The San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the County of San Joaquin have reached a tentative agreement on a new 36-month contract.
San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti confirmed on Tuesday that the DSA and the county had reached an agreement, but additional details were not available. Neither the DSA nor the county posted anything on social media announcing the development, and details about the specifics of the agreement were not initially made available to the public.
The contract dispute, which has been ongoing since the last contract for the deputies expired in 2015, reached a fever pitch last month when all of the per diem bailiffs at the San Joaquin County Courthouse failed to show up for their scheduled shifts as a show of solidarity with the deputies – forcing the county to cancel the majority of the court proceedings for the day.
San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow also raised the stakes when he announced publicly that he was suspending a number of popular programs – including the community car program – as a way to backfill patrol positions that had been lost to other agencies that were able to offer more competitive wages. As part of Withrow’s attempt to pull as many deputies as possible back onto country patrol he also called back deputies that had been assigned to county buildings including the San Joaquin County Administration Building in Downtown Stockton where sheriff’s deputies provided security for meetings of the Board of Supervisors. That move prompted an emergency meeting of the body, and the county subsequently demanded that Withrow provide security for the meetings to ensure safety and order.
According to the county, the DSA had been requesting a 6 percent cost of living increase over a 25-month period while the county was willing to offer a 5 percent cost of living increase over a 36-month period – a 3 percent base salary increase effective the first pay period with an additional 1 percent being added each subsequent year of the agreement. For more than a month both sides have been negotiating with those numbers as starting points, with the county claiming that the DSA’s contract proposal would cost the county $9.8 million while the county’s would cost $3.4 million.
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