AHPA Competitive Pay Action Plan: “We are DPS” Campaign CALL-TO-ACTION

1. CONTACT THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE (See sample letter below – email via http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp or call 602-542-4331)

2. REGISTER ON www.AZVOICES.gov and vote in favor of budget bill H.B. 2703.

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UPDATE 04/01/14
The House and Senate have shown strong support for including DPS competitive pay in their budgets. Now is the time to act! Please send in a letter to the Governor’s office asking her to support a budget that includes DPS pay! Email her through her website at Www.governor.state.az.us or call her at 602-542-4331.The Senate and House is approving a budget that will be submitted to the Governor’s office.

Now it is our jobs to inundate the Governor with letters expressing support for keeping DPS competitive. This needs to be done IMMEDIATELY.  Pass the word on to your family, friends and co-workers. Again, use your personal phone/email.  Here is an example letter to send:

Dear Governor Brewer,
As a DPS employee, I am asking for your support of the Senate approved budget as outlined in HB 2703. Both House and Senate members showed strong support for this issue and I am asking for your support also.
Sincerely,
YOUR NAME HERE

We encourage you to do TWO following action items:
1. Write a letter or call the governor’s office. Include your family and friends and ask them to help – the more letters/phone calls they receive the better.
Contact the Governor’s office here:
email: http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp
phone: 602-542-4331
2. Log on to www.azvoices.gov and “like” H.B. 2703.
This is not the agency’s fight – but ours. It is up to ALL DPS EMPLOYEES to respond to this call-to-action. Members: we cannot let up the pressure, so please send in a letter TODAY!

 

AHPA Competitive Pay Action Plan: “We are DPS” Campaign

Box-We are DPSAHPA is moving forward with a legislative campaign to secure a DPS competitive pay package.  You might recall a communication plan we began, called “We are DPS”, when we combated and won our arguments for personnel reform legislation that positively impacted protections for those in the law enforcement profession.  The campaign has been reactivated for you, your family and friends to be involved with to help ALL DPS employees.

In order for us to be successful, we need your help!  Follow the below steps so that we can better educate our legislators to make DPS competitive again.

 

1.     BACKGROUND:

It is no secret our employees are the best at what they do, yet underpaid compared to other agencies.  Additionally, we have been passed over yearly and asked to do more with less due to budget constraints.  According to the DPS 2013 Pay Study, sworn employees lag behind the market by 23.3% on average and civilian employees are behind an average of 22.6%. AHPA’s independent study echoes DPS’ findings.  (See the last study at http://aztroopers.wpengine.com/about/strategic-plan.)

This year, the Department submitted a budget request that included an across-the-board four percent (4%) raise for everyone.  AHPA submitted a pay proposal that addresses the competitiveness of the agency for the future by addressing the salary gap in a thoughtful, comprehensive manner. Our plan is outlined below and would be a total cost of $38.1 million over a three (3) year period. As a result the application of the lump sums over three (3) years will not bring DPS employees to the top of market, but somewhere near ten percent (10%) of market.

AHPA’s DPS Competitiveness Pay Package

Total Cost over 3 Years:

Sworn Officer Pay Adjustment $27.3M

Civilian Employee Pay Adjustment 10.8M

Total Cost of Adjustment in Pay $38.1M

 

It is AHPA’s position that by not addressing a competitive pay package for DPS employees NOW will impact the department’s future ability to recruit and retain the most highly qualified employees who are entrusted to protect and serve the citizens of Arizona. By implementing the AHPA proposal, DPS would be closer in market salaries to other law enforcement agencies within the state. To be one of the more sought after, premier law enforcement agencies in Arizona, it will be essential to make DPS competitive once again.

As mentioned previously, Governor Brewer included no pay plan for DPS in her budget.  Now it is up to our House of Representatives and State Senate to approve a pay package for our agency.  A press release (link to document here) was sent out to notify the public on the AHPA’s position.  DPS employees, family and friends are the only ones who can now advocate making our department competitive again, and we need your help.  We encourage you, on your own time, to alert others and write to your elected officials and the Governor’s office. 

2.     CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS & GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

Every letter and meeting counts right now!  The only way our elected officials will consider AHPA’s competitive pay proposal is to let them hear the issues straight from you, family and friends.  Follow the steps below to contact your legislators and the Governor’s office.AZLEG How to Find My Legislators

  1. If you do not know who your representatives are for your residence, go to http://www.azleg.gov.
  2. Click “How do I find my legislators?”
  3. Go to: “If you do not know your legislators: click here (http://azredistricting.org/districtlocator/) to find the legislative district you live in by entering your address and zip code located at the lower left corner.
  4. Enter your address and you will learn who your district representatives are in the House of Representatives & Senate.Insert Address
  5. Go back to the page that says “How do I find my legislators” and go to the link that says: “If you know your legislators, click here: http://www.azleg.gov/memberroster.asp.”Legisators Information
  6. Email your representative and send them a suggested letter below or arrange for a meeting.  REMEMBER TO NOT USE DEPARTMENT RESOURCES OR TIME.  ALL CORRESPONDENCE NEEDS TO COME FROM YOUR PERSONAL ADDRESS.
  7. Send the same letter to the Governor’s Office by going to: http://www.azgovernor.gov/ and click “Contact Us”.

 

3.     SUGGESTED LETTERS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER SENDING IN:

SUGGESTED LETTER FOR DPS EMPLOYEES:

INSERT DATE

 

Senator OR Representative NAME HERE

1700 W. Washington

Phoenix, AZ 85007

 

Dear (Senator or Representative Name Here),

 

As a Department of Public Safety (DPS) employee, we have felt the burden of “doing more with less” during the economic downturn. However, our agency is becoming less competitive with other police agencies in our state.  I urge you to please consider the Arizona Highway Patrol Association’s (AHPA) efforts to address our agency’s compensation.

 

By implementing the AHPA proposal, DPS would be closer in market salaries to other law enforcement agencies.  To be one of the more sought after, premier law enforcement agencies in Arizona, it will be essential to make DPS competitive once again. Not addressing a competitive pay package for DPS employees now will impact the department’s future ability to recruit and retain the most highly qualified employees who are entrusted to serve the citizens of Arizona.

 

I believe that public safety is government’s core responsibility, and I want the best and brightest to protect me and my family.  I hope that you will support AHPA’s competitive pay package for all DPS employees.

 

Thank you for your service to our district and our great state.

 

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE

ADDRESS

——————–

 

SUGGESTED LETTER FOR FRIENDS & FAMILY LETTER:

INSERT DATE

 

Senator OR Representative NAME HERE

1700 W. Washington

Phoenix, AZ 85007

 

Dear (Senator or Representative Name Here),

As someone who has the pleasure of knowing many in law enforcement, I know how hard it is to find the 3-5% of people that even qualify to become an officer or able to work in the police profession.  There are some of the most honorable employees at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) – from the officers that patrol our freeways in our district to the crime lab scientists that analyze DNA from some of the most heinous crimes.

That is why I support the Arizona Highway Patrol Association’s (AHPA) efforts to keep the DPS competitive with other police agencies.  According to the DPS 2013 Pay Study, sworn employees lag behind the market by 23.3% on average and civilian employees are behind an average of 22.6%.  That is an outrageous number to me when you think of all the laws the state police agency is mandated to be responsible for.  Not addressing a competitive pay package for DPS employees now will impact the department’s future ability to recruit and retain the most highly qualified employees who are entrusted to serve the citizens of Arizona. By implementing the AHPA proposal, DPS would be closer in market salaries to other law enforcement agencies.  To be one of the more sought after, premier law enforcement agencies in Arizona, it will be essential to make DPS competitive once again.

I believe that public safety is government’s core responsibility, and I want the best and brightest to protect me.  I hope that you will support AHPA’s competitive pay package for all DPS employees.

Thank you for your service to our district and our great state.

 

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE

ADDRESS

**FORWARD THIS MESSAGE ON so that we can keep your family members informed, attend meetings and become active with our efforts!**

Header-- We are DPS

MEDIA COVERAGE:

January 21, 2014 – KPHO CBS 5 – DPS UNION WANTS COMPETITIVE PAY

January 21, 2014 – ABC 15 – ARIZONA HIGHWAY PATROL ASSOCIATION ASKING FOR PAY RAISE FOR DPS WORKERS

UPDATES:

UPDATE 03/17/14

DPS Pay – Time to Act is NOW! Senate Hears DPS Pay in Committee; Finalizes Budget

The DPS Pay Bill, HB2691 is scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations on Tuesday afternoon (3/18/14).   The vote in committee could be close, so if any of the committee members are from your legislative district, please contact them to ask for their support.  Find your senators from this direct link here: http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

The Senate Appropriations Committee members are:

 Sen. Shooter (Chairman):  dshooter@azleg.gov

 Sen. Murphy (Vice-chairman): rmurphy@azleg.gov

Sen. Cajero-Bedord: ocajerobedord@azleg.gov

Sen. Crandell: ccrandall@azleg.gov

Sen. Griffin: ggriffin@azleg.gov

Sen. Pancrazi: lpancrazi@azleg.gov

Sen. Tovar: atovar@azleg.gov

Sen. Ward: kward@azleg.gov

At the same time this week, the Senate is expected to finalize their budget proposal.  Since the pay bill is ultimately a budget issue, communication with your State Senator and the Governor’s Office must continue; we cannot let up the pressure.  By their vote last week, members of the House of Representatives understand that our salaries are crucial to public safety.

We now need to focus our efforts on the Senate and Governor.

We encourage you to do TWO following action items:

  1. Write a letter to your state senator and governor’s office.  Sample letters can be found on our website you may use to send in.  Include your family and friends and ask them to help – the more letters they receive the better.

Find your senators from this direct link here: http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

Contact the Govenor’s office here:http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp       

       2. Log on to www.azvoices.gov and “like” H.B. 2691.

Please remember to send letters from your personal email address and during your off time.  DO NOT USE DEPARTMENT TIME OR RESOURCES.  Also, please try and be as respectful as possible; scolding and chiding usually will not be received well by an elected official.

This is not the agency’s fight – but ours. It is up to ALL DPS EMPLOYEES to respond to these calls-to-action.  Members: we cannot let up the pressure, so please send in a letter TODAY!

OpEd Piece with Speaker Andy Tobin & Jimmy Chavez

For eight years, both of us have seen the Department of Public Safety stand in the back of the line, thankful for anything the legislature can provide them financially.  However, now is the time to focus on government’s core responsibility – public safety.  We are pleased to work on a bill which will help make D.P.S. competitive once again. 

The legislature has, and continues to task this highly-respected agency with a vast array of responsibilities.  With increased mandates and little funding from the recession, DPS is in a difficult position to hire more employees and maintain the best workforce with specific skill sets.  Essentially, Arizona’s state police are stretched too thin to provide adequate safety to the public.

From the officers fighting drug trafficking at the border and patrolling every stretch of federal and state highway to the scientist analyzing DNA for a violent crime, DPS can lose these instrumental employees to competitive agencies.  They are slowly hiring new officers to replace those lost through attrition during the recession. However, DPS needs a plan for the future with increased responsibilities and more vacancies expected.  Arizona citizens do not deserve status quo or below average police services when their safety is on the line.

The time has come that the legislature works to make public safety a priority again. DPS and Arizonans have waited long enough. 

After eight years, we are happy to see this conversation occurring at the legislature.  We urge the public to support House Bill 2691. The bill will allow DPS employees to simply be paid a more competitive salary.

-Speaker Andy Tobin & Jimmy Chavez, President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association

Prescott eNews – Feb. 27, 2014

Ahwatukee News – March 17, 2014

Update (2.14.14) – Call to Action – DPS PAY!
Late Tuesday, Speaker Tobin dropped HB2691 and HB2692.  HB2692 appropriates general fund monies to the department as a replacement for HURF monies that will go back to respective HURF recipients.  The total is just under $120M in each of the next two fiscal years.  This was expected as the legislature is looking to restore HURF money back to where it was originally supposed to go.  What they are being careful to do with this shift is not shortchange the agency.

HB2691 simply states the following:
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Appropriations; department of public safety; highway patrol officers; salary increase
The sum of $2,914,700 is appropriated from the state general fund in
fiscal years 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 to the department of public safety for a three per cent salary increase for highway patrol officers employed by the department.

This obviously is not what we have been asking for and falls way short of where we should be.  Additionally, this is only appropriating money for sworn salaries.
After speaking with Kelsey, we both agree that this is disappointing, but at the same time, this is a start.  This is where we need to have pressure from our members and families.  The HURF issue is a big deal because the legislators hear about it from their constituents on a constant basis.  The same can be said for K-12 education and CPS issues – citizens constantly contact their legislators about them.  As for our issue, they are hearing from me and Kelsey.  The two of us meeting with legislators is not going to get this done and it certainly will not help get any amendment to HB2691 seeking an increase for ALL employees at DPS.

I wanted to update you all to let you know where we are at.  I have to stress that this is not over.  In fact, I recently received a phone call from Representative Tobin and he told me that this has to be a starting point.  He also stated that he is not getting any support from the Governor’s office on this issue.  I told him that while I understand this is start, this is disappointing and that we will continue to put pressure on legislative members.  Again, this cannot rest solely on the shoulders of me and Kelsey.  I’ve already had a conversation with the spouse of one of our officer’s and she has already sent emails to her Senator and Representatives.  She has also recruited her family members and friends to do the same, including providing them with necessary background information to help make the point in their message (all available on our website – latest pay study, our pay plan, manpower shortages, etc.).

The time to act is now, members! In order to get the attention of your legislators and the Governor and the pay adjustment you want, please follow our call-to-actions from our website at www.AHPA.com.  We can be successful with your help!  You can also log on to the website www.azvoices.gov and express support DPS bills.  That site was set up to allow public comment and input on legislation and it is viewed by legislative members. Let your family and friends know about the site.

UPDATE – 02.17.14

House Bill 2691 was introduced appropriating money to DPS for sworn salary adjustments.  Since then, Kelsey and I have been working with Speaker Tobin on a compromise, stressing the need to have a plan for ALL DPS employees. That compromise is a 3 year plan described below.  While this is still not what we have been asking for, it is better than the alternatives at this point. 

HB 2691 Amendment provisions:
1). FY 2014-2015 – $8.4M (which equates to 5%) in lump sum to DPS to address competitive pay for both sworn and civilian positions within the department.
2). FY 2015-2016 – $5.0 M – 3% across the board pay increase for all DPS employees.
3). FY 2016-2017 – $5.0M (equates to 3%) in lump sum to address competitive pay for both sworn and civilian. 
HB 2691 will be heard and amended in House Public Safety Committee this Wednesday, February 19th at 9:00.  Representative Justin Pierce will offer the amendment we have discussed and Speaker Tobin will testify.  It is very important that committee members hear from us.  I am asking all of you to e-mail ALL committee members by the end of the day Tuesday.  You do not need to include details, but let them know how this impacts the department’s mission, it’s employees and their families – feel free to personalize the message as much as possible.  I have listed the committee members and their e-mails below.  If you have any questions or need assistance, Kelsey and I are available. The important point is that the committee members need to hear from all of us.  Each committee member should receive 34 emails as a result of our efforts.  Please make sure your messages are sent from personal email accounts – DO NOT USE DPS EMAIL. 

 

House Public Safety, Military & Affairs Regulatory Committee
Rep Justin Pierce, Chair (Republican, Mesa) – jpierce@azleg.gov
Rep Darin Mitchell, Vice Chair (Republican, Litchfield Park) –dmitchell@azleg.gov
Rep Sonni Borrelli (Republican, Lake Havasu City) – sborrelli@azleg.gov
Rep Eddie Farnsworth (Republican, Gilbert) – efarnsworth@azleg.gov
Rep David Livingston (Republican, Peoria) – dlivingston@azleg.gov
Rep Mark Cardenas (Democrat, Phoenix) – mcardenas@azleg.gov
Rep Ruben Gallego ( Democrat, Phoenix) – rgallego@azleg.gov
Rep Jamescita Peshlakai (Democrat, Cameron) – jpeshlakai@azleg.gov

Additionally, I would encourage each of you go to the website www.azvoices.gov and express support for the amendment to this bill.  That site was set up to allow public comment and input on legislation and it is viewed by legislative members. Let your family and friends know about the site. 

I cannot stress the Importance of complete participation by you, the Board of Directors on this. We need to make our voices heard on this important issue.  

Thank you,  Jimmy Chavez – President

Update: 02.20.14 – Press Release:

DPS Bill Could Give Employees $18.4 Million Dollar Salary Adjustment Over 3 Years

Arizona – House Bill 2691 proposes a pay adjustment for all Department of Public Safety (DPS) employees.  The Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) worked with House Speaker Andy Tobin and Representative Justin Pierce to address the need to make DPS competitive with other police agencies.  AHPA is grateful for the unanimous support of the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee and look forward with working with the remaining members of the House and Senate in addressing this critical issue.

