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We wish to thank Kelly and extend our appreciation for his many years of dedicated service. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors. The Board has met and approved Chad Bennion as our new Executive Director.
Our new Executive Director, Chad Bennion, has worked with and represented law enforcement officers in administrative proceedings in jurisdictions throughout the State of Utah and brings to the position over two decades of government and political experience in municipal, county, state and federal government affairs. He is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives, who served on the Judiciary and Public Utilities Committees, Vice – Chair of the House Rules Committee, House Chair of the Commerce and Revenues Appropriations Sub-Committee, and National Vice – Chair of the Energy and Electrical Utilities Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). During his service in the legislature, he was twice named “Legislator of the Year” for his work on law enforcement issues by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and received other honors and awards. Since his service in the Legislature, he has served as the Chair of a county political party and served in numerous other county and state political positions. He received a track & field/cross country scholarship to the University of Oregon and graduated with a degree in Political Science and American Studies. He is a recipient of the Koyl Cup, an annual award to the junior man, at the University of Oregon, who demonstrates the most impressive advances in academics, athletics, and community service. When not in the office, he enjoys the outdoors, especially trail running in the canyons and summiting mountain peaks.
Forty-seven years ago, I was elected by men and women twice my age to represent them before T.H. Bell, who was Superintendent of the Granite School District and later appointed the U.S. Secretary of Education in the Reagan Administration. I was 19 years of age at the time. I have been representing and strengthening public employee organizations and unions ever since. It has been my life’s work and a great honor to associate with hardworking, industrious, capable and competent people.
Several months ago, when the disaffected members of Lodge 14 declared that they were going to form a new Lodge, I stated before approximately 100 members of FOP in Region III that, if the disaffected members were successful in doing so, I would no longer be interested in being an advocate for either lodge because I have made too many friends on both sides of the two divisions. At this point in my career, I have no interest in attempting to manage the fracas which always occurs in these types of situations.
I have decided, effective September 30, 2017, to leave FOP. Experience has taught me over my professional career that once a group divides the result is the creation of silos of self-interests. It was the great Abraham Lincoln who said, “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand.” While I understand those, who have formed the new group believe this is the right course of action, it has been my experience competing organizations are ultimately unsuccessful in the long-term. The formation of a competing employee organization weakens the advocacy of employees while strengthening management.
Much has been accomplished over the last 17 years with the help and assistance of the great men and exceptional women who work for the Utah Department of Corrections. Thank you for the honor of being your Executive Director. In parting, may I extend my gratitude to the following: Steve Miller for his exceptional leadership, Scott McCullough for his unparalleled integrity, Vaughn Howard for his resolve to always do the right thing for the right reason, and to Ken Strong for his brilliance and leadership. Collectively we have accomplished much. May I also thank the current leadership team of FOP: Ken Strong, President; Mike Renckert, Vice President AP&P; Jared Diehl, Vice President Corrections; Holly Neville, Sec/Treasurer, and David Booth, Sgt. at Arms & Trustee.
As I depart, I have worked with the Lodge’s cadre of exceptional leaders named above to develop a plan to ensure the continued success and prosperity of the Lodge. I leave the Lodge in their great and capable hands.
Former Executive Director
FOP Wins Case before THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS
Today we received exciting news from the Utah State Lodge. This news is important not only to members of Lodge 14 but also to the entire FOP family in the State of Utah. Today, the Utah Court of Appeals REVERSED the decision of the Career Review Service Office to uphold the termination of a Lodge 14 member, Agent Antionette Aiono.
The reason this is so impactful is not only because it corrects a GREAT injustice done to a wonderful person and an agent, Antionette Aiono; but in addition, it gives Lodge 14 ammunition going forward to challenge the fairness of the CRSO hearings process before the Utah State Legislature.
FOP Lodge 14 wishes to congratulate Bret Rawson, Nate Nelson and Jeremy Jones of the Utah FOP Legal Plan on this BIG WIN at the Court of Appeals.
To read the decision in its entirety, please download the PDF file below.
