Last week the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA), the union representing the county’s sworn law enforcement officers, received the neutral mediator’s report regarding a labor dispute over salary and benefits for the county’s sworn personnel. The labor dispute has been going on since last year, and SEBA declared impasse in December 2015, making a way for the sides to use the services of a mediator.
All indications are that the Board of Supervisors is not in any hurry to accept fully the mediator’s recommendations. