• Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association 1

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Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association

Representing more than 650 active employees.

Our Mission

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association was organized in 1973 to give members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office the opportunity for fair representation based on the Peace Officer Bill of Rights. The FDSA was also organized to give a group of Deputy Sheriffs the opportunity to collectively bargain with the County of Fresno for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

End of Watch

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office commemorates the death of Deputy Jeffrey Sean Isaac

EOW: September 8, 1997

Today we honor a fallen Fresno County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Isaac who was killed in the line of duty, Sept 8, 1997 – a solo vehicle accident near the City of Reedley CA, and only minutes from where Jeff and his family lived.

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The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association was organized in 1973 to give members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office the opportunity for fair representation based on the Peace Officer Bill of Rights. The FDSA was also organized to give a group of Deputy Sheriffs the opportunity to collectively bargain with the County of Fresno for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Over time, the FDSA has evolved, not only as a labor organization with the members we represent, but as part of the community as well. The FDSA is generous to charitable organizations, both financially and with active participation from its members. By working for an elected Sheriff, the FDSA stays politically involved in the community on issues the organization sees can affect law enforcement or the Sheriff.

The FDSA represents over 650 active employees. Although Deputy Sheriffs make up the majority of the membership, dispatchers, community service officers, identification technicians, criminalists, and deputy coroners are all represented by the FDSA. The variety of job classifications allows the FDSA to represent both sworn and support personnel throughout the enforcement side of the Fresno Sheriff’s Office.

The FDSA is an active participant in our State Association, Peace Officer’s Research Association of California (PORAC). The FDSA holds a director at large seat on this board.

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association’s goal is to be an outreach for its members and the community. These goals are achieved when we all come together to reach that common goal. Our main focus is law enforcement, not only for labor aspects, but also to serve the citizens of Fresno County who rely on us for their public safety needs.

Latest Newsletter

President's Message, September 2016

Bargaining Talks Underway with Fresno County

I want to report to the membership that we have started bargaining with the County of Fresno – officially on August 31, 2016. The Executive Board of the FDSA, along with our labor negotiator, Gary Messing met with county representatives to discuss the ground rules needed for bargaining, along with goals for the successor memorandum of understanding or MOU.

Shift Signups and Mandatory Overtime

We have started negotiations with the Sheriff’s administration for the key assignments for 2017 shifts within the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. This year, we have 109 deputies signing up for the key slot shifts, compared to 87 last year and 84 in 2014. Although hiring isn’t going as fast as we all would like to see- we are making progress.

There are a total of 131 patrol key slots that need to be filled overall in patrol this year. There will be a gap of 22 shifts, which will cause some to be filled on overtime (OT).

Over the last year, I have discussed the current OT and the mandatory overtime (MOT) policy with many of you. I have heard a variety of comments, both good and bad about how the policy impacts you. The most common theme I have heard is that you do not want to work shorthanded and prefer hiring additional deputies to fill the gaps. I agree with all of you. In fact, I haven’t found one person who says they like MOT shifts. However, we also have a large workforce who does not want to come to work with one or two deputies covering an entire area. There are many deputies who remember working under those exhausting and grueling conditions. These ‘short shifts’ ended under the direction of former Sheriff Richard Pierce- following the death of Deputy Erik Telen.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors is committed to giving Sheriff Mims the funding she needs to continue to hire new employees (in all areas of the department) along with provide funding to continue filling the vacancies we have from resignations or retirements.

I have listened loud and clear to the message of discontent about MOT. I am trying to find a middle ground in an attempt to curb that someway in order to minimize the impacts of people being ordered in.

We still have our MOT/VOT policy that was drafted and agreed to back in 2007 and then an addendum in 2010.

We drafted the side letter agreement in July 2016 that expired on October 1, 2016 calling for levels of staffing to go to preferred levels (minimum numbers). This level is four deputies in each area during each shift. This agreement was in anticipation of the Parlier Police Department take over, but also allowed us to give the deputies a little bit of a break. Remember, some of the areas were at preferred staffing of 5 and 6. Based on the number of deputies at the time – we were bleeding and working our people ragged.

In discussions with Captain Gularte regarding the key assignments for 2017 – we (FDSA) have developed a plan to maintain preferred staffing level in all four areas. Trying to keep our deputies safe with sufficient staffing, and still able to service the public. The language is still pending at this time with Sheriff’s Administration. However, I am optimistic we will find middle ground. I want to thank each of you who have taken the time to call and talk or meet and talk to me about different ideas we can do to get the biggest bang for our buck with staffing. I do not have all the answers, and it’s refreshing to hear it from all of you as well. The engine runs best when running on all eight cylinders!