On Friday, a group of disaffected FOP Lodge 14 members petitioned the members of the Utah State Lodge to create a separate Lodge in AP&P to represent agents who decide they no longer wish to have Lodge 14 address their association needs. Lodge 14 fully intends to continue the long-standing tradition of providing the highest quality representation at the most affordable costs to agents and correctional officers of the Utah Department of Corrections. While Lodge 14 determines the most appropriate way forward to keep our Lodge strong and vibrant there are just a few things we bring to the attention of our members:
As we deliberate on our options to continue to provide the best quality of representation going forward, please note we will listen and work with our membership to continue to be a strong voice for agents and correctional officers before UDC and on Utah’s Capitol Hill.
FOP Lodge 14 opposes the creation of a second UDC Lodge because it is divisive and does not serve the interest of its membership, agents and correctional officers. As has been demonstrated in the last few weeks by the actions of a few, without leadership, people divide along lines of self-interests. Those pushing to create an agent lodge feel like FOP Lodge 14 failed them. These valued members refuse to place the blame where it most assuredly belongs, squarely upon the consultant’s shoulders. FOP did not select the consultant nor did FOP have input on the structure of the pay plan, contrary to the diatribes of disaffected members and their campaign of misinformation. No evidence exists to demonstrate that FOP was anything but an advocate for all its members in every meeting before policymakers and holders. FOP advocated and spoke to bureaucrats, regulators and legislators alike arguing the range structure used for decades by the state of Utah was flawed and the astronomical employee turn-over would not subside until a pay system was in place which provided a career path for officers and agents.
Our Executive Director has spent 47 years (1970 to the present time) representing employees in the state of Utah in one form or another, he can personally attest to what happens when two lodges (employee organizations) are created in one agency - the workings of the two lodges quickly denigrate to a test of will. In every case, the outcome is the largest group always prevails to the detriment of not only the small group but to the entire organization. This contest is always counterproductive and destructive to both lodges. The results have always been that the employee associations get weaker and the administration gets stronger.
FOP has grown to the largest and arguably the strongest lodge in the state of Utah. Through the combined efforts of both agents and correctional officers, FOP Lodge 14 is a forced to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. This statement has been proven over the last three years with the evidence being record increases in wages and compensation for UDC sworn over all other public employees in the state of Utah. In addition, working together with the administration, FOP pulled off something that has never been accomplished in the history of the state - a wage plan which requires funding each year and creates a career path for officers and agents with guaranteed increments. Is the new pay plan, as proposed by the consultant, perfect? The system is far from being perfect! However, it is a system. A system, which no public employee in the state of Utah has had in the past to improve upon. A system can be improved upon and modified, a pay range with no structure and no guarantees cannot.
For the record, FOP did not or has the organization ever advocated for more funding for correctional officers over agents. In fact, the pay plan developed by FOP over two years ago maintained the status quo between agents and correctional officers. A fact that can be easily verified regardless of the babel that serves those who would divide the organization.
A lot of time, energy, and effort is being expended attempting to create a second lodge within UDC. In our estimation, that time could be better spent working with FOP Lodge 14 to fix the agent compensation disparity rather than being contentious and dividing one another into silos – agents or correctional officers. Our fight is not with one another as some would have our members believe, our fight is with the work of the consultant who used a flawed bifurcated approach to develop a pay plan.
FOP has a stellar track record of fixing these types of inequities when we stand united together. That is why Lodge 14 opposes the formation of a second FOP Lodge. There is just too much as stake to agree to allow groups to coalesce into their own factions and then end up opposing one another’s agenda based on self-interest.
Agent Compensation Update
FOP has been actively involved in working towards getting a pay structure that more accurately reflects the work done by AP&P (agents meaning both agent and supervisors in this document). Once we secured the funding at the Utah State Legislature for the new pay structure, FOP immediately focused on agent compensation (agent meaning both agent and supervisors) and salary.
FOP formed an Agent Compensation Committee with Agent John Carpenter at its helm and met with the Cook Administration to present its findings. Based on FOP’s research it was discovered that the consultant used by the state compared correction officers with the four highest counties in the state and AP&P agents with agents in other selected states. By using two different methods to analyze equitable compensation, in FOP’s estimation, the consultant created an unfair compensation system for agents.
