On Monday, August 8, I met with Director Halliday. We revisited some of the issues that were raised during our last meeting. Additionally, I sought and received some positive response on issues that would help DPS support staff.
The first of those deals with those who work four 10-hour shifts during their normal work week. I have received emails from several members over the past few weeks indicating that during a holiday week, they have to adjust their work schedule to a “five 8’s” and take the holiday leave. I asked the Director if those employees could keep their normal work schedule during a holiday week, working four 10’s, and bank the holiday hours into their leave balance account. He agreed to this and thought this was a good way to provide an incentive to those employees.
The second issue was related to issues that will arise this next legislative session. We are still assuming that personnel reform will be a hot topic come January. In my previous discussions with Governor’s staff and legislative members on this issue, I have indicated that the position of the AHPA is to keep DPS employees under the Law Enforcement Merit System Council and not to combine us with other state employees, particularly making our employees “at will.” If personnel reform is what the Governor and legislature want, then let us be involved with some positive and beneficial modifications to LEMSC Rules and structure. As a result of this, I have been given approval from the Director to allow AHPA, through Public Safety Authority Medias (our public relations firm), to work with employees to highlight the importance of the support staff within DPS. We have to show the legislature that there are important parts to a law enforcement agency, like DPS, that do not get the limelight but are still essential to the agency. Stacey Dillon will be working on this project and we hope to have everything completed by early to mid-December, if not sooner.
With Bob Gilbert and Mike Sloneker representing AHPA on the DPS Committee, you will probably be seeing updates and information from them over the next few weeks.