Strength in Numbers
The California Correctional Supervisors Organization’s (CCSO) motto has always been “Supervisors Representing Supervisors.” It was the vision that founded our organization almost 30 years ago and still holds true to this day. CCSO has continued to fight for the respect, rights and working conditions of excluded employees. Excluded employees don’t have the luxury to lean on a contract to dispute violations. If you think the bargaining unit contract protects you, unfortunately, you are wrong. If you think grievances and labor issues are handled in the same manner, you’re wrong again. So, I must ask — why let a rank-and-file labor union negotiate on your behalf? For what purpose? What can they do for you? Do you truly think they have your best interest at heart when they are representing thousands of your subordinates?
In my early years as a CCSO member, I got involved with my local board, as well as the state board. I was passionate about an organization that supported me, and I wanted to participate and learn as much as possible. I quickly found out my colleagues didn’t feel the same way, and I was constantly defending CCSO. My co-workers would tell me that CCSO was run by a bunch of old, retired supervisors. The rank-and-file staff would walk around and mock CCSO, saying the organization wouldn’t be around for long. I must admit, I was slightly worried; back then, we only had roughly 2,000 members. But here we are, years later, with almost 5,000 members, and we are stronger than ever. Throughout my 28-year CDCR career, I needed CCSO assistance with legal representation and labor disputes. Each time, CCSO fully supported me, and I was lucky that most had positive outcomes. However, not once during my career did I hear about positive support or a victory for supervisors by a rank-and-file organization.
So, you may ask, what does the future hold? My goal is to make CCSO the exclusive representative for S06-excluded employees. It is time to cut ties with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA). It is time to stop a rank-and-file organization from meddling in our labor issues. What can they do for us that we can’t do ourselves? There are two ways to lead; you either divide and conquer or build and unite. I’m done being divided — let’s build and unite! For years, CCPOA has had a monopoly on the custody side, and I believe it’s time for a change. We’re capable of accomplishing so much on our own; just think about what we can accomplish as a united front.
I am committed to getting a health care package that is competitive with CCPOA. Why should we have to join an organization just to get better health care for ourselves and our families? I frequently hear people say that if it wasn’t for the health care, they would not be a CCPOA member. It seems to me to be a huge conflict of interest by the state and CCPOA when excluded employees are unable to get a comparable health care package without being a member.
Let’s also get rid of the Supervisors’ VP. Why do we need them? We already have limited sergeant and lieutenant posts. What do they do other than report back to the local president? Again, another conflict of interest by an organization representing both rank-and-file and excluded employees. We could get so much more accomplished and have so many more wins for excluded employees by having just one organization who solely represents them and not their staff.
CCSO is flourishing — we are stronger than ever. I felt we were moving in the right direction until the pandemic hit, and I’m ready to get back on track. In my first four years, I had a vision, and I came through on my promises. I laid down a solid foundation and put systems in place to make great strides moving forward. I’m ready to carry on CCSO’s legacy, our motto and vision; supervisors representing supervisors. This is a call to action, and I need your help and support. There is strength in numbers, and we are here to thrive!