FOP presented our findings before the Cook administration. FOP requested a 14% increase in the compensation of agents to bring them more in line with the method used by the consultant to justify wages for correctional officers. While sympathetic, the Cook administration rejected FOP’s proposal because it went against the consultant’s recommendations and there was no money to support the 14% increase this fiscal year.
The Cook administration has now put together an Agent Compensation Committee. The committee is working on establishing different levels of agents with varying responsibilities. The committee is not tasked with developing a salary schedule for these new positions of agents. Rather that task will be left to HR. The work of the Department’s Agent Compensation Committee will be completed sometime early in August.
FOP is working with its FOP Agent Compensation Committee and will recommend a compensation salary schedule for the consideration of the Cook administration upon the completion of our work.
For updates, come here often.
Lodge 14 Report – 2017 FOP State Convention
Submitted by: Ken Strong, FOP Lodge 14 President
Here are just a few of our accomplishments over the last year:
1.Five members had their proposed discipline rescinded (18%)
2.Nineteen members had their proposed discipline reduced. (68%)
3.Four members cases proceeded to the CRSB and received representation by FOP’s attorneys at that point. (14%)
NOTE: Mr. Atkinson referred 12 cases directly to FOP’s attorneys due to the nature of the alleged violation. FOP Lodge 14 has no data on the outcome of these cases. In addition, FOP Lodge 14 members may directly contact FOP’s attorneys without going through Lodge 14. FOP Lodge 14 has no data regarding how many of our members selected this route or the outcome of their cases.
Go to http://www.utahfop14.com/ and scroll down on the homepage to the video entitled “Compensation Chat” to hear legislators praise the professionalism of the men and women who wrote in support of the new compensation proposal.
The challenges faced this year by FOP Lodge 14 include:
FOP will meet with Director Cook on Thursday, May 11, 2017 to attempt to improve the AP&P compensation this issue as proposed by the outside consultant. This task was made much more difficult when another so-called "employee association" stated at the last Compensation Committee meeting called by the Department that they were ready to implement the proposal without changes. To learn more about this issue, go to the Newsletter tab of this website.
The FOP promised you, during regional meetings, we would work to correct the inequities in the new career salary schedule once the system was adopted by the Utah State Legislature. Largely because of FOP and the tireless efforts of Director Cook, this has NOW been accomplished.
The Legislature will end today at midnight. We want to gather up information regarding agents’ wages in these other states (Oregon, Washington, Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Idaho, and New Mexico) that the consultant used to make his recommendations to ensure he is comparing apples to apples. In addition, we wish to brainstorm what additional information we can bring to the table to force a desk audit. Once we have pulled together data, we will set up meetings with Director Cook, the Governor’s Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and key legislators to make adjustments in the salary system and correct any inequities.
This is a matter FOP is dedicated to resolving in the interest of our members. If you’re interested in serving on this committee, we ask that you forward your name to Kelly Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will email you the log in information for the call.
We are holding these meetings electronically so no matter where you reside in the state, you may participate if you have a desire to do so. Our first meeting will be
March 20, 2017
7 pm MST
Ken Strong, FOP President
Michael Renckert, FOP Vice President, AP&P
Jared Diehl, FOP Vice President Corrections
Holly Neville, FOP Secretary/Treasurer
David Booth, Sgt at Arms
Dear FOP Lodge 14 members,
With the reports of the new pay plan approval, I wanted to thank those staff who made an extra effort to step up and support The Cause. This has been a work in progress that started in September of 2013. We have learned a lot about state rules, our department and the heart of its people along the way. Frustrated with the very slow progress at times, yet we prepared for meeting after meeting with a few positive encounters along the way. People gave us encouragement, help and suggestions that came from sources ranging from fellow Officers all the way to the Governor’s Office. I want to acknowledge them for their help for getting us to this point.
Holly Neville, whose incredible skills of creating presentations, writing and editing, and her interpersonal skills that made friends and allies of the people who supported us.
Dave Booth, who offered his leadership skills by encouraging staff to write letters, as well as his photographic talents to document and show the effort being put forth for our staff.
