601/602 Contract Ratified
Local 1014 members voted strongly to ratify our contract, with nearly 1,500 votes tallied and a 98.2% support vote. While we moved to get our money into our checks with retro and the signing bonus by agreement with the CEO, the ratification is an important legal step to approve our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and now it moves to the BOS for ratification to set the ink legally and formally protect all elements of our contract. We thank the members for their support and strength as we completed a difficult bargaining process. We are also working quickly to finish up 603 / 604 non-sworn members' MOU.
The work continues as we now focus on stabilizing our budget in a Joint Labor Management Financial Committee co-chaired by President Gillotte, Chief Marrone, and CEO Fesia Davenport to analyze expenditures, maximize existing revenues and search for additional revenues to ensure the District stays solvent and forward moving into the next 3 years and beyond. The first meeting was held at the CEO’s office to brief the Auditor-Controller, the Treasurer-Tax Collector and the subject matter experts we have brought in to help with the revenue and expenditures of our department. We will keep you posted as this work progresses and we look forward to driving the efforts to repair the mismanagement of the years past with regard to our budget priorities.
While we have called off work to the rule, and we thank our members for their support in getting this contract moved across the goal line, we also want to carry the spirit of work to the rule right into the Annual Division Inspections. The inspections are really for us, not the Department, in that our members use this opportunity to get our stations and apparatus in the best shape of the year, to spring clean our stations and to ensure our training and records are on pace with the line. Typically the emphasis of the inspection is on the apparatus and equipment and records and everyone will be ready as always. This year we want the focus of the inspection to be the Round Table, where our members get to talk openly and intimately with our Battalion Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs about operations, budget, training, staffing and more.
This year we want to encourage our members to thank those chiefs that stood with us during work to the rule, and helped us all get across the finish line, and to also respectfully hold accountable the chiefs that did not. Most of the chief officers who are members of the AOC and Local 1014 stood up for us and with us, but like a few of our members, some did not and pushed back on our hard-working men and women during this difficult time. We ask you to question the chiefs in round table with everything that weighs heavy on your minds and also to consider asking some of the following questions and get back to us with the answers you get:
1. Is our budget in deficit, and if so, what is the spending besides wages and benefits?
2. Is the online training and computer demand put on our members going to be addressed? Multiple platforms, multiple logins and passwords, systems that don’t work right and, in some cases like EVOC, don’t even apply, and the HOURS each shift are taxing our members and the stress of the memos and emails vs. time to train together not just virtually but physically is lost. What can be done? Ask.
3. Recruit Class 167 Training Instructors were removed from their work with 24 hours' notice and a group of recruits who did not pass the tower’s minimum standards were at the core of allegations of disparate and discriminatory treatment. While the investigation if nearing completion, the lack of due process and any credible facts to have this action taken are incredible. Ask the chiefs if they are aware of the situation. What is their opinion of what happened to our best and brightest? If you taught or worked in some capacity for the Department and something similar happened, ask the chiefs if the same thing could happen to you. Ask the chiefs what is being done to combat the actions of a few, and the automatic recycling of recruits who have “injuries” in the tower without review and comparison to their test scores in the minimum standards for performance and why we do this multiple times allowing a small portion of graduates who cannot physically or literally do this job hit the field. Ask them to tell you why?
4. Ask the Chiefs if they are aware that the workers' compensation system is in failure resulting in our members not getting approved, treated, and returned to work in a timely or appropriate manner, and given the staffing impact to fill those vacancies. What can be done to help our members get their injuries diagnosed and treated and get them returned to work? Ask the Chiefs, if you are injured, how you should manage the dance with Sedgwick, Corvel, the County, and the never-ending run around with IME’s to get your injury handled right.
We have challenged the Executive Staff of this Department, along with the Fire Chief and our JLMFC work, to “PUT 50 MEMBERS BACK TO WORK IN 90 DAYS”. We don’t need the Executive Staff of this Department to do anything else other than help manage the cases to ensure our members get treated in a timely and appropriate manner and return 50 members who have injuries that can be fast-tracked for treatment, therapy, braces, PT etc to return them to positions can be accomplished and we have eager and hungry members who will help in doing their part. Ask the Chiefs how they think we can best help get our members back to work in the system we have during this challenge to staff. How can they help? Ask.
5. Ask the Chiefs if they think we are still healing and climbing back from a leadership void at the top levels of our Department? Ask if they thought the holding of the Covid Vaccine Mandate, the handling of our budget, and issues surrounding challenges like the Sierra Incident are done, or were handled correctly. We are not done with any of this and we feel the corner has been turned, and the future is bright, but we are a long way from being healed. Ask the Chief Officer at inspection how they can lead better individually or collectively, better support our members carrying out the mission of serving the people and as if they think they can improve just like we can. Ask your chief if he or she leads from the front and eats last. Don’t forget to thank those chiefs that do this all day long and make up the majority of the chiefs we serve not only under but alongside each day. They know who they are and so do you and we appreciate them all!
Again respectfully and fairly have a robust conversation with your staff members during the annual inspection round table in the spirit of “work to the rule” and carry the messages to the top through that chain every bit as much as messages are carried down. Thank you all in advance and please reach out to us with some of the answers and conversations you have.
Congratulations to the new AOC Board Members. We look forward to working with them jointly to get our Department back on track. Chiefs Chapman, Ghobani, Gamble and Uyahara, to name a few, have always reached out to Local 1014 and we are off and running with solidarity on the issues at hand. More to come.