Santa Barbara County, Deputy Sheriff’s Association Reach Contract Agreement

Santa Barbara Co SO patch

Santa Barbara County and the Deputy Sheriffs Association reached a tentative contract agreement two weeks ago, and the union membership voted this week to accept the terms, according to the county.

Members of the DSA have been working without a contract since Feb. 15, 2015, and negotiations have been ongoing for 16 months.

The county Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the agreement at its June 21 meeting, according to a statement.

The supervisors will hold budget hearings next week for the 2016-17 year, and expired bargaining unit contracts loomed as a large unknown for financial planning.

With this agreement, there are still two expired public-safety labor contracts, and three more agreements will expire July 3, leaving future salary-and-benefit costs up in the air.

The tentative agreement with the deputy sheriffs includes salary increases: 2 percent for the 2015-16 year, 2 percent for the 2016-17 year and 3 percent for the 2017-18 year, “and the same concessions already agreed to by the majority of the county workforce during the recession,” according to the county.

Deputy sheriffs have been working mandatory overtime since April due to staffing shortages, especially with custody staff.

At that time, the union and county were at an impasse with contract negotiations and scheduled a fact-finding hearing.

In a statement, county Executive Officer Mona Miyasato said, “We recognize and appreciate the work of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Our financial situation is improving at a moderate rate but we also have many funding commitments, like the Northern Branch Jail, that affects what we can do.

“We feel our offer is competitive, fair and sustainable within the constraints of fiscal planning and budget projections.”

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNewsand @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Santa Barbara County’s recommended budget includes a list of all the bargaining unit labor agreements and their expiration dates.