Jennifer Starks, for her incredible work creating, moderating, monitoring, and sharing information on “The Strong Cause” Facebook group. I feel this group has been the nucleus of our efforts, and the gathering of ideas and information sharing was impressive.
Psychologist Sean Casey, for his expertise in building the graphs and spreadsheets used in our presentations.
Kent Demill, who stepped up and supported us to get this rolling even before most staff knew what we were trying to accomplish.
FOP Vice President Jared Diehl, who brought renewed energy, vigor, knowledge and offered help with everything.
CUCF’s Jason Nielson & Laura Mumford and the CUCF employee’s work group that produced the valuable information related to Correctional Staff by Rank and the Public Assistance they qualify for.
Ryan Garlock’s CPM group work which compared our benefit plans with the Counties benefit plans.
Robert Bond, Doug Cook, Stephen Tebben, Vaughn Howard, Marty O’Bray, The Scheduling Office, Neil Halladay, Brent Jacobson. All of those who contributed valuable information, encouragement and time to helping The Cause.
Some may feel their contribution was small, but to the bigger picture every bit was helpful, and piece by piece it worked because of them. To each and every one of you who took the time to write to our Legislators and explain how important this issue is to you personally, I thank you. We were successful in improving UDC Officer’s lives far into the future due to your efforts.
At the start of this process, I was approached by three employee organizations who requested I join their groups. I stated that I wanted to remain neutral, so every group would feel comfortable working with us. I waited to see who would step up and actually earn my dues. Who would work hard to support and drive our agenda forward. Who would mentor and protect the Officers they claim to represent. For 18 months, I watched these groups give lip service and then disappear, never providing anything substantial to help. Although some individuals in those organizations helped, the organization itself failed to contribute anything more than minimal information and time, except for one.
From our initial meeting with all of the employee organizations, it became clear that F.O.P. was there for us. More specifically, Kelly Atkinson requested a meeting with us, took our information and went straight to work laying out a plan to effect a change. He was not only helpful, he soon took the lead and put us in front of the Governor’s staff at the Capitol, and then with the state DHRM director. This was the foundation to start a new pay plan and we became more productive by working with these individuals and groups. We owe him our gratitude and respect for what he does for us every day. I see his work behind the scenes at the Capitol during the Legislative session and all year long. His relentless drive to accomplish this goal is inspiring. I joined FOP because of his spirit and drive. I have met the F.O.P. Attorneys and they are solid, savvy and focused. I believe this organization has our best interest at heart and will relentlessly pursue improving our work place and the treatment of our Officers.
And finally, a thank you to Director Cook for understanding the need and having the vision and patience to see this new pay plan through; Deputy Director Haddon and the rest of the Corrections staff who worked hard supporting us by putting staff compensation as a priority with the Legislature. This collaboration and team work proved to be successful for the past three years.
This effort is appreciated and did not go unnoticed. The staff of UDC appreciate your efforts as well.
President F.O.P. lodge 14
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FOP has fought for over 19 years now to become the first major public employees group in the state of Utah with a salary schedule which guarantees regular and consistent step increases each year. This goal has been a hard fight and we are right on the verge of finally achieving the goal. But there are still many obstacles to over come and many challenges to address.
First, the system isn't perfect. Because it was created by an outside consultant, the internal alignment of the pay structure does NOT reflect the alignment which has been a hallmark of the range system (if you can call the range system a system). As a result, FOP recognizes that the system will have to be adjusted as we move forward.
Second, the proposal constitutes the largest single salary "ask" for corrections, in the history of the Department (7.6 million dollars). Some legislators and members of the general public will believe these funds are better spent elsewhere. Listen to the audio below to hear what several members of the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee are saying about the challenges ahead.
Third, other agencies in the state of Utah aren't thrilled at the prospects of corrections getting a salary schedule and their agency continue in a system which guarantees NO raises each year. They think, if corrections can get a salary schedulet, why can't we?
To stay current on the day to day happenings on this issues, please go to the COMPENSATION CAMPAIGN tab located at the top of the homepage.
President Ken Strong discussing with Governor Gary R. Herbert, state of Utah; the correctional salary career path developed by the Governor and the 7.6 million dollar appropriation recommended by him for for FY2018.
