So, if you are reading this month’s message and still have not registered for our 63rd Annual Conference of Members in Monterey, California, this coming November, then all I can say is, I told you so … As predicted, the PORAC room block moved like a California wildfire and was sold out by the beginning of August. Even so, we quickly surpassed 400 registered guests and are seemingly on track for another well-attended annual Conference. Nonetheless, there is still time to register, so I hope that you will consider joining us November 19 to 22 for a weekend of fun, training and networking with fellow members from all over the state. While the host hotels are full, you can still get registered, as well as add your name to a waiting list (you must register to get onto the waiting list) by going to www.porac.org. Should you opt for the sure thing, there are several other hotels within walking distance to the convention center that have room availability. Either way, we hope you can make it!
Along the lines of information for those who find themselves in the perpetual state of procrastination, I want to take this moment to also remind you that the old PORAC membership system is no longer available to use. This means that to manage your association’s membership, you must contact Angie Gonzales at the main office so that she can get you set up on the PORAC online system (POLS). As you may recall, we launched POLS at the end of last year to make things easier for you. In doing so, the new system has a variety of features that not only add to your convenience, but ensure that your membership roster remains accurate. Authorized association representatives can add or delete members from the PORAC/LDF rosters; add or update member contact information or association representative information; view, print or export invoices to PDF/Excel files; or just check on current invoice balances. Most importantly, the changes you make in the system are in real time, so it is reflected and displayed immediately after you’ve made it. And the best thing is, you can do this any time of the day or evening — no longer will you have to wait for PORAC staff to assist you! For those of you who still need to get access to POLS, please visit www.porac.org and go to the Membership Association Access page in the Membership Section.
August saw our membership complete two of the four region’s election nominations meetings, with pretty good attendance at the Region I and Region III events. Region II and Region IV will meet in early September. As I mentioned last month, candidate nominations positions for the Executive Committee, Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Insurances and Benefit Trust (IBT) and the Retiree Medical Trust (RMT) occur at these meetings, so don’t miss your chance to participate. Our organization’s elections are vital to the health and direction of PORAC, but that’s only one part of the meeting. Key updates to our legislation, the progress of our state and federal legislative program, as well as current information on the 2016 public employee anti-pension initiative are also discussed by President Durant and me while we are there. So if you are in search of an update, have a question or just want to catch up on business in your area, mark your calendar and make sure that your chapter and association are adequately represented with your attendance.
Finally, this month’s feature in PORAC Law Enforcement News focuses on workers’ compensation and some things you ought to know, especially given the ever-apparent risks peace officers face on the streets, in correctional facilities, or anywhere you might find yourself doing the job. We all know someone who had to retire early or found themselves with some pretty significant health issues when they signed off of that patrol car for the very last time. Amid some of your most memorable calls are entwined some great stories, but don’t they also possibly detail some on-the-job injuries that you may not have quite recovered from? Trying to recall these details in a story isn’t really all that important, but trying to recall them to justify treatment or compensation is! And it’s those fine particulars that often dictate how your injury is considered at the time of your retirement, so having them documented is paramount to your success. That’s why PORAC created the Hazardous Exposure Listing Program (HELP) several years ago to assist its members in tracking their contacts, exposures and injuries in a safe, confidential and free program that can be accessed at any time. Joining is easy and merely requires you to visit www.porac.org, where you will find detailed information on our HELP program, a downloadable (PDF) HELP brochure and direct access to the online registration and reporting page, which is accessible by clicking the Members tab, and then Hazardous Listing Exposure Program (HELP) on the Resources page. This program is secure, remarkably easy to use, and will “help” you track a career’s worth of those calls that you would maybe rather forget but need to create a record of.
Take care and stay safe!