The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Dec. 13 ratified a $145.7 million employment agreement with the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association to bring deputies’ salaries and benefits in line with other law enforcement agencies in Southern California.

A portion of the five year multimillion contract will be shared among contract cities.

Deputies and other Riverside Sheriffs’ Association members have worked without a contract since June 30, 2016, under terms and conditions previously imposed by the Board of Supervisors. The five-year agreement passed on a 4-1 vote. Fifth District Supervisor Jeff Hewitt cast the dissenting vote.

“With neighboring counties increasing salaries and benefits for deputies, it became clear that we must increase compensation to be competitive with other agencies in Southern California,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Kevin Jeffries. “This agreement was struck after several months of diligent negotiations from both sides, and provides the necessary terms to achieve staffing levels needed to maintain public safety.”

Market research determined that deputies and other Riverside Sheriffs’ Association members’ compensation were below the pay of comparable counties and cities. Essential market adjustments to compensation and benefits are key terms in the new agreement.

The law enforcement job classifications will receive up to 20 percent increases and the correctional officer job classifications will receive up to 13 percent increases over the five-year life of the contract. In addition, the county will contribute more funds towards healthcare for all job classifications – from $940 a month per employee to $1,400 a month phased in over the five years of the contract.

The new compensation package for will reportedly ensure that the county continues to attract and retain the best candidates who provide safety and security for millions of Riverside County residents.

The costs for this new agreement will be phased in over the life of the five-year contract. The first year of the contract in fiscal year 2019/2020 will cost approximately $12.3 million. The final year of the contract in fiscal year 2023/2024 will cost $45.2 million.

Negotiations continue with other labor unions.

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