Deputies and officers to get pay increase

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Valencia County commissioners unanimously approved two memorandums of agreement that will give union-represented county employees the $1-an-hour raise awarded to all employees at the beginning of July.

Valencia County commissioners unanimously approved two memorandums of agreement that will give union-represented county employees the $1-an-hour raise awarded to all employees at the beginning of July.

Warden Joe Chavez and Sheriff Luis Burkhard asked the commissioners to sign the MOAs that would allow the union employees in their departments to receive the raise.

Since the certain detention center and sheriff's department employees are part of an organized labor union, they cannot receive the raise until an agreement is struck between the county and the respective unions.

"I have about 18 officers who didn't get the dollar raise because they are under union negotiations," Chavez said. "I would like them to get it."

Commission Chairman Donald Holliday asked if by signing the agreements the commissioners would be "breaking any union rules." To the contrary, the commission would be actually complying with union rules by signing the agreements, said County Manager Bruce Swingle.

Commissioner Ron Gentry asked if this was simply the implementation of the previously approved raise for union employees.

"We're not giving other raises in addition to this?" he asked.

Swingle confirmed this was the $1 raise that was given to the other employees.

"We can give the raise but the union stopped it because they didn't negotiate it?" Gentry asked.

County Attorney Adren Nance said the union has to sign off on the raise, otherwise the employees won't receive the increase.

"The union has the option to say no?" Gentry asked.

"In theory, yes," Nance said.

The MOA for the detention center passed unanimously. Chavez thanked the commissioner for the approval, saying the raise "increased moral."

Burkhard said the MOA he was requesting was due to the same basic situation as the detention center. He said the money for the increase was approved included in the county's budget.

That MOA also passed on a 5-0 vote.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.