The bill would give DPS $18.4 million dollars at the end of three years for employee compensation.  “Officer retention and adequate staffing is important when it comes to my husband’s safety as he works the highways,” states Rachael Gephart, the wife of a DPS police officer.  “I’m thankful the committee moved this bill forward to address the need for competitive compensation.”

“Once other agencies begin to start hiring again, we fear that DPS will lose more quality employees,” says Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, president of the AHPA.  “It is important to keep DPS competitive for everyone’s safety and performance standards the public requires from us.”

“It is important to me to see our state’s public safety agency be competitive with other police agencies,” says House Speaker Andy Tobin.  “AHPA brought this matter to my attention and I agree we need to address this issue immediately.”

“I was happy to work with Speaker Tobin and AHPA to help address the issue of making DPS competitive with police services,” says Representative Justin Pierce.  “Employee compensation at DPS should be competitive to allow the agency to recruit and retain the most qualified candidates.”

LINK TO BILL – H.B. 2691 – HIGHWAY PATROL SALARY

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW OR CLICK HERE:

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Update – 02.21.14 – Message from AHPA Board

On Wednesday, February 19, House Bill 2691 unanimously passed the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee. The Arizona Highway Patrol Association
(AHPA) w…orked with House Speaker Andy Tobin and Representative Justin Pierce to address the need to make DPS competitive with other police agencies. The AHPA
President, Lobbyist and the spouse of a DPS officer all testified before the committee stressing the importance of the bill.The bill, if passed by both House and Senate and signed by Governor Brewer, would appropriate $18.4 million over three years to DPS for employee compensation.

You can watch video of the committee hearing at http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=13&clip_id=13490.

“It is important to me to see our state’s public safety agency be competitive with other police agencies,” says House Speaker Andy Tobin. “AHPA brought this matter to my attention and I agree we need to address this issue immediately.”

“I was happy to work with Speaker Tobin and AHPA to help address the issue of making DPS competitive with police services,” says Representative Justin Pierce. “Employee compensation at DPS should be competitive to allow the agency to recruit and retain the most qualified candidates.”

On Thursday, February 20, the AHPA Lobbyist and President met with Representative John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. HB2691 had been assigned to Appropriations in addition to Public Safety due to the fiscal impact. The purpose of meeting with Rep. Kavanagh was to ask him to place HB2691 on the agenda for next week. As the details of the bill were explained, Rep. Kavanagh agreed to release the bill from his committee. This now allows the bill to move to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to contact their local Representative asking them to vote for the bill. Our voices must be heard. To find your Representatives, simply go to http://azleg.gov/ and select the “How Do I Find My Legislators” link along the left side of the page. The next page will provide you with options to help you find your legislator and information on how to contact them.

We must continue to act! In order to get the attention of your legislators and the Governor and the pay adjustment needed, please follow our call-to-actions from our website at www.AHPA.com. We can be successful with your help!

 

UPDATE 02/28/14 – FROM AHPA BOARD

House Bill 2691, the bill appropriating a total of $18.4 million to DPS for employee compensation, will be heard by the House Committee of the Whole on Monday, March 3rd.

Now is the time that our elected officials in the House of Representatives and ask them to vote in favor of the bill.

Each legislative district has 2 Representatives.  To find yours, simply go to http://www.azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

Once you identify your Representative, send them an email asking for their support of the bill.  All 60 members of the House should be receiving emails from our members and family before Monday.

You are also strongly encouraged to go to www.azvoices.gov  to voice your own support for HB2691.

We must continue the pressure!

UPDATE 03/05/14

House Bill 2691 passed 53-5.

Our efforts are not over! The bill still has to go through Senate committees and then on to the floor for a vote.  If you, family or friends have not contacted the legislature, there are two SIMPLE things you can do to help that are listed above!

Members, understand we are successful with your help.  AHPA and DPS can be victorious with collective voices!  For more information, sample letters, videos and links, scroll down and find information.  Please focus your efforts on the senators in your district and the Governor’s office.

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**FORWARD THIS MESSAGE ON so that we can keep your family members informed, attend meetings and become active with our efforts!**

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