AFSCME Local 1587 – Probation Peace Officers’ Union was formed in 1964. The purpose of creating the union was for Santa Clara County Probation Group Counselors and Probation Officers to have a say in wages, hours, and working conditions. Following its formation, Local 1587 was recognized by Santa Clara County as representing Group Counselors and Probation Officers. Prior to the union, shifts in Juvenile Hall were determined by supervisors, which made things subjective. A committee was created and a recommendation was made for that system to be replaced by seniority bidding – the method that is in place today. The union persuaded management to agree to this.
Local 1587 was also able to convince the County to agree that workers represented by Local 1587 would be no lower than fourth in pay, compared to other probation employees in the state. This was in part due to the union’s research into the provisions of the County Charter. During 1975 contract negotiations, Local 1587 asked for members to be part of the CalPERS Safety Retirement system, since our members are law enforcement employees. The County declined to do so, and Local 1587 members went on strike. After five days, the County agreed to place Local 1587 Group Counselors and Probation Officers in the CalPERS system. This change led to a 23% pay increase over three years. Further, because of this, members were guaranteed 75% of their highest salary upon retirement.
The Santa Clara County Chief Probation Officer originally reported to the Judge of the Juvenile Court, but following Measure A in 2004 – a cause in which Local 1587 was active, the Department now answers to the County Executive and County Board of Supervisors. Local 1587 has remained strong because of our involvement in the priorities of the people Santa Clara County. The union is energetic in supporting pro-labor causes and matters relative to working families on Santa Clara County. Local 1587 is a proud member of the South Bay Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and a champion of social justice.