Many of you have strong opinions, great hearts, tremendous professionalism and good ideas. The Department tends to neglect the contributions of custody assistants (CAs) in the jails and our stations. There is an expectation that no matter the workload or obstacle, the job will get done. Because CAs tend to make it happen — even in the face of resistance.
I am just as encouraged when speaking to a new class as I am when speaking with seasoned veterans whose perspectives on past and present are additional motivators for a better future. The avenues of communication between the members and the Board and their willingness to resolve matters through continuing Labor Management Committee (LMC) dialogue have been great improvements, leading to resolutions without negative residual effects.
Negotiations for us (Unit 621) will not begin until early June. Your negotiating team will meet around late May, if not sooner, to go over the items of interest for 621. I will review some of the concerns from past discussions as I examine the avenues and potential opportunities of the CA position as it is now and going forward.
Delegates are a key factor. You are a conduit between the union and its members. A number of PPOA members, while not officially delegates, has been tremendous in relaying information and lending clarity to situations. They continue to help provide points of emphasis in matters of work environment, fairness and the use of personnel in areas not originally intended for them while allowing the Department to function as it does.
As we ease closer to negotiations, I want to remind you of some of the benefits available to you as a full member of your union.
- Labor representation
- Law firms
- Free insurance coverage (Life/AD&D)
- Free non-job-related legal consultation
- Legal defense plan
- In-house insurance reps
- Free notary service
- Discount uniform store
- Credit union
These benefits and more are in addition to the monetary amounts that are important to our careers, families and our sustainability.
Congratulations to Custody Assistant Class #94 and its Honor Recruit Brandon Cervantes. Your hard work paid off. And thank you to our new Executive Director Wayne Quint for attending as well.
In parting, I want to thank our recently retired Executive Director Paul Roller. His knowledge, fire and feisty attitude along with a calmness and willingness to meet halfway was an asset to myself and our association. I wish you the best in retirement, with longevity and good health to enjoy it.
Take care. Be safe.