Monday, December 29, 2014

Which Way ADDA? Pt 9 - Disaffiliation Decision Dawns

January 7, 2015 is the deadline for receipt of the mail-in ballots that will decide the future of the ADDA.

The choice facing Deputy District Attorneys is straightforward; vote to disaffiliate and dump AFSCME, or remain under the control of the big labor union that has taken over $1M in dues and provided nothing but empty and broken promises in return.

A vote to disaffiliate will allow DDAs to decide who best represents their core values. AFSCME, the big labor group that was the choice of disgraced former ADDA Presidents Ipsen and Seligman, has lived up to its reputation for promising much and delivering nothing.

Current ADDA President, Marc Debbaudt, the first genuinely elected ADDA President since the dark ages of the Ipsen-Seligman era, was voted into leadership on a promise to rid the ADDA of AFSCME's expensive and failed representation. Debbaudt has since made a powerful case for disaffiliation, showing that the ADDA can be more effective at representing the interests and values of DDAs than AFSCME, who will forever be remembered for failing to achieve any gains for DDAs; in the last round of negotiations with the Board of Supervisors, DDAs received exactly the same Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increases as Deputy Public Defenders, who have no union to represent them. In fact Deputy PDs did better than DDAs because the PDs do not have $900 a year confiscated from them by AFSCME in mandatory union dues.

AFSCME talk a big talk. They claim to have "political clout," they claim to "own" two newly-elected Supervisors because they contributed to their election campaigns, they claim to be able to negotiate better terms for DDAs in the next round of negotiations. But although some say talk is cheap, in AFSCME's case it's very expensive. About $1M expensive. And for all the talk, the results of three years of AFSCME representation speaks for itself; nothing, nada, zip.

Worse than zero results from AFSCME, is their shameful political support for policies adverse to the interests of DDAs. AFSCME ignored the ADDA's expressed opposition to Prop 47, and instead endorsed the ill-conceived, poorly-written, get out of jail card for thousands of convicted felons. AFSCME's shameful betrayal of DDA's interests and values should not go unanswered. A vote to disaffiliate from AFSCME sends precisely the message that needs to be sent; DDAs will not stand with those who have no respect for public safety. AFSCME has done everything that could possibly be done to prove that they are unworthy representatives for DDAs.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You talk a good talk Berger, but don't go spending all the money you're going to save from dues reduction because polling shows disaffiliation is going down in flames. AFSCME has promised older DDAs who have retirement in sight a huge increase in retirement benefits - its across the board for all AFSCME affiliates, so they will get the same deal that the City of LA employees get - the one where you sign up for extra duties like search warrant detail, lifer hearings, Saturday seminars, and "law enforcement" training, and that boosts your final salary so you get a higher pension.