Sunday, January 4, 2015

Which Way ADDA? Pt 10 Countdown to Disaffiliation

With no official figures being released as to how many ballots have been submitted by ADDA members for the all-important decision on whether to end the ADDA's troubled relationship with big labor group AFSCME, fears mount that a low turnout will favor retention of AFSCME. The deadline for ballots to be counted is 5pm on Wednesday January 7, 2015. That effectively means that if DDAs do not mail their ballots by Monday night, January 5, they will have no say in which way ADDA?

 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.



Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the low vote, Debbaudt has fixed the election. ADDA may win the first round, but AFSCME will crush the ADDA in court. Federal lawsuit here, guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

2:55pm is blowing smoke. This election is probably the first one that isn't fixed - it's not being conducted by AFSCME. Debbaudt hired an independent firm of CPAs to do the auction and even AFSCME cannot fix that.

AFSCME Is going to lose. Guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

We will disaffiliate. Within 2 years there be a scandal involving the board and we will then vote to de-certify. To be very clear the scandal will only involve some board members, those who are paying lip service to their follow DDA's but are really guided by their own self interest.

Anonymous said...

@10:07pm. McGrath may be a little odd, his affinity with AFSCME is troubling, but I doubt he'll remain on the board if disaffiliation wins. So you must be trying to slur someone else. Be assured if the vote goes AFSCME's way, there will be a decertify movement, and it will not fail. AFSCME is a totally unfit representative for DDAs.

Anonymous said...

AFSCME is likely in full panic "damage limitation" mode ahead of the vote, which will be seen as a "green light" for other disgruntled AFSCME affiliates to dump AFSCME.

But don't count your chickens too soon. AFSCME will not take defeat easily. Parisi's credibility is on the line here, and expect her to litigate any defect in the election. The ADDA will be tied up in lawsuits for years just to scare off the Probation Officers from splitting from AFSCME. It's going to get ugly, no, uglier after the votes are counted.

nohumansinvolved said...

I could be wrong, but I don't see lawsuits on the horizons. Someone would have to prove that an independent CPA firm who does balloting acted with impropriety or a lack of integrity. Parisi, Executive Director of AFSCME, and McGrath raised their fears at the Board meeting and the CPA firm made adjustments to their protocold to accommodate them. If they lose they lose $365,000 a year and it wouldn't make economic sense to sue unless they had a viable issue that the COA firm was dishonest and there is little likelihood of that, so my guess is they would not want to throw away money they no longer have. Further a lawsuit would make this so-called Democratic "powerhouse" union look really bad in that they don't want members to freely leave making their "escaoe clause" meaningless. Also, it would raise the potential of s counterclaim for lack of performance and they wouldn't want their dirty laundry aired. Finally, they'd have to get a different law firm since theirs has represented us and would have a conflict. That's just a few of the reasons off the top of my head. I think the lawsuit issue is just an unrealistic fear, but if I'm wrong, defending one is still cheaper than remaining with AFSCME!
Marc Debbaudt

Anonymous said...

So by now I reckon most of the folks who can be bothered to vote have mailed their ballots. I haven't spoken to any DDAs who said they were voting for AFSCME, so my poll says AFSCME is finished.

Anonymous said...

We really deserve better. Debbaudt has set it up so that he and AFSCME can know how everyone has voted. The system they are using isn't even up to the minimal standards required of a Homeowners Association election.

This whole election has been run by the keystone cops and if disaffiliation succeeds they will be running your union.

Hold on to your hats it's going to be a bumpy ride.