In September, your union took action to defend you and the language in the current memorandum of understanding (MOU) by filing a lawsuit against the Department. This action was not taken lightly, debated at great length by the Board of Directors, and ultimately was agreed to be the best course of action. The Department must come to the table, work in good faith and consider the broad impact of its actions on its employees and our members.
The Department has placed significant emphasis on “due process.” Yet it has not come to the table in such a way that has opened meaningful, productive and comprehensive dialogue regarding the matters of dual track, promotions and you — our members and its employees. This should concern each one of us. With members at various phases of their careers, it’s critical this conversation, both formally and informally, should start sooner than later.
It is imperative that we have thoughtful dialogue regarding all our members and the dual track career path. Any modification or elimination of dual track should only be done after having fair and acceptable solutions for the various groups of members impacted. A subcommittee among the PPOA Board of Directors was formed as a working group to develop what I describe as PPOA’s promotional proposal to the Department. If you have any realistic ideas or thoughts on this topic, please email them to me and I will share them with our subcommittee.
In history, our members and the Department experienced the lengthy Bouman v. Baca litigation which tied up the promotional process and prompted reforms and a consent decree. A substantive discussion must be had to ensure history does not repeat itself. On October 5, a patrol track-only sergeant test was administered. While PPOA has filed a legal action regarding this matter, it should be noted the “rating from record” was formalized as a component of the test. And yet, there has been no formal definition of the criteria to base the “rating from record” provided to PPOA or any agreed upon criteria reached. One might find it interesting how the Department has cited a failure to meet and confer on “due process” as the reasoning for returning discipline guidelines to a past time, but ironically is not engaging in “due process” for the purposes of this discussion.
I hope our Sheriff and his team will come together to work with PPOA for the good of our members and the Department. Echoing our President, it is with the deepest care and love for our Department and our members that these concerns are voiced. Years ago, our Sheriff was a co-founding member of another union. Many members wish to believe his professed care for labor was more than a personal accomplishment. I, too, wish to believe the same. For those active members, know that PPOA is taking dual track, promotions and you — our member — very seriously. Stay tuned.