Ken and the Governor were together at a function held by FOP to honor the Governor for his efforts in behalf of correctional officers and agents.
for new FOP Lodge 14 officers were officially closed on November 30, 2016. The outcome of the election is reported in a farewell message by outgoing President Vaughn Howard.
This will be my last e-mail as President of Corrections Lodge 14. Through the years my only goal was to make Corrections a better place to work. I was the Vice President for 4 years and now the President for 6 years. The reason I became involved in FOP was the past administrations were not looking out for the employees. I observed inconsistencies with the way discipline was handed down. If you weren't one of the good old boys your would get a more progressive discipline.
A good leader surrounds them self with people who have good judgement and challenges their decisions to ensure the organization prospers. I believe Kelly Atkinson is one of the reasons FOP has prospered and made several changes for the good. During my 10 years we have grown our number from 210 members to 454. We are the largest lodge in the state and by almost double. We have removed one Executive Director and replaced him with in my opinion one of the best directors we have had in the 21 years I have worked for the department. We have changed the promotion process and discipline process. This continues to be a work in progress. The thing I'm most proud of is how our members, with the direction of Kelly have been able to get us two years of raises for our employees. I would also Like to thank the two Vice Presidents I have had the privilege of working with Mark Dewolfe and Stephen Tebben. They have kept me grounded and been the ones who let me know how staff really feel. With out them our organization wound not have worked.
All these accomplishments could't have happened if the members weren't involved and for this I thank you for your support an the trust you placed in me. I Love my corrections family at times I have spent more time with you then my own family. I'm retiring from corrections not because I don't love my job! I'm still young and I can feel the affects this job is having on me and it time for me to move on. I deeply care for each and everyone of you and wish the best of luck in your lives. Remember this is a job family comes first.
Lastly I would like to congratulate the new officers of FOP.
President Kenneth Strong
Vice President Micheal Renckert
2nd Vice President Jared Diehl
I believe these men with continue making the organization and the department better. If anyone wants to get involved in the organization talk to Kenneth and see if we can fill the Secretary and Treasure positions.
FOP is so extremely proud of the men and women who have stepped forward to run for office. Please find below a brief summary of the qualifications of each of the candidates for office. NOTE: The listing of candidates appear in alphabetical order by office sought.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT KEN STRONG
January 12, 2016
Recently FOP met with Governor Herbert on a number of law-enforcement issues. One of the issues discussed with the Governor was the need for a career path for officers who work for the state of Utah. Unilike other law enforcement agencies working across the state, law enforcement officers working for the State of Utah, do NOT receive a annual increment or step raise.
"This is FOP top priority issues", states Vaughn Howard, FOP President. We must acheive this objective if we are going to be able to attract and retent quailifed officers.
FOP will continue to work on this issue until it is acheived.
NOTE: TO SEE THE RESULTS OF THE GROOMING SURVEY, CLICK HERE. GROOMING SURVEY RESULTS. If you would like a hard copy of the survey and data please download the PDF file below.
The 2015 Utah State Legislative session proffered a number of bills that benefited law enforcement and specifically correctional officers and agents. At the top of the list is the win for salary equity started by Captain Ken Strong and Agent Holly Neville.
FOP was on Capitol Hill every day and monitored and tracked twenty-four separate, distinct pieces of legislation. Included in our legislative wrap up are the most important pieces of legisaltion for law enforcment. Go to the "FOP ON CAPITOL HILL" for a downloadable document explaining what passed for law enforcment this session.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is this nation's largest and most effective organization for law enforcement personnel. FOP was created by law enforcement officers for officers. The Utah State Corrections FOP Lodge 14 (the largest FOP Lodge in the State) was founded by Adult Probation & Parole and Correctional officers to represent the interests and concerns of those officers. The Lodge has continued to grow since its inception and now Correctional officers comprise about half of the membership. If you are looking for aggressive representation that focuses on fairness for all. If you have ever thought about how much you could change things, become a member today.
