2021 State of the VCDSA Letter

January 1, 2021­­­­­­­­­

Hello VCDSA Members,

I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday season.  I wanted to take a moment to let each of you know about some of the important items we will be working on in 2021.  Here is a quick summary.

  • VCERA Pension Lawsuit - The Ventura County Employee Retirement Association has filed a court action seeking declaratory relief regarding our medical flexible spending allowance and whether it is pensionable for legacy employees of the County. We strongly believe the medical flexible spending allowance should be pensionable and will continue to advocate for our members on this issue. We are continuing to meet with VCERA, the other labor unions and County officials in an attempt to resolve the issue.  As we get updates, we will send out emails and have Zoom meetings to update the membership.
  • Police Reform Legislation – There will be multiple police reform bills coming in the next legislative session. The VCDSA has been working closely with PORAC to monitor the bills and work with our State representatives to educate each of them on the impact of each of the proposed bills. I was also recently elected to serve on PORAC’s Executive Committee and will be working directly with PORAC leadership and our State representatives.  The VCDSA will be sending out emails to let each of you know about these bills has they are created. 
  • Negotiations – Our VCDSA contract is set to expire on April 30, 2021. The VCDSA negotiations committee has already been assembled and meeting. We will be sending out a survey as we get closer to negotiations to active members to solicit feedback from each of you regarding what you see as a priority for the next contract.
  • Medical Plan Options – This is still very much an issue I and the VCDSA board are working on. Our goal is to be able to offer all members various medical options from different providers at reasonable rates. It is a complicated issue that does not have an easy answer. We are continuing to work with County Human Resources and our medical broker to meet our goal, but I do not have an estimate on when we will be able to reach our goal at this point. 
  • VCDSA Wellness – As you may know, we launched our Wellness App in 2020. The VCDSA Board has dedicated to make the wellness of our members a top priority. If you have not downloaded the app please do so.  Weekly emails are being sent to members with instructions on how to access the Wellness App, or you can find them at venturacountydsa.com in the members only section under “Wellness.”.  We will be continuing to offer cash incentives, so continue to check your VCDSA emails. If you are not on the email list, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask to be added to the email list.  Just a reminder that we can only utilize your personal email to communicate with our members. 
  • In addition to the VCDSA Wellness App, we are working closely with “At-Ease” a non-profit organization that provides confidential counseling services at no cost to our members. They have a new director for the Ventura County region and we expect this resource to expand significantly over the next year. This is an amazing resource and more information can be found on the VCDSA Wellness App.  

There are certainly other issues we will be working on in 2021, but these some of the bigger ones.  I wish you all the best for 2021.  It is an honor to serve each of you!  I am always available by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please reach out to me with your questions and concerns. 

Sincerely,


Nick Odenath

President

Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association (VCDSA)

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