On Wednesday, August 28, PPOA will host our 19th Annual Pre-Labor Day BBQ for all PPOA members and their significant others. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Biscailuz Training Academy’s “grinder” area. A tastefully grilled lunch with all the fixings will be served under the big top and at no cost to PPOA members. Please come out to not only enjoy a delicious meal but also giveaways and hourly drawing prizes, as well as the opportunity to visit the many PPOA vendors who will have plenty of their own swag! (See page 22 for more details.)
This annual PPOA tradition for almost two decades is a critically important reminder that since 1894 the nationwide holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September is Labor Day. The holiday is a yearly tribute to the invaluable contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and economic security of our country, counties, cities and communities. To the men and women of PPOA, this day belongs to you and your families as you continue the noble quest of working hard to attain and keep the American Dream — the cornerstone of the labor movement — alive. Thank you for never forgetting the significance of your collective support and activism by being a member of PPOA.
Union membership matters and is critically important at the contract bargaining table and at the fringe benefits bargaining table. The contract table, which is exclusively negotiated by respective PPOA Bargaining Unit Negotiation Teams, bargains with the County of Los Angeles for wages, hours and working conditions that are codified in memorandums of understanding for PPOA Bargaining Units 612, 614, 621, 631 and 632. Last year, PPOA negotiated and ratified three-year contracts (2018–2021) for all five of our certified bargaining units.
PPOA AND THE COALITION OF COUNTY UNIONS
The fringe table that directly impacts PPOA members is exclusively negotiated by the Coalition of County Unions (CCU), which bargains with the County of Los Angeles for benefits that include the County’s financial contribution to the Choices plan (medical, dental, etc.), the County’s match to the Horizons plan, paid time off, vacation pay, retirement and many other matters. The CCU consists of 10 labor unions that are certified to represent employees of the County, affiliated with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and signatories to the Fringe Benefit Memorandum of Understanding between the CCU and the County of Los Angeles.
In 1986, PPOA — which at the time was affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), AFL-CIO — joined the CCU and sat at the fringe table with other CCU union members. PPOA paid a monthly affiliation fee for each full service member to IUPA, which paid on behalf of PPOA the per capita tax of the National AFL-CIO and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Unfortunately, in May 2005, PPOA’s fraternal relationship with the IUPA ended and PPOA no longer was affiliated with an AFL-CIO union, which meant PPOA did not meet the requirements to remain a CCU member. Even though PPOA was no longer at the CCU fringe table, PPOA continued to receive the exact same benefits that were negotiated by the CCU with the County of Los Angeles. All PPOA-certified bargaining unit members retained their ability to choose their Choices-sponsored health care plans as well as their County-sponsored health care plans and received the identical benefits that the CCU union members received from 2005 until 2019.
PPOA believed the three-year (2018–2021) CCU Fringe Benefit Memorandum of Understanding that was adopted by the County of Los Angeles on June 18, 2019, would follow the past 14 years of PPOA members receiving the exact same fringe table benefits that were negotiated by the CCU. However, on June 26, more than 775 PPOA bargaining unit members who were health care participants in the CCU-sponsored Choices California Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)/Blue Shield Point of Service Plan began receiving letters of notice that they would potentially lose the ability to renew this plan for 2020 in the next 30 days due to new eligibility requirements for non-CCU member organizations. This time-critical potential harm to 775 PPOA members, as well as the future potential risk to PPOA members’ access to other CCU-sponsored Choices health care plans and benefits, required PPOA to quickly and efficiently identify available options.
PPOA leadership and staff immediately began outreach to the CCU, CAPE, private insurance brokers and the County of Los Angeles. As a result of many efforts and numerous meetings, the PPOA Board of Directors was presented with potential solutions on Tuesday, July 23. The Board decided unanimously that rejoining the CCU was the best decision to protect our members and ensure new opportunities in the future. On Friday, July 26, PPOA fraternally affiliated with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), AFL-CIO. This affiliation allows PPOA to once again join the 30,000-member CCU (www.coalitionofcountyunions.com) that is affiliated with the 800,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. We are pleased that PPOA will have a seat at the fringe benefits bargaining table and look forward to working collaboratively with our fellow CCU unions to protect and enhance benefits for all our Los Angeles County CCU workers.