FOP National President was really asked to speak on "Meet the Press" regarding the the firestorm is been created as a result of the recent shootings in Ferguson in the death of an African-American citizen in New York City. Kelly Atkinson, Executive Director of Lodge 14 set about Chuck's appearance," FOP has long claimed that it's the Voice of Law Enforcement. It is pretty apparent that when the national press one of the spokesperson for line officers it knew right where to go."
WORKING TO MAKE COMPENSATION BETTER
IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS STARTS NOW!
FOP, is working, in cooperation with like-minded organizations and associations, to achieve the following four objectives:
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You can help in in our efforts by doing the following:
EXECUTIVE OFFICES & CRIMINAL JUSTICE SUBCOMMITTEE
This committee is charged with making a recommendation to the Executive Appropriation Committee. If this committee does not recommend additional funding for UDC compensation adjustments, more than likely, additional funding will not be appropriated by the Utah State Legislature. Simply click the name of the Legislator below for there email address or physical mailing address. Please drop each one a letter or an email.
Sen. Daniel W. Thatcher (R), Senate Chair
Rep. Eric K. Hutchings (R), House Chair
Rep. Keven J. Stratton (R), House Vice Chair
Rep. Curtis Oda (R)
EXECUTIVE APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE
The committee is charged with drafting the state budget for consideration by the entire legislature. If this committee does not approve the recommendations of the subcommittee, funding will not be appropriated by the Utah State Legislature.
Sen. Lyle W. Hillyard (R), Senate Chair
Rep. Dean Sanpei (R), House Chair /
Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson (R), Senate Vice Chair
Rep. Brad L. Dee (R), House Vice Chair
Sen. Jim Dabakis (D)
Sen. Gene Davis (D)
Sen. Karen Mayne (D)
SAMPLE LETTER OR EMAIL TO THE LEGISLATORS ABOVE
(Please personal what you say in the red section
below to reflect you personal situation)
Daniel W. Thatcher
Executive Offices &
Criminal Justice Subcommittee
6352 Vista Way
West Valley, UT 84128
Dear Chairman Thatcher:
Governor Herbert has recommended 4.2 million dollars be appropriated for salary adjustments in the Utah Department of Corrections. This gesture on the Governor’s part recognizes that correctional salaries are $46 million behind in compensation compared to correctional officers working in Salt Lake, Utah, or Davis Counties.
Am writing today to ask you to support the Governor’s recommendation and consider appropriating even a higher amount in order to bring my salary more in line with my counterparts working in other correctional agencies in Utah. Also, we are interested in developing a salary schedule similar to the one adopted last year by the Utah Highway Patrol within in the funds you appropriate.
Why I enjoy working for the state of Utah as a correctional officer (AP&P Agent), it is extremely difficult to make ends meet on my current wage. I am a single mom supporting two children and driving 20 miles each day to work for the department. I have worked for the department for 15 years and make $22 an hour. It is extremely difficult to pay the mortgage, buy food for my children, pay for school expenses, medical expenses on $22 an hour. This is why am asking you to support and appropriation for salary adjustments for officers in the Department of Corrections.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Kelly Atkinson, Executive Director of FOP at 801 - 673 - 2861 or by emailing him at Congresman@Comcast.net.
Utah Department of Correction
Email Address: ABC@comcast.net
Please take the time to write or email these legislators today.
Over the last six months FOP is been working with Ken Strong and Holly Neville and with Executive Director Rollin Cook to bring greater salary equity to the members of the department. Cannot Holly have done extensive work (see article below) on pointing out the inequities in the career ladder pay plan presently being administered by the Department of Corrections. Recently FOP met with the Governor’s office to discuss the Strong/Neville pay plan. “It was a very positive meeting”, reported President Vaughn Howard. “We really appreciated the way in which Mike Mower, Deputy Chief of Staff, received FOP and our message.”
FOP’s goal in the upcoming legislative session is to work towards the adoption of a pay plan which compensates employees similarly to the pay plan adopted by the Legislature for the Highway Patrol. The plan compensates officers $.75 a year for their service and then the salary schedule increases by percentage which is considered a cost-of-living raise.
FOP will keep the membership posted as we work through session in striving to receive fair and equitable compensation for the services are rendered.