Dear FDSA member,
It has been an honor to represent you all - the members of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association. I am honored to serve you in this leadership role and appreciate your support as I take my fifth term as your President. I want to thank all of you who took the time to vote during our last FDSA election. I will continue leading this organization in the right direction – departmentally and through our community.
Over the past decade, my priority has been improving the wages, benefits and working conditions for each one of you. I have also listened to your concerns about rising insurance rates and the impact this has on your families. So I’ve studied and researched the best plans, and along with the Insurance Trust Board, have worked with insurance companies to provide you the best coverage at the lowest rates. I’m proud to report our rates are far lower than all other groups in Fresno County. We have and insurance broker, DiBuduo & DeFendis who is well respected nationally for the work they do and the variety of services they provide. The bargaining power with the insurance carriers, in my opinion, is second to none. They continue to present the best options for the members and the retired members.
Our most recent contract agreement and benefit package gave FDSA members unprecedented raises. This 16 percent pay raise over three years not only puts more money in your wallet- it makes the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office a more competitive agency, with wages that rival other law enforcement groups in our area and throughout the state. This helps attract new recruits to our department.
My work is not done, as another contract negotiation is coming soon.
Negotiations will not be easy – they never are. People on the other side of the table have the interest of the County of Fresno and the interest of other bargaining groups in mind to protect. We have seen this time after time. However, I do believe we will fare well and keep up with the growing demands of retention and recruitment. Yes retention comes first. We take care of the people who work here, before we parlay our bets on those who have yet to walk into the door. Our package has to speak for itself. That’s why you won’t see this organization advocating for hiring bonus and things of that nature.
The job of FDSA President is incredibly busy and deals with many different issues. Days are long at times and my phone and email are everlasting. There are times when schedules are set up, then in the first 15 minutes things go completely haywire. I must change directions to deal with what presents itself as priorities. No different than the job all of you do. There is no routine in this profession. I think we can all agree on that. The job of the President often times throws you in the face of adversity. However, I take this job very serious and give it my utmost attention.
My job is to be your advocate. In this role, I have to sometimes face your fears with you and confront difficult situations alongside you. If you have been involved in an Officer Involved Shooting to an Internal Affairs investigation, myself, along with the FDSA board ensures you do not have to navigate these tough situations alone. I am available day or night to help you get legal counsel or lend an ear. I take that role very serious to answer your call and lend you a comforting ear. Confidentiality is my number one priority when it comes to our members. Those of you who have been on hard times or in a tough situation know this very well. Our legal team is top notch, and handles each and every situation with the utmost professionalism and care. Each situation is different and is treated as such. I have 100% trust in the job they do and the direction we give them.
During my tenure, so much has been accomplished, including:
Thank you for the confidence you have put in me. Leading this organization is truly a privilege.
Final Economic Provision of MOU
I wanted to give a final recap of the current MOU that we are operating under. This term goes through December 15, 2019. You will see the following in 2019.
July 1, 2019: All members will be receiving the final pay increase at 5% in their paychecks.
July 1, 2019: All members who work the watch one shift will see the differential pay increase from the current 6% to the final 8%.
The remainder of the contract in regards to economic provisions will have come to a conclusion after July 1, 2019. All obligations have been met by the County of Fresno. To quick recap as to what was negotiated on this last contract which was ratified in February of 2017.
Remember the goal of Fresno County Board of Supervisors was to ensure the Deputy Sheriff III base salary was the same or higher than that of a Fresno Police Officer II. This goal was accomplished along with an unprecedented movement in regards to the amount of money the County of Fresno pays into our contract to offset our health insurance rates we would otherwise pay out of pocket.
Going into the next contract negotiations, I can assure the work is not finished. Your FDSA Board of Directors will bring you a package, they believe, will keep us competitive and on the upswing with the economy. Although this is a lot of work, I look forward to the challenge it brings in continuing to build on the work during my tenure as your President.
I again thank you for all the support given to the organization and the job we do. I will continue representing your best interests through the thick and thin.