All of PPOA’s bargaining units (612, 614, 621 and 631/632) representing active employees have been at the bargaining table during 2022 negotiating new three-year contracts (MOUs) with the County of Los Angeles. By the end of October, membership in bargaining units 612, 614 and 621 overwhelmingly ratified their respective new MOUs with “yes” votes of 91.2%, 97.7% and 93.6%. PPOA bargaining unit 631/632 (Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigators and Supervising Coroner Investigators) remains at the bargaining table and expects a tentative agreement on a three-year contract sometime in November/December of 2022.
On September 2, after months of negotiations, PPOA and the 13 unions of the Coalition of County Unions (CCU) reached an agreement with the County on a three-year successor fringe contract worth more than $100 million. The term of the contract is July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.
I want to sincerely thank all the PPOA members who served their fellow union members by serving on a negotiations team, which I know, and they will confirm, can be a thankless and extremely frustrating job. I also want to thank the County Board of Supervisors and the CEO for their support to ensure that fair and equitable contracts were negotiated in good faith.
As we wrap up 2022 and usher in the new year, PPOA is already preparing and hard at work on issues that we can expect to face in 2023. Rest assured that your union will hold strong and remain committed to a “Tradition of Success,” which has not changed during PPOA’s 71-year history.
THE 2022 GENERAL ELECTION
As I write this article, election day is less than 10 days out, and three critically important votes will dramatically impact our County, Sheriff’s Department and our union. The first vote is the Sheriff’s race. Los Angeles County registered voters will decide if the 33rd Sheriff, Alex Villanueva, will be re-elected or if retired Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna will become the 34th Sheriff of Los Angeles County. PPOA officially endorsed Sheriff Villanueva on June 28, 2022, and actively supported his re-election candidacy.
The recent passage of Assembly Bill 759, which codified voting for many county sheriffs and district attorneys to occur on the same track as the presidential election beginning in 2028, does not impact the Los Angeles County Sheriff because the County Charter already specifies that at each general election (2018, 2022, 2026) at which the governor is to be elected, and every four years thereafter, a Sheriff and Assessor shall be elected.
AB 759 also does not impact the Los Angeles County District Attorney election, as the County Charter already specifies that the District Attorney shall be elected at each general election at which the office of president appears on the ballot (2020, 2024, 2028).
The second vote is Los Angeles County Measure A. Voters choosing “yes” support allowing the Board of Supervisors, by a four-fifths vote, to remove the Sheriff from office for cause, which is defined to include: violation of laws related to the Sheriff’s duties; repeated neglect of the Sheriff’s duties; misuse of public funds or properties, etc. Voters choosing “no” oppose allowing the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, by a four-fifths vote, to remove the Sheriff from office for cause. PPOA strongly opposed Measure A and concurred with Supervisor Barger that it overlooks the fact that a recall process already exists to remove elected officials who fail to perform their duties.
The third vote is the race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Third District seat between California State Senator Bob Hertzberg and West Hollywood Council member Lindsey Horvath. Senator Hertzberg believes that public safety must be a county priority, and he has been endorsed by PPOA, ALADS, AFSCME Local 685–L.A. County Deputy Probation Officers’ Union, Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), Los Angeles County Firefighters, Sheriff Villanueva and the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association. Council member Horvath recently proposed cuts to Sheriff’s deputies in the city of West Hollywood when crime was on the rise. The importance of this race cannot be overstated, as the winner of this election will likely be Third District supervisor for the next 12 years.
NEW CIVIL SERVICE RULE 18.10
On April 5, 2022, the Board of Supervisors, over PPOA’s written objections, adopted Ordinance Item 80, adding Rule 18.10 to County Service Rules. Rule 18.10, entitled “COVID-19 Vaccination Policy,” provides the County’s Director of Personnel authority to discipline any County employee for noncompliance with the County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy or related directives. The Board’s action not only undermined the authority of the Sheriff, but it also violated negotiated labor contracts, the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights and the County’s duty to meet and confer on this issue.
In order to stop the immediate implementation of this ordinance, attorneys for PPOA went to court on April 6 to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO). The matter was heard in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 7. Upon the judge’s questioning of counsel for the County, faced with the likely issuing of a TRO, the County, on the record for the first time, revealed that it was not the intention of the County to immediately implement this ordinance and that they intend to discuss the policy and procedures that would be put in place and when this ordinance will be rolled out to Sheriff’s personnel. The TRO/preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for July 16 was continued to November 16, as there has been no County-imposed vaccine mandate discipline yet. PPOA remains steadfastly committed to fighting against Rule 18.10.
SENATE BILL 2
Senate Bill 2 will be completely effective on January 1, 2023, and will significantly impact law enforcement agencies across the state. The bill’s stated intent is to increase accountability for misconduct by peace officers throughout California. SB 2 establishes a decertification process that may suspend or revoke a peace officer’s certification due to “serious misconduct.” SB 2 also requires law enforcement agencies to employ peace officers under Penal Code 830.1 who are issued a current, valid certification from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Effective January 1, 2023, all peace officers issued a California POST certificate under PC 830.1 and who have been alleged to have engaged in serious misconduct are subject to potential suspension or revocation of their POST certificate. PPOA’s legal counsel has been thoroughly examining SB 2 and its impacts. There will be ongoing updates to our sworn members as this brief synopsis is a broad overview of SB 2 and its “effective” start date of January 1, 2023.
We must all collectively commit to and never forget that a strong and unified PPOA can overcome any challenge in front of us and allow us to proactively engage in opportunities that will better our membership. Thank you for your support this past year and your continued commitment to ensuring that the PPOA membership prospers in 2023.