SACRAMENTO- On April 1, 2020, CSLEA will become a Member Association of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). PORAC was incorporated in 1953 and represents over 75,000 public safety professionals and over 930 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation.
The move will allow PORAC and CSLEA to coordinate their respective political prowess and lobbying teams which will better arm each organization’s ability to improve and protect the wages, benefits and working conditions of their members. Both organizations, and their retained lobbyists, Aaron Reid & Associates (PORAC) and Capitol Advocacy (CSLEA) are well respected at the Capitol. The sum of joint efforts will prove greater than their respective parts and will pay dividends for all CSLEA-represented employees.
In order to ease the transition, CSLEA intends on making all Unit 7 peace officer members Active Members of PORAC. Although limited membership will ultimately be made available to Unit 7 non-sworn safety members, they have not been paying dues to the Fraternal Order of Police as associate members. Given that Unit 7 peace officers have currently been paying FOP dues, it will make it more practical for CSLEA to offset the $9 per member/per month general dues payment required of PORAC active members. Provided that the transition runs as smoothly as CSLEA anticipates, limited membership will be offered to Unit 7 non- sworn safety members in the near future.
As members of PORAC, Unit 7 peace officers will be able to participate in the benefit plans offered by the PORAC Insurance and Benefits Trust (IBT). These plans include the PORAC CalPERS Health Plan, the Long-Term Disability Plan, AFLAC, Term Life and California Casualty Auto/Home. Although employees will be required to wait for open enrollment with respect to the PORAC health plan, it will provide a high benefit economic option which was previously unavailable to Unit 7 employees.
Given that CSLEA provides its own in-house attorneys to provide representation for administrative matters including disciplinary proceedings, and because CSLEA operates its own Legal Defense plan patterned after PORAC’s for civil and criminal defense (including critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings), there will be no change in the legal representation benefits that CSLEA already provides.
An additional benefit of becoming a PORAC Member Association will be the opportunity for re-inclusion of former CSLEA members who became part of Peace Officers of California (POC). A number of Unit 7 peace officers became members of POC in order to access the PORAC benefit plans. Although POC will no longer continue as a member association of PORAC, all Unit-7 POC members have been assured that there is no obstacle to their rejoining CSLEA in order to retain their membership in PORAC.
This move brings CSLEA and PORAC full circle as CSLEA (then-CAUSE) was a member association in PORAC in the early 1980’s before breaking off as a standalone labor organization.
“The return to PORAC was a long time coming. I never truly understood the dynamics which gave rise to the split. At that time, I was not a part of CSLEA but rather a PORAC member as a Stanislaus County Deputy Sheriff,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “I can state without hesitation, based on my interaction with PORAC President Brian Marvel over the past couple of years, including serving with him on the Governor’s Medal of Valor Committee, and more recently in getting to know PORAC Vice-President Damon Kurtz, that these leaders truly care about the welfare of their members and are as enthusiastic as I am in what we will be able to collectively accomplish going forward.”
“On behalf of PORAC, the board of directors, and all our members, I want to thank you and your organization (CSLEA) for joining with us,” said PORAC President Brian Marvel. “Now more than ever, our strength comes with unity. As we work together on common goals, our strength will boost our leadership role in organizing, empowering and representing the interests of all our members. Please check out our website, social media sites, and download our app to stay up to date. Welcome aboard and I look forward to building our relationship.”