No wage increase for Putnam County deputies

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Deputies in Putnam County will not make more money.

That's the final outcome of a stalemate between the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and the deputies' union.

In Putnam County, deputies on the street and in the jail are almost the lowest paid deputies in the state, according to an International Union of Police Associations study.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office and the International Union of Police Associations were at an impasse when it came down to two things: wages and disciplinary procedure.

The union ultimately asked for a 3 percent wage increase with a one-year contract, as well as for arbitration during the disciplinary process.

On Tuesday, the Putnam County Commission had the final say, and it sided with the Sheriff's Office.

That means no pay increase and the disciplinary process remains the same.

Rich Roberts is the Public Information Officer with the International Union of Police Associations. After the commission's decision, he said, "What's going to happen, and already is happening, is the more discouraged deputies are with low pay and proceedings, you'll have a talent drain."

Wayne Helsby is the Sheriff's Office attorney. He said, "The sheriff would love to give deputies a wage increase, but like the commission said, we have to work within our means … and economic circumstance in the county are such that we can't afford to do it at the moment."

According to a recent union study, deputies in Putnam County can go to surrounding counties and make $7,000 - $14,000 more.


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