit 612 negotiations. This is an encouraging start. Many of you may recall this ideal time frame wasn’t available for the 2015–2018 contract because of the many changes with County leadership as well as Sheriff McDonnell not taking office until December 1, 2014. Right after we wrap up Unit 612 negotiations, we will start negotiating contracts for Units 621, 614, 631 and 632.
I am pleased to report that soon-to-be-retired PPOA Executive Director Paul Roller, who has negotiated PPOA’s contracts for the past 18 years, has agreed to continue to be at the bargaining table with me and the respective PPOA negotiating teams for all five contract negotiations. Talk about a guy who truly bleeds PPOA and remains committed to ensuring that this association continues its remarkable 67-year run of extraordinary labor successes and achievements for its 9,000 members.
Paul Kenneth Roller and I first met in early 1999. I was the newly elected president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) and Paul was the general manager for the San Luis Obispo County Employees Association (SLOCEA). It became immediately apparent to me that Paul was a dedicated and extremely bright “labor guy” — a true believer in the union cause. At this meeting, I also met PPOA Executive Director Sharon Lawin, who was finishing her 25th year with PPOA. Sharon, who was never afraid to take on any challenge, accepted a gubernatorial appointment in 2000 and retired from PPOA as only its second executive director in 49 years. PPOA began an exhaustive recruitment effort to hire a new executive director that would maintain and enhance the standards of labor excellence that the PPOA membership expected and deservedly received.
In 2000, Paul Roller was hired by PPOA and, for the past 18 years, I can tell you without exception, he has remained a true believer in the union cause. His track record at PPOA forever cements his incredible contributions and accomplishments as PPOA’s executive director.
From 1999 until June 2011, I worked collaboratively with PPOA Presidents Dennis Slocumb, Roger Mayberry, John Stites and Brian Moriguchi, and I saw the invaluable asset they and the PPOA membership had with Paul Roller as their executive director. Paul and his dedicated PPOA staff worked tirelessly to deliver exceptional services to a professional membership that receives representation and benefits second to none. The combination of a Board of Directors that knows the needs and concerns of its colleagues and allows the executive director and PPOA staff to carry out those goals and objectives has resulted in PPOA being at the top of its game. Thank you, Paul!
I felt it necessary to begin my first article by addressing what is absolutely paramount to any public labor organization that is legally certified as the employee organization of a group of employees: the MOU contract. Each PPOA member should take the time to read their unit’s respective MOU contract (available at PPOA.com) and never forget that without these contracts, your professional life and, ultimately, your personal life will suffer. Your PPOA membership is critical in making sure you are fairly compensated and protected from administrative and criminal accusations, and that your workplace is safe.
Finally, I will forever be grateful for one of the greatest professional opportunities I have ever been offered, and that is when the PPOA Board of Directors selected me to become this union’s fourth executive director. I started with PPOA on October 2, 2017, after spending six years at the California Department of Justice (DOJ), where I was selected by then-Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to be the office’s law enforcement liaison. In addition, I was appointed director of the Division of Law Enforcement’s Bureau of Gambling Control, where I received invaluable managerial experience overseeing a staff of 220 sworn and nonsworn personnel. I was quite satisfied at DOJ, but the opportunity to return to my first love of public safety labor and to work for an organization that leads from the front is a dream come true that I couldn’t pass up. I must thank the PPOA Board for allowing me to spend the last six months with Paul so that the transition is as seamless as possible when he retires next month.
My promise to the PPOA Board, staff and, most important, the membership is that I will use every ounce of my energy, time, experience and work ethic to make certain that the 84-word PPOA mission statement remains the driving force of PPOA. I look forward to beginning my journey as your executive director.