SFDSA Files Lawsuit Against SF Sheriff

At some time prior to July 8, 2022, the City and County of San Francisco Sheriff’s Office decided to create a pilot program in County Jail #3 (“CJ3”) in housing unit 5. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office had two employees evaluate the functionality of the program and identify any concerns they saw with the changes proposed by the Sheriff’s Office. These deputies found numerous safety concerns that made it difficult to perform the regular safety checks of the inmates in some cases and completely impossible in other cases.

Despite the safety concerns, on July 8, 2022, the changes were implemented.

CJ3 has multiple housing units that are the shape of a circle with inmate cells on the perimeter of the circle. This circle is divided into to sides, the A and B sides. Inmates from A cannot cross over to B and vice versa. On one side of the dividing line is a “Crow’s Nest” or a tower with windows that can look out over portions of both the A and B sides of the housing unit. This Crow’s Nest has previously not been used.

Prior to July 8, 2022, CJ 3 has always had 2 deputies working a general population housing unit. One each on the A and B sides. These deputies worked on the floor with the inmates.

Safety Checks are required to be done every hour. There are state laws, known as Title 15 rules, as well as a San Francisco Sheriff’s Office policy, CODM 4.04, which outline the minimum requirements for these safety checks. The purpose of the checks is to maintain safety and security in the jail for staff, visitors and the inmates. Some of the requirements of these checks include noting the skin color of the inmate, the rise and fall of the chest, movement that indicates life, looking for any signs of illness or distress, inspection of cell doors and windows and a search for any apparent contraband or hazards.

These safety checks were completed by the deputies working on the floor but walking up to each inmate cell door and observing the inmate, the cell and surrounding area. Sometimes, at night, a flashlight would be required to properly check the welfare of the inmates.

On July 8, 2022, this changed. No longer would there be any floor deputies. Now, only one deputy, instead of two, would monitor all the inmates by him/herself, from the Crow’s Nest. In the event of an emergency, the deputy in the Crow’s Nest was not to leave and assist an inmate having a medical emergency, being attacked, or attempting to harm himself, instead, the deputy is now required to call for help. Deputies who are roaming around the rest of the jail would then have to respond and handle the situation, wasting valuable time.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office was unable to remedy all the safety concerns raised by the two employees who evaluated the new Crow’s Nest plan. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office administration directed Crow’s Nest deputies to utilize binoculars to assist them in seeing the inmates better. While this may help with viewing some of the inmates when the lights are on, they do little to help at night and cannot solve the problem of the inability to see some of the cells at all, with or without binoculars.

The DSA sent a letter to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office on July 18, 2022 and it was resent to the Director of Employee Relations, on July 22, 2022. This letter demanded that the new Crow’s Nest practice stop until the parties can meet and confer over the impacts and effects of it. Numerous impacts and effects were listed in this notice.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office responded on July 26, 2022, refusing to maintain the status quo until the parties were able to meet and confer.

Within days of its implementation, a fight broke out in one of the cells in the evening and it was not discovered until the next morning. This is evidence of the lack of safety the DSA was concerned with when it demanded the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office cease and desist its new Crow’s Nest practice.

March 28, 2022 RFI.

On March 28, 2022, the DSA requested information necessary and relevant to ascertain the dates, times, and shifts that the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office fell below the minimum staffing required by the MOU. (Exhibit X) Arbitrator Alexander Cohen previously resolved a grievance filed by DSA when the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office previously violated the Minimum Staffing section of the MOU. Arbitrator Cohen issued his ruling in favor of the DSA in 2017 in favor of the DSA. In his decision, he awarded damages to be paid to those members who worked on shifts that were below the minimum staffing required by the MOU. Because the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office continued to fall below the minimum staffing, the DSA filed a new grievance on March 4, 2022. The RFI filed on March 28, 2022 was to gather necessary and relevant information to calculate the damages incurred by the DSA members as the result of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office’s current grievance for again violating the MOU. (Lomba Decl. ¶ 9)

