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Tuolumne County Approves Pay Raises For Sheriff’s Deputies And Others

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Sonora, CA — Earlier this year, many local residents packed into the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors public hearings arguing that American Recovery Act Funding should be spent helping to attract and retain sheriff’s office employees.

The Board took no action related to it at the time but promised that more discussions would be had during labor negotiations. Fast forward, following those meetings, yesterday the Board voted 4-1 to approve a Cost of Living Adjustment pay increase for all deputies by 10-percent. In addition, custody staff (such as jail) will receive a 6-percent increase, and all other sheriff’s office employees will get a 3-percent raise.

Various supervisors praised the move. District Five representative Jaron Brandon said it puts the county “on the right path to attract and retain deputies.”

District Three Supervisor Anaiah Kirk was the lone vote in opposition. He admitted it is a “step in the right direction,” but indicates it doesn’t go far enough. He stated, “I don’t want to half-ass it, I want to fix it.” Kirk indicated a desire to hear from Sheriff Bill Pooley at a later date about whether this level of pay increase does enough to keep and attract staff.

The board also passed three percent COLA adjustments for various other employee groups. They, along with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, will also gain a one-time COVID pandemic-related payment of $1,500, and revised retention pay benefits starting at 2.5 percent for employees after five years and increasing to 20-percent after 25 years.

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