Douglas County approves contracts with deputies, sergeants
Two-year labor agreements with the associations representing Douglas County deputies and sergeants were approved Thursday by Douglas County commissioners.
The estimated financial impact of the agreement with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Protective Association, which represents around 91 employees, is $3.45 million over two years.
Association President Deputy Justin Fricke thanked commissioners and the county’s negotiating team.
“It hasn’t been an easy road over the last year,” he said. “But we came up with a lot of innovative things.”
Fricke said the contract moves a starting deputy’s salary from $21.78 to $28 an hour.
“Now we can start bringing people here and retaining them,” he said.
On March 9, a fact finder issued written findings and recommendations regarding the association agreement.
Commissioners didn’t have a fact finder report for the sergeants unit, according to Assistant County Manager Jenifer Davidson, but the county agreed with the association’s proposal.
The total estimated financial impact of the agreement with the Sergeants Bargaining Unit, which represents 16 employees, is $947,745.
Funding of $1.29 million is included in the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget and $3,109,369 has been included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget, which was presented to commissioners in April.
“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I am pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement,” said Chairman Mark Gardner. “While it may not have appeared to be the case at times, we shared a common goal: to recruit the best and retain the best, and I believe this agreement displays that achievement. We would like to express our gratitude for all that has been done to fairly negotiate these terms, benefiting the future of public safety personnel and the safety of our community.”
The county and the associations have been meeting during the course of several sessions to negotiate the terms of a new labor agreement.
This report was presented to the Board of County Commissioners at a public meeting on April 20. Following the issuance of the fact finder’s findings and recommendations, the parties continued to negotiate in good faith and were able to reach proposed tentative labor agreement with both bargaining units which were approved by commissioners.
“We truly appreciate the continued support of the community and our commission,” said Sheriff Dan Coverley. “This contract delivers raises for our officers, which will help us with retention and recruitment by offering a fair and competitive wage. It is important that we attract and retain the best to protect and serve the best.”
To review the full details of the agreement click here for DCSPA and here for SBU.
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