Greetings, fellow PPOA members. Once again, we are amid turbulent times. The world, the country, the state, the county and our own department are in constant conflict with numerous issues. The economy and the moral compass of society are being hammered from different factions. Now more than ever, it is important to stay informed and involved with your PPOA union. We need to be heard; we need to make some noise!
If you don’t voice your opinion and do something to support it, don’t complain when you see or hear the outcome is something you do not like. I am always willing to step up and be your voice in day-to-day operations. Eventually, everyone needs to step forward and be heard to stop the chaos around the world and in our own county from occurring.
On the labor front, here are two good examples of people stepping forward: The Nurses Union and SEIU stood up and threatened to strike if they did not obtain a fair and equal contract. These unions made noise until they were heard. The County settled with them, and by the time this article is published, they will have most likely ratified their contracts. Their contracts are the best these bargaining units have received in years.
In comparison, in our 612 Unit, those of us who have been around for a while, if my memory serves me well, remember our contracts in 1992 of 5%, 5%, 5% over three years and 2005/2006/2007 contract of nearly 18% plus 11% in longevity incentives. We are overdue for another fair contract. We need to make some noise and be heard. The County has the money, and the Board of Supervisors needs to make public safety a priority.
Another area where we could make an impact is the Sheriff’s race. Don’t sit back and watch as our department ends up in the hands of Long Beach P.D. 2.0. Four years ago, over-disciplining employees was the norm, and you were punished for simply rolling up your sleeves while working. Leadership was concerned more with appearances than with the substance of your work. Make some noise — become involved in the Sheriff’s election in one way or another. Asking your union to make the right choice for your future is one way.
PPOA belongs to its members, and by staying involved and active, you can help make it stronger and better than ever.
I’m going to close with a thought that I try to live by in my own personal life, work and union settings and would like you to consider: If you make a mistake, admit it, own it, apologize for it, make amends for it, learn from it, move forward and don’t repeat the same mistake. People will appreciate that, but most important, you will have a clear conscience and be able to sleep at night.
Until next time, thank you for reading this and going out and making some noise.