On April 20, 2017, Director Jim Hudspeth met with FOP Executive Director Kelly Atkinson, Officer Audrey Brown, and Officer Mike Miller to discuss the CS1 to Sergeant proposal.
In June 2016, Department of Prison Operations (DPO) converted all officers who were Correctional Specialist 1 (CS1) into sergeants. This conversion has demonstrated that the functions of CS1’s and sergeants are so similar that the department views the two positions as equivalent. It has also created an inequity in regards to the remaining CS1’s working within Adult Probation and Parole that have yet to be converted. Our proposal, and the purpose of the meeting, was to petition the department to complete the conversion by bringing all remaining CS1’s into the rank of sergeant, or equivalent.
Our proposal was generated in order to reestablish the ability for officers to lateral transfer between the two divisions, allow for promotional opportunities currently only available to sergeants—such as lieutenant—apply for positions in the training academy, and officially recognize Shift Leads as first line supervisors.
During the meeting Director Hudspeth commented several times on the professionalism and respectful tone of our proposal, this is something that was maintained throughout the entire meeting. He appreciated that we generated our proposal based on facts and not emotion.
Director Hudspeth shared why, in his opinion, he does not want to create the rank of sergeant within Adult Probation and Parole. He values the ability of CS1’s to work in a community setting and needs individuals who can perform as case managers rather than staff supervisors. He also acknowledged that in many facilities, although not officially, Shift Leads are currently viewed and function as first line supervisors.
Director Hudspeth informed us that he is currently considering creating multiple levels within the Agent classification, for example: Agent 1, Agent 2, and Agent 3. This would create a more structured career path within the agent scope. It would also allow for delegation of duties currently assigned to agents, which do not necessarily require a LEO certified officer to complete, including: PSI’s and LS/RNR assessments. Current CS1’s would occupy one of the positions within the newly created Agent spectrum.
Our response to this declaration is simple. We are not concerned with the title current CS1’s may be assigned in the future, our concern is that the department correct the current disparity they have created—something that will become even greater once the proposed pay plan takes effect—. This inequity can only be resolved by ensuring that CS1’s occupying posts in Adult Probation and Parole are equal in rank and compensation to our counterparts, now sergeants, in DPO. Director Hudspeth acknowledges that an inequity has been created by the department which needs to be addressed.
FOP Executive Director Kelly Atkinson took this meeting as an opportunity to mention the current culture of derision that is slowing taking hold within Adult Probation and Parole due in part to the consultants pay plan proposal. Director Atkinson stated that this proposal can be an opportunity for our executive staff to quell the negativity by showing AP&P that by presenting proposals based in fact, and sound reasoning we can reach an amicable resolution to complicated issues that greatly affect our lives as Officers working within the Department of Corrections.
Our meeting concluded with Director Hudspeth reiterating his concerns, while also expressing his intent to be fair in representing both his position and that of our proposal during future meetings which are inevitable as the department navigates this complicated issue.
Kelly, Audrey and Mike,
Thanks again for meeting with me and discussing your request to have the Correctional Specialist position reviewed for reclassification to Sergeant. I have reviewed all the information you provided to me including department policy and Utah Performance Management. Additionally, I have met with Brooke Baker, divisional and bureau directors to discuss your proposal. It is my decision to not submit a request to HR for a position reclassification. AP&P is currently considering reclassification of all positions within the division to include and reorganizing our current structure and job responsibilities. Requesting HR to consider reclassification of the Correctional Specialist position at this time would be premature.
I have informed the divisional and bureau leadership of your concerns and they have agreed to consider these issues in future lateral requests. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication to our community, department and offenders. If you disagree with my decision you may forward your request to Executive Director Rollin Cook for further consideration. Thanks again for your thoughtful proposal and engaging conversation.
AP&P Division Director
Director Adult Probation and Parole