Thursday, March 17


Deputies under new contract      Send a link to a friend

[MARCH 17, 2005]  Eighteen Logan County Sheriff's deputies have a new contract. Negotiations between Fraternal Order of Police Union 78, Springfield, and the county board were reached when the board decided in executive session on Tuesday night to accept the new contract.

The lengthy negotiation process began last summer, but details of the contract had not yet been reached when the contract expired in December. According to Sheriff Steve Nichols, there were no problems; it was just time-consuming going back and forth with offers before it was all settled. "Both sides should be happy," he said. "The county gained some management of time and the deputies gained some money."

The focus now shifts to ongoing negotiations with corrections officers and maintenance staff who work at the Logan County Safety Complex jail and the courthouse. Their contract was also up in December. When the agreements are reached, they are retroactive. They are three-year contracts to run Dec. 1, 2004, through Nov. 30, 2007.

When all the county departments were asked in January to cut any expenses to help save for anticipated budget constraints later this year and next, Sheriff Nichols identified that the county might offer two senior deputies early retirement.

The board agreed to the suggestion.

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The sheriff will accept the deputies' resignations

The deputies will each receive a $10,000 stipend and their accumulated time off. One of the deputies has enough vacation and sick days to last most of the rest of the year, and the other has enough to possibly carry over into the next year.

Once they are off the payroll, the sheriff may go to the board to hire replacements. But that depends on if the sales tax referendum on the April 5 ballot has passed. Without the public safety sales tax increase there will not be sufficient county funds, and he will not only be unable to replace the two deputies, but there will also be severe layoffs to his staff and layoffs to all other county departments.

[Jan Youngquist]

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