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New contract proposed for part-time sheriff deputies

Chautauqua County is eyeing raises for its part-time sheriff’s deputies.

During a meeting last week of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee, members approved a labor contract with the CSEA Unit 6322 to give a 5% raise in 2022, a 5% raise in 2023, a 3% raise in 2024, a 3% raise in 2025, and a longevity payment of $75 per year upon completion of three years of service.

“CSEA 6322 would be our part-time deputy sheriff contract. That was the final last and final contract that we negotiated for 2021,” explained Human Resources Director Jean Riley.

They did have a tentative agreement in December; however, due to the holiday schedule, they were unable to present the resolution to the full legislature for a vote.

Riley said the union has 49 members and they unanimously backed the four-year contract. “There’s really no benefits associated with this. It’s really just salary and rate of pay,” she said.

If approved by the full legislature, initial hires would start at $20.27 an hour. Riley said they’ve looked at part-time deputy sheriff pay across the state, and that is $21.59 an hour, so the new rate would still be under the average.

She noted the longevity payment impact is minimal because most part-time deputies become full time in a couple of years. “Out of this 49, we might have a dozen that might be more than three years in title,” she said.

According to Riley, the impact to the county budget would be $50,000 to $75,000 a year and that is before the state reimburses the county for court officers. This contract was not budgeted for due to where negotiations were at when the budget was passed.

Committee Chairman Terry Niebel said he backs the resolution, which he believes will help with recruitment and retention. “This contract is very much needed, it appears,” he said.

The committee unanimously backed the resolution, which will now go to the full legislature for final approval.

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