Los Angeles County sheriff’s recruits go through a drill on their first day of training in Monterey Park. Union officials say low pay is hindering efforts to recruit qualified sheriff’s applicants. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
November 3, 2015
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and members of several other employee groups will get a 10% pay increase over three years under contracts approved Tuesday by county supervisors.
The agreements mirror deals approved in September for lifeguards, public defender investigators and supervisors in the sheriff’s and probation departments.
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7:21 a.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Los Angeles County’s budget is $28 million. It is $28 billion.
A tentative agreement with the county’s largest employee union, Service Employees International Union, Local 721, which represents more than 57,000 employees, includes similar provisions.
L.A. County salary raises for public safety unions
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SEIU officials called the pay deal a “breakthrough contract” that “raises up all of L.A. County.”
But officials with the union representing sheriff’s deputies said they grudgingly agreed to it.
Jeff Steck, president of the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said his union pushed unsuccessfully for an increase in hiring standards and a larger increase in pay. Both were needed to rebuild the department and attract qualified recruits after high-profile scandals involving abuses in the jails, he said.
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“We’re coming out of a recession, and departments all across California are hiring,” he said. “We’re down at the bottom in pay and working conditions.”
The starting salary for a deputy trainee is about $60,000. Steck said senior deputies make about $84,300 a year, putting the department below most comparable agencies in California.
In addition to the 10% raise, the proposed contract that SEIU members are voting on would make Cesar Chavez Day an official holiday, provide up to an additional week of annual vacation every year and put some temporary workers on a path to full-time jobs.
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