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Big Win for Largest U.S. Probation Department

“We have found an open ear to our goal of improving public and personal safety.” – Ralph Miller, president of Local 685 and an International vice president.
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By Kevin Brown ·
Big Win for Largest U.S. Probation Department
The AFSCME Local 685 Bargaining Committee celebrates the contract victory. (Photo credit: Courtesy of Local 685)

Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union (AFSCME Local 685) overwhelmingly voted in favor of a bargaining agreement Aug. 30 that will improve public and personal safety. For the nation’s largest probation department, it was a remarkable victory that strengthens the lives of working families in Los Angeles County.

“The deep and meaningful dialogue that took place over four months between Local 685 members and the [county] CEO and department representatives represents a significant improvement over the prior negotiating stalemates,” said Ralph Miller, president of Local 685 and also an International vice president. “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished, but we recognize that this is a process and we do have further to go.”

The four-year agreement, which covers 3,800 employees in the Los Angeles County Probation Department and the Department of Children and Family Services, includes fair wage increases over the next three years, a special advanced educational degree bonus, increased number of sick days, increased uniform allowance and more – the result of four months of bargaining between Local 685 and county officials.

“I truly believe that the progress we have made is in no small part due to our members’ efforts to elect two new members (Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Supervisor Hilda Solis) to the Board of Supervisors,” added Miller. “We have found an open ear to our goal of improving public and personal safety.”

Local leaders are confident the new agreement will significantly enhance public safety and bring 21st century methodologies into the department. The relentless pursuit to equip dedicated and professional employees to perform law enforcement duties in an outstanding manner, remain a top priority.

In a tribute to Local 685’s rich history, the tentative agreement was reached on July 16, Local 685’s 70th anniversary. The contract now goes to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

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