Not sure if PPOA is right for you? Here are things to consider.
One day as I was scrolling through social media, I came across a question that was asked in a group: “Are you satisfied with PPOA?” I sat back and thought about this question. Now, keep in mind, I still consider myself new to the Board of Directors, but a veteran with PPOA as both a delegate and a member. Knowing what I know now about being employed with LASD, I would say that no union representation from PPOA would leave you extremely vulnerable. That being said, I would answer the above question with “absolutely, unequivocally am I satisfied with PPOA.” I hope you are, too.
Let me elaborate on the topic.
When I was a general member before joining the PPOA Board, there were a few times when I needed union representation and help was only a phone call away. Luckily, my issues were resolved professionally and swiftly (now I know why the first “P” is in the acronym PPOA).
During my grievance process, the Department recognized that PPOA was an organization that had a reputation of defending employees fairly and collectively by utilizing our experienced labor reps and attorneys. In case you were unaware, PPOA has been in the business of protecting members’ rights for over 70 years, so I guess you can say the union is remarkably and historically effective.
I don’t think employees join unions expecting to need them, but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes that all classifications we represent can benefit from. When I pay for my monthly auto insurance, I don’t anticipate getting into an accident, but I have peace of mind knowing that in the event that I do, I have a layer of solid protection in place. The same concept applies to being a member of this Association. PPOA also deals with staffing and overtime issues, health and safety guidelines, schedules, pensions and promotion policies, among other things. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we as law enforcement professionals are more likely to need union representation due to an issue arising during the performance of our daily duties. We often find ourselves working long hours and facing threats and dangers that other occupations simply don’t. Why not be protected? I understand there are some situations that employees get involved in that may go beyond the union, but at least you will have a fighting chance. A big misconception about PPOA is that it is responsible for contract cancellations. Let me clarify this, it is not true. If a contract is ended with LASD and it affects our members, PPOA does not control this decision, but rest assured we meet and confer and make sure our members are treated fairly during the reassignment process. In my 21 years on the Department, I have not seen any layoffs. Now I ask this question to you: Can you benefit from any of the items I mentioned above? If the answer is yes, then PPOA is right for you.
If you have a co-worker who is not a member of PPOA, I encourage you to talk to them about joining. Have them get involved and ask them to join the more than 9,000 active and retired members of this Association. Even more so, if you have an idea on how we can serve you better, reach out to us, or even to me personally at email@example.com.