There are ways to eliminate MOT shifts, but there has to be cooperation from everyone to accomplish this goal. Cooperation needs to come from supervisors monitoring Telestaff, deputies looking at Telestaff to find MOTs- and noticing when they come up- offering to work. It would also require cooperation from the Sheriff’s Administration to continuing raising the bar on keeping staffing above the minimums.

I want to thank deputies assigned to the Court Services Unit for continuing to sign up for shifts at CRMC, football games, and other recreation type details that come up. By everyone helping to staff different details- it allows us as an agency and organization to deliver the utmost service the public needs and deserves.

I am confident that working as a team, we can overcome these challenges to accomplish a goal that suits a majority of you, if not all.

Marin County Pension Case: Up to the Supreme Court Now

By Gregg Adam, Messing, Adam &Jasmine

Read below as an update to what is going on with the Marin County Pension Case. I sent the initial decision from the appellate court to all of you back in June 2016. As these come up I will continue to get them to you as this does have ripple effects on our pension system at Fresno County.

We alerted our clients to the recent decision in Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees Retirement Association by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.  The decision is a frontal attack on the vested rights doctrine.

Here is briefly what happened leading up to and in this case: In 1997, the Supreme Court decided in Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association v. Board of Retirement that pursuant to the County Employees’ Retirement Law (under which 20 California counties have set up pension systems) all compensation except overtime had to be treated as pensionable.  After Ventura, the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (“MCERA”), like many other county retirement boards, took the position that multiple premiums had to be treated as pensionable compensation (or “compensation earnable” as Government Code section 31461 calls it).  So for many years, standby pay, administrative response pay, call-back pay, cash-in-lieu of healthcare, and fringe benefits were included as pensionable.

That changed when the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (“PEPRA”) was passed.  After PEPRA came into effect, MCERA changed its rules and stopped including the premiums described above as pensionable. Various unions sued.  The trial court refused to find any part of PEPRA unconstitutional.

On appeal, the unions argued that under sixty years of California Supreme Court interpretation of the vested rights doctrine, and dozens of court of appeal cases following it, any disadvantageous change in current employee pension benefits had to be offset by a comparable advantage.

The appellate panel rejected conventional wisdom on what California vested rights law requires and offered a quite astonishing attack on public employee pensions and “pension spiking,” describing state and local government pension liabilities as a “ticking time bomb.”  The first five pages of the opinion is highly partisan stuff.  Later in the opinion, the panel concludes that the inclusion of the premiums can be eliminated, without any legal consequences.  It then attempts to neuter vested rights law, asserting that public employee pensions can be freely reduced so long as they are not destroyed.  Legal commentators and pension critics are describing the case as a game-changer.  It is a call to arms for unions to get this devastating decision reviewed before public agencies seek to undo pension promises to their employees.

We hope that the word of the Court of Appeal is not the last word. To that end, yesterday, along with our colleagues at the Leonard Carder and Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld law firms, we filed a Petition for Review with the California Supreme Court asking it to review this highly controversial ruling.

We expect amicus curiae from many fronts will weigh in on whether or not review should be granted and whether or not the Court of Appeal got it right.

Palm Springs Police Officers Killed

The past few days have been heartbreaking to hear details about the two Palm Springs police officers killed while at a domestic call. 35 year veteran, Officer Jose “Gil” Vega had just submitted paperwork to retire in December. He was also a father of eight who didn’t plan to work Saturday, October 8th, but had picked up an overtime shift. Officer Lesley Zerebny returned to work early to help out after giving birth to a little girl, who is just four months old. She had been a police officer for a year and half- when investigators say Zerebny, 27 and Vega, 63, were gunned down. The police chief of the desert community described the devastation of watching Zerebny’s husband, a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy, kiss her goodbye on her forehead.

The suspect, 26 year old John Felix was arrested after a 12 hour standoff. He has a long criminal past.

We are keeping the families and colleagues of the fallen in our thoughts and prayers. In addition, the FDSA has also sent a contribution to their families to help them get through this difficult time.

This tragedy is a reminder of the unpredictability of patrolling the streets.

Stay safe out there.