The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously and without discussion approved a three-year salary and benefits contract with its sheriff’s deputies and district attorney investigators that will cost taxpayers an additional $62.2 million over the life of the contract.
The agreement raises salaries by a total of 8.5 percent in five steps between now and January, 2019 and includes a one-time lump sum payment for each employee covered under the contract that equals .5 percent of their current pay.
The raises will cost the county’s general fund $37 million over the life of the contract, according to a county staff report, with the remaining roughly $25 million covered through payments from cities that contract with the county for Sheriff’s Department services, and state and federal funds.
“This is the first increase in take-home pay our members have had since 2008,” said Kimberly Edds, spokeswoman the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, the union representing sheriff’s deputies and DA investigators.
The Sheriff’s Department has roughly 1,900 deputies covered by the contract and the DA’s office has about 100 investigators.
Under the new contract, the annual base pay for entry-level deputies will go from about $62,000 to $67,500 in 2019. Deputies at the top of the 14-step pay scale will go from $93,870 to $102,107 in 2019; and sergeants’ pay will go from $123,000 to $134,000, according to the contract terms.
In 2014, the deputies approved a two-year deal that included a pay hike and improved health coverage to partly cover the requirement that deputies pay their full employee pension payment in year two of the agreement.
A sharply divided board of supervisors approved that contract on a 3-2 vote. It became controversial when then-Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson and John Moorlach, who voted against the labor pact, accused the deputies of pension spiking.