The Kern County Sheriff Command Association has accepted a one-year contract proposal recently put forward by the Board of Supervisors.
The county claims the new contract will make the union members among the highest paid law enforcement officials in the Central Valley.
Union President Kevin Wright said most officers will receive about a 10 percent raise in about two years as a result of the new contract.
“Our association is happy with the contract for now, especially given the circumstances,” he said. “We do appreciate the efforts of the county to try to get everybody closer to where they realistically need to be.”
The Sheriff Command Association is composed of about 30 senior-level sheriff’s officials and investigators with the District Attorney’s Office.
The vote was near-unanimous, according to Wright, and will next be sent to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.
The association had been without a contract for four years, he said.
“From our standpoint, we’ve been trying to get a deal done for four years,” Wright said. “So our membership’s opinion was that there was money on the table. Even though it may not be an immediate pay raise for them, ultimately it would be at least a decent start and the majority were comfortable with that.”
Although the Command Association has accepted a contract, the union that represents rank and file deputies, the Kern Law Enforcement Association, has yet to approve their own version of the contract.
KLEA members still must vote before the new contract can go into effect.
The union, which represents hundreds of deputies, is in the process of analyzing the county’s proposal before making a pitch to its members.
The county recently entered an impasse with the union after prior negotiations failed.
County officials hope the new proposal will break the impasse and provide a new contract for deputies for the near future.