Siskiyou Co. & Deputy Sheriff’s union at a contract impasse

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. —The Deputy Sheriff’s Association claims county leaders have been cutting public safety funding, and 25% of its deputies are now looking for other jobs. The county declined interviews but says negotiations are ongoing.

In a letter released Wednesday afternoon, the deputies union says Siskiyou County public officials are, “defunding the police.” The letter says the board of supervisors cut the sheriff’s department budget by $1.2 million last year. That, combined with what it says are a lack of competitive salary and benefits, has led the union to say that over 25% of its sworn deputies, to look for employment elsewhere.

“Quite frankly I think we are all really tired of not being appreciated by our employer,” said Mireya Masson with the Deputy Sheriffs Association.

Masson says the union asked for a substantial raise last august from the county board of supervisors. Specifically, the DSA asked the county for a 3-year contract, with a 15% pay increase in the first year, and 5 % raises in the second and third year.

The DSA claims a former county auditor was overpaying deputies, and county leaders corrected the salary tables this march.

“It kind of went back and forth but they were told they weren’t going to give us a raise and then we were told any money set aside for a raise was now going to be used to cover and fines of fees for this overpayment,” said Masson.

The Siskiyou County administration office responding to the DSA letter Wednesday. It says the county has offered the DSA three-year offer with the equivalent increase of 15% in one year and benefit enhancements. That 15% includes an immediate 8 % salary increase and a 7 % salary increase for working holidays.

It also highlights benefits the county covers including medical, dental, and retirement.

“Membership agreed they didn’t wanna accept that offer,” said Masson.

The two have a fact-finding hearing scheduled for later this month.

The county says it won’t make any additional comments on the matter, until after the hearing.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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