Nguyen - Candidate Letter
With the potential for four new E-Board members, there is hope for change for the better at MCCDA. However, I am concerned that without a fundamental shift in direction, any changes won’t likely move the needle. Throughout my career, I have noticed that the E-Board and many candidates running for positions have looked both internally and towards the past for direction. While this strategy may have been effective in the past when MCSO and MCCDA were leaders locally, I believe not paying enough attention to the rest of the field is one of the reasons we have dug ourselves into a hole.
For the past six years, I have learned to look externally for inspiration. For example, I have discovered and shared with the E Board and membership things such as our wages falling to fifth in the state in 2017, a Las Vegas judge barring mandatory overtime for officers in 2017, Yamhill County being market leaders in base pay in 2021, ORS 411.416 a law which exempted all of us from being mandated to take the vaccine two months before the deadline also in 2021, and finally in 2022, I shared how other counties such as King and Clark got 2.25-2.5 times their base pay for overtime shifts for extended periods of time, which recently got extended for Clark County until their staffing levels are resolved.
Some traits that the E-Board needs to move away from is withholding information from the members, becoming more transparent, and not chastising members who are curious about MCCDA. Prior to accepting a position on the Contract Negotiation Team, I made it a point of emphasis that this team would be more approachable and more transparent than previous groups, and I appreciated that this was something that the rest of the team valued and embodied as well. We were also very mindful in how we delivered the information to ensure that it was easy to process since that was the first contract negotiation for a good portion of the membership. If voted in to the E-Board, this is something that I would make a point of emphasis as well.
The most pressing issue facing our membership right now in 2023 is mandatory overtime. There have been interesting developments in both public safety and the private sector in regards to this recently that I would like MCCDA to explore. Senate Bill 631 will allow Oregon DOC Officers the ability to refuse any mandatory overtime for the remainder of the month after their first MOT (H/T Dep. Shroeder). The Oregon Senate recently passed Senate Bill 1513 that would prevent employers from penalizing bakery and tortilla plant workers when they refuse overtime shifts on short notice.
Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” If you value someone who has been transparent, and actively looks for ideas and solutions outside of this agency and state, then I would be honored to have your vote for Information Officer.