- $210,000 to be distributed among 38 current and former HPOs who will be required to sign “Individual Release of Any and All Disputed Claims” form in order to receive compensation
- Within the next 60 to 120 days, DSH will endeavor to convert, advertise, and recruit for additional Detective Unit positions to be converted to Investigator
“This case showcases the tenacity, dedication and passion CSLEA attorneys have for our members. Getting this decision took much longer than any of us would have liked, but the CSLEA Legal Team kept pressing for the rights of, and the just compensation our members in this case deserved.” - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
“This is just another example of the importance of union membership, and the hard work and dedication put forth by CSLEA to fight for our members’ out of class compensation in this case” – Luis Jimenez, President of the Hospital Police Association of California (HPAC)
SACRAMENTO - The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) is pleased to announce that on February 10, 2021, a long-fought-for agreement was reached with CalHR and the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to obtain out-of-class compensation for all Hospital Police Officer (HPO) Detectives who were performing Investigator work in 2017.
In 2017, CSLEA was victorious in Arbitration in an out-of-class grievance filed at Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) regarding HPOs in the Detective Unit at ASH who were performing work consistent with the Investigator classification. The Arbitrator granted out-of-class compensation for the HPO Detectives at ASH and found that ASH’s practice of using HPOs to perform Investigator duties must be accompanied by proper compensation. (Click here for the 2017 Arbitration award and CSLEA article that goes into much more detail.)
Immediately after receiving the 2017 Arbitration Award, CSLEA contacted DSH and sought to have the Award extended to the other Detective Units at:
- Metropolitan State Hospital,
- Coalinga State Hospital,
- and Napa State Hospital.
To CSLEA’s surprise, DSH refused to extend the Award and findings to the other hospitals. Therefore, CSLEA immediately filed a grievance on August 7, 2017. In the grievance, CSLEA sought to obtain out-of-class compensation for all HPO Detectives who were performing Investigator work dating back to July 11, 2016. (Article 15.2 of the Contract limited back pay to one year prior to initiating the grievance.)
In addition, after the initial award was issued, the HPOs who were occupying the Detective Unit at ASH were “reassigned” back to their standard/in-class HPO assignments. Rather than allowing HPOs to continue to perform in an out-of-class capacity under the limitations set forth in the BU 7 MOU, ASH transferred its criminal/Detective investigations to its administrative Investigator staff and used Retired Annuitant staff to perform administrative investigations. These moves were followed by the filing of an Unfair Practice Charge by CSLEA against DSH which culminated in the Public Employment Relations Board issuing a complaint against DSH dated February 16, 2018.
Since the filing of the grievance of August 2017, and after CalHR had to perform additional analysis on the matter, there have been numerous meetings with DSH and CalHR regarding this present grievance and PERB complaint. CSLEA even had extensive discussions concerning this grievance at the negotiations table in the Spring of 2019 and June 2020.
CSLEA grew increasingly frustrated by the delays from the State in resolving this case but is now pleased to announce a resolution. On February 10, 2021, CSLEA, DSH, and CalHR have agreed to a path forward. Effective immediately, all HPOs who were assigned to a Detective Unit at any point from July 2016 through now, will receive a lump sum equivalent to a 5% differential (calculated at max base salary for the HPO classification at the time the HPO was assigned as a Detective) for every month they were assigned to the Detective Unit. (Partial months are rounded up/down to the nearest full month.)
This amounts to over $210,000 to be distributed among 38 current and former HPOs. In order for these HPOs to receive their portion of the settlement compensation, they must complete an Individual Release of Any and All Disputed Claims.
MOVING FORWARD: In addition to compensating HPOs for past time assigned to the Detective Unit, DSH has agreed to convert HPO Detective Unit duties and responsibilities to that of the Investigator classification. Within the next 60 to 120 days, DSH will endeavor to convert, advertise, and recruit for additional Detective Unit positions to be converted to Investigator. This will effectively keep the Detective Unit, but staff it with Investigators. This will increase the number of Investigator positions at DSH:
- 4 additional Investigator positions at Metro and Napa,
- 5 more at Coalinga,
- and 2 more at Atascadero.
While these positions are being filled, any current HPOs assigned to the Detective Unit will be provided proper out-of-class compensation. In addition, any time HPOs are assigned to the Detective Unit in the future, they will be provided out-of-class compensation. This settlement also applies limits to the future use of Retired Annuitants in an investigative capacity.
Although filling the Investigator positions is subject to the state competitive hiring process, it is the expectation that the initial wave of hiring for these Investigator positions will be done in-house (withing DSH). In addition, any time that a HPO served in the Detective Unit will count as experience for the purpose of salary range placement in the Investigator classification.
Within the coming weeks, CSLEA Attorneys will be reaching out to the impacted HPOs to answer questions and seek their signed releases.
Although CSLEA wishes this matter was resolved much more quickly, CSLEA is pleased that the resolution provides appropriate out-of-class pay for HPOs assigned to the Detective Unit, and also creates additional Investigator positions at the hospitals that are very desirable by those officers looking to promote.