Sunday, January 4, 2015
Which Way ADDA? Pt 10 Countdown to Disaffiliation
In the Dragnet's opinion, a correctly completed ballot should look like this:
The vote to disaffiliate from AFSCME is probably the most significant vote in the ADDA's history since the appallingly low voter participation in the vote to join AFSCME three years ago. A vote to disaffiliate offers DDAs a chance not only to be independent, but to send a powerful message to "big labor" groups like AFSCME. That message is a simple one: You may crave DDAs membership dues and bragging rights over representing a respectable law enforcement oriented organization, but if you abandon promises, if you renege on agreements, and if you deliver piss-poor performance, there is a price. Disaffiliation.
Since giving AFSCME over $1M in member dues, AFSCME has failed miserably. It was incapable of delivering any results in terms of pay increases, and simply rolled over and accepted the offer that was made to all LA County employees, regardless of whether they were represented by unions or not. DDAs got the same cost of living increase as Public Defenders, yet the PDs got that increase without having to give $1M to a big labor group like AFSCME.
AFSCME also ignored the values and interests of DDAs with their foolhardy and politically motivated support for Prop 47, despite assurances that AFSCME would not become involved in a political campaign that "does not have a labor related impact." There is no labor related impact arising from Prop 47.
Given the evidence that AFSCME is philosophically and ethically wholly unfit to represent DDAs, the most troubling aspect of the disaffiliation vote is the large number of DDAs who do not vote. Apathy is AFSCME's best friend in this vote, and while some DDAs have doubtless been fooled by promises from AFSCME to improve pay and pensions, others realize that the results of the past three years speak for themselves. A vote to stay with AFSCME is tantamount to doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Worse, if the disaffiliation vote fails, DDAs will remain locked with AFSCME in perpetuity. There will not be another opportunity to leave. As an independent organization, the ADDA will be able to choose whether to remain independent or align with another organizations with views, ethics and values more akin with law enforcement.
If you have not already voted, do so. If you know anyone who is on the fence, urge them to vote.
Vote to disaffiliate before it's too late.