DMV Meet & Confer Update
Separation of Duties for Driver Safety Hearing Officers at DMV
Our Union Team has held two meet and confer sessions with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding the court-ordered separation of duties for our Driver Safety Hearing officers handling DUI cases in the APS unit. Prior to the court order, our represented Hearing Officers would act as both advocates and triers of fact for these hearings. As a result of the court order, these employees will now be assigned to act as either an advocate or trier of fact as opposed to carrying out both duties.
These meetings were the result of a cease and desist that our Union sent to DMV after we received only a bare bones informational email about the court case that committed to sending our Union a notice on the issue, while the Department immediately moved forward with reassigning these duties by lottery with no notice sent.
Our first meeting was held for one hour on Friday, May 6, 2022, and during that meeting our Team gained some broad information about the steps already taken to comply with the emergency effectuation of the court order – primarily clarification that the current duties assigned to each hearing officer are part of a temporary system the Department is utilizing until they can craft a long-term plan to comply with the court order. The Department also informed us they would be utilizing the Wednesday morning Field Office meetings as venues to offer information to staff on the impact of this duty separation.
We had more questions for the Department on this issue than we could get to in one one-hour session, so we scheduled an additional meeting which was held on Thursday May 12. We were able to gain a bit more information from the Department as to their long-term plans to comply with this court order. At this time, DMV is still relying on using the Wednesday morning meetings as their sole training time frame and does not have plans for additional trainings. The Department also noted that they are still determining their next steps and have not made any long-term plans related to this decision.
Our Team wanted information about why the Department had not made any contingency plans to be proactive regarding this court case outcome and were told that because the Department had won the previous two court cases on this issue, they had assumed they would also win this appeal. Our Team was extremely surprised at that position from the Department. In light of the Department informing us that they have not yet created any sort of long-term plan to comply with this court order, we asked whether the Department had a timeline for drafting this long- term plan and initially were told that no timeline had been set. A few minutes later, the Department informed us that they had until May 25 to determine their next steps related to whether or not they will appeal, revealing that they do have a timeline for their plans.
We recognized that the Department is required by a court order to effectuate this duty separation but also asserted how important it is that our impacted employees have a seat at the table as they craft a long-term plan. We know that the DMV rank-and-file employees who are performing these duties are in the best position to offer solutions and ideas for making this successful long term and are committed to keeping employees’ voices at the forefront of long- term plans.
We are scheduled to meet and confer with DMV again on this issue on Wednesday, June 1. We are planning on sharing possible ideas and solutions to address employee concerns and make this separation of duties sustainable and workable long term. Our team is interested in input from those of you working in the Driver Safety Office as we prepare for this meeting, and we encourage you to reach out to your Bargaining Unit Chair, DLC President, or Job Steward with your solutions, concerns, or ideas. This information can also be sent either to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org