The March 28, 2022 RFI was acknowledged received by the City Attorney’s office and forwarded to the Employee Relations Division (ERD) to respond. No response from ERD was ever received. (Howell Decl. ¶ 6 and 9; Exhibit 3) On May 2, 2022, the DSA followed up with ERD and the City Attorney’s office and demanded production of the RFI by May 9, 2022, which never came. (Howell Decl. ¶ 10 and 11; Exhibit 5)

On May 13, 2022, the DSA filed a First Amended Unfair Labor Practice Charge in PERB Case No. SF-CE-1794-M to have this matter added to that current litigation. On June 7, 2022, after filing the amendment to the PERB Charge, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office produced documents responsive to the March 28, 2022 RFI. Judge Cloughesy declined to amend the Charge and Complaint in that matter to include this RFI issue but gave leave to refile this matter with PERB.

February 16, 2022 RFI.

On February 16, 2022, the DSA requested information necessary and relevant to ascertain the names, dates, and hours of Overtime Pay DSA members were denied. Information was also requested to ascertain the history, deliberation, changes, analysis and communications regarding Administrative Code section 18.13 involving the maximum permissible overtime. This information is necessary for the DSA to enforce the contract at a grievance proceeding and is unable to establish the damages or the individual DSA members affected, without the response to the RFI.

The February 16, 2022 RFI was acknowledge received by the City Attorney’s Office on February 22, 2022, via email. (EXHIBIT XX – email from KNS to Rapoport and back) Having received no responsive documents, the DSA’s counsel sent an email on August 2, 2022 to demand production. (Exhibit XX – Email KNS to)

 


 Contact:

Ken Lomba
SFDSA President
415-696-2428
San Francisco, CA

SF JAIL HEADED FOR DISASTER

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs have the honor of having served under the only progressive sheriff in California, Michael Hennessy. Our goal was to promote restorative justice, assist offenders into adopting law abiding lives, reduce recidivism, and improve community life.

The current Sheriff’s Department is headed for disaster. Currently, staffing of deputy sheriff’s is at 70% of what is required, and the current Sheriff has slashed programs, increased lockups (prisoners face 23 hours a day in confinement); blown holes in his budget through mandatory overtime, while increasing administration staff, non-essential programs and taken resources away from our core mission, which is running the jails. Sheriff Miyamoto claims there are 176 vacant positions and as a result inmates receive no family visits, inmates are locked in cells for longer, and all regular programs have been cut leaving only a few video/correspondence programs. Even religious services have been cut. No more Catholic services, no more Protestant services, no more Jehovah services, no Muslim services. And addiction services such as AA have been cut.

As a result, the jail’s current policies of increased lock downs and reduced programs have increased the mental health issues of inmates, imperil deputy sheriffs’ safety due to inmates taking out their increased anxieties and tensions on deputies, and cause more staffing issues by encouraging retirements and deputies to leave their jobs.

In the meantime, the Sheriff faces two class action lawsuits because the jails, ignoring Title 24, provides no outdoor access to inmates, so inmates are housed under fluorescent lights, 24/7, 365, and the Sheriff faces accusations of violating inmates’ constitutional right to sleep by forcing breakfast to wake up between 4 am and 4:30 am for breakfast. These lawsuits have the possibility of large judgements against the Sheriff’s Department.

The new DA Brooke Jenkins’ promise to increase prosecution i.e., of fentanyl pushers, as stated in her press interviews, means an increase in incarceration and we don’t have the deputy staff to properly run the jail.

To meet the needs of San Francisco, the Mayor and the Sheriff must adequately staff deputy sheriff’s, at minimum increase the staffing to the 2019 level, with additional hiring of 82 more deputy sheriffs. Recruiting and retention should be a priority and it hasn’t been. A revolving door at the jail serves the needs of no one. Properly staff our jails. Return all programs, particularly addiction treatment and anger management programs.

PROOF:
Exhibit A – staffing report for June 2022 (606 deputies, 23 senior deputies = 629, and 71 sergeants) versus July 2019 (712 sheriff’s deputies and 49 senior deputies = 759, and 57 sergeants). This shows more expensive officers increase at the expense of the line deputies who do the work.
Exhibit B – Consultant staffing analysis: Deputy vacancies are even higher than what Sheriff Miyamoto claims

SF Sheriff’s Office Sanctioned $2500.00 for Not Providing Documents

During a court proceeding between the Deputy Sheriffs Association against the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association attorney requested information from the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s attorney refused to provide the requested documents.

After filing a motion to compel the Sheriff’s Office to produce the documents, a Superior Court Judge granted the DSAs motion ordering the Sheriff’s Office to produce the documents by February 5, 2021. The Judge sanctioned the Sheriff’s Office $2,500 for not initially providing the requested documents. Ken Lomba the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President said, “The delays in providing the documents by the Sheriff’s Office is concerning.”

Attorneys Declaration and Evidence:

Judges Letter:

Judges Order and $2500.00 Sanction:

SFDSA Delivers Christmas Meals to First Responders!

On December 25th Christmas Day the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association delivered meals to First Responders that were working Christmas day away from their families during the Covid-19 pandemic to protect yours.

The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association along with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Managers and Supervisors Association and SEIU paid for Christmas meals for the Sheriff’s Office First Responders, the Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Senior Deputies, Deputy Sheriffs, Sheriffs Cadets, Institutional Police, ID Technicians, Records Clerks and Nurses.

Christmas Day Meals

SFDSA President Ken Lomba said, “We stepped up to help the Sheriff’s Office, we wanted to give something to the first responders that are working on this special holiday because they are appreciated.”

“This is a small gift that we hope gives them some comfort on the Christmas Holiday. We hope the Sheriff’s Office will participate in a bigger role next year to make this even better for the hard working men and women who show up everyday even in the toughest and scariest times like this Covid-19 pandemic to protect and serve San Francisco.”

Christmas Meals:
Marinated Tri Tip, herbed mash potato, green beans almondine, chocolate mousse raspberry tart, dinner roll and a drink.

Poached Salmon with lemon dill sauce, lemon rice with peas, green beans almondine, lemon meringue tart, dinner roll and a drink.

The meals were prepared by A Black Tie Affair Catering who worked diligently with us to make this a special day for these First Responders at their workplace.

Please consider donating to our non-profit Protecting San Francisco so we can continue to fund events for the welfare of our first responders.


San Francisco DSA Obtains Important PERB Complaint Against the SF Sheriff’s Office

The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association recently prevailed in a heated interest arbitration with the City and County of San Francisco Sheriff’s Office over the terms of a successor contract.  The continued  ability of the DSA membership to earn and burn compensatory time off  (CTO) was the highest priority issue for both parties.  CCSF wanted to restrict this right in order to reduce overtime costs associated with the department’s chronic under staffing.  Despite that the DSA retained the right to earn and burn compensatory time off in the 2019 contract negotiations interest arbitration, the department attempted to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to unilaterally eliminate member’s compensatory time off rights.   

The Earn and Burn Compensatory Time Off was one of the few personal time off leaves that allowed our members to recover from a highly stressful job in a negative environment where morale is at an all time low.  Also this time off, prevented the department from excessively conducting salary savings.  The Earn and Burn CTO ate into the savings of running overtime excessively and put the department in a position to hire more staff.  This was the only thing left to discourage them from exploiting salary savings, which is relying heavily on overtime instead of hiring needed deputy sheriffs.   

On March 23, 2020, the Sheriff’s Office announced that it was suspending CTO earn and burn based on the COVID-19 public health emergency. The “emergency” exceptions to meet and confer requirements are limited. The Sheriff did not have any financial emergency or staffing shortage that warranted the change. Rather, it was evident CCSF saw another opportunity, citing COVID-19, to accomplish its goal of taking away CTO earn and burn . Violating the DSA’s contract gives the Sheriff’s Office the opportunity to exploit and abuse the salary savings scheme conducting more overtime and hiring less deputy sheriffs.

On April 28, 2020, SFDSA filed another charge based on CCSF’s unilateral decision to suspend the Compensatory Time Off (CTO) agreement. The CTO agreement allows DSA members to “earn” CTO up to 160 hours and then “burn” the hours before they can accrue again. CCSF has made numerous attempts to take away CTO earn and burn.

 

On December 2, 2020, PERB issued a complaint alleging CCSF committed an unfair labor practice by failing to provide notice and an opportunity to meet and confer over its unilaterally implemented changes to CTO earn and burn.

The declared COVID-19 “public health emergency” does not give employers free reign to unilaterally implement changes to wages, hours, or working conditions within the scope of representation.

Read our filled court case here: https://sanfranciscodsa.com/san-francisco-sheriff-miyamoto-violates-deputy-sheriffs-union-contract-2/

San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Perez Prevents Suicide due to an Eviction

When San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Diego Perez, of the Sheriff’s Civil Unit Eviction Assistance, noticed that an elderly evictee he was counseling had stopped making eye contact with him.  This concerned Deputy Perez and the evictee’s body language raised a red flag to him.  The man had fought the eviction through the Rent Board and the courts.  He had won two stays of execution. But he had just learned that his third request for a stay was denied and he would have to leave the apartment that had been his home for more than 20 years.  Now that the eviction was inevitable, he wanted to know what would happen to his pets and his property if he could not move them out in time. Continue reading “San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Perez Prevents Suicide due to an Eviction”

SF Rotary Club honors San Francisco Sr. Deputy Sheriff for Saving a Woman’s Life

Each year, the SF Rotary Club honors an outstanding representative from each of San Francisco’s public safety departments — Sheriff, Fire, Police, and Coast Guard — with their Emergency Services Award. Yesterday afternoon, the Rotary Club honored our very own Sr. Deputy M. Clauzel for bravery in the face of grave danger.

In the fall of 2015, while off duty, Sr. Deputy Clauzel martialed the aid of passersby to help pull the victim of a terrible car crash away from burning wreckage to safety. He then assisted in directing traffic around the scene of the accident. Sheriff Vicki Hennessy recently wrote of his actions: “In addition to saving the life of Brianna Vargas, Sr. Deputy Clauzel’s quick thinking and leadership ability contained the accident and prevented other motorists from crashing into it.”  Read the full story about San Francisco Deputy Sheriff saving a Woman’s Life here. Continue reading “SF Rotary Club honors San Francisco Sr. Deputy Sheriff for Saving a Woman’s Life”

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Station Transfer Unit

On July 21st, 2014 San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs conducted a 6 month station transport trail picking up prisoners from the police stations and transporting them to the San Francisco Sheriffs Department for criminal booking.  This is how it worked, when one of the officers at the Tenderloin Police Station makes an arrest, one of San Francisco’s most active police stations is down an officer. That’s because it can take up to two hours for the officer to drive a prisoner to the Hall of Justice and process them. Continue reading “San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Station Transfer Unit”

San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Locate Missing SFGH Patient

MajanoOn Friday, January 31, 2014, San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputies Majano and Goodman were on-duty assigned to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Patrol Division working at the San Francisco General Hospital Campus.

At approximately 10:00 a.m. they were conducting a secondary search for a medically at risk missing San Francisco General Hospital patient.. The patient had just been seen leaving a hospital ward. The patient was last seen walking northbound on Potrero Avenue. An immediate search was initiated of Potrero Avenue and the surrounding area. Continue reading “San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs Locate Missing SFGH Patient”