May 12, 2014
To: AFSCME Local 191 Members
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
On May 9, 2014 your bargaining team of Miguel Herrera, Andrew Hampton and Greg Van Vlack met with AFSCME Council 75 staff (attorney, Research Analyst and field representative) to prepare for selective salary increase arbitration for JPPA’s and JPPO’s. Our position was that we were eager and ready to fight for wage increases based on the following: internal equity, class comparison, change in job duties and the agency’s ability to pay. As the morning progressed we were advised by the Research Analyst and the staff attorney that class comparisons were not in our favor as we do not have Peace Officer status. We were also told that Internal Equity would not be a solidly backed case and thirdly that the changes in job duties would be better addressed through a Desk Audit/Market Analysis/Hay Study. DAS also has argued that the agency does not have the ability to pay. After lengthy discussion we were advised by Council 75 that we likely had a 50-50 chance of winning arbitration and we were also told that the arbitrators decision could negatively impact future efforts towards re-class. These were not high enough percentages to move forward.
After a brief caucus your team reached a tough decision to make a final counter offer to the last best offer on the 2013/2015 contract. We proposed 24 hours of “grief time” compensation to be used when we have trauma, such as death, on a caseload or in the office space and we asked for a Hay Study/Desk Audit during the final year of the contract. These have been tentatively agreed on by DAS and the team.
In addition, what was bargained for successfully around COLA’s and medical care will continue. We also are satisfied that during the course of the current contract we have been able to advocate to preserve field positions as well as see JPPA’s promoted into JPPO positions.
The bargaining team believes that a Desk Audit/Hay Study will put us in better position for next year to attain selectives and we plan to ask for a range higher then the 29 and 24 that we did this time for JPPO’s and JPPA’s respectively .
We also have concerns that DAS did not bargain fairly with us and this is being addressed. You will hear that they made us a counter offer two weeks ago and then rescinded it.
In conclusion, please be prepared to be actively involved and assisting officers with the Desk Audit/Hay Study. During the past 16 months we put in countless unpaid hours to try to move forward with this. If we are united and have a lot of help from you members maybe we can be successful. No one knows your
position description and job duties better then you. You will be contacted by AFSCME staff during the summer as we begin the process. This was not an easy decision. Support and commitment from all of you as we attempt a new strategy will be greatly welcomed and appreciated. We wish we could have done more. Please contact any of us with questions, concerns (constructive) and ideas.
Greg, Miguel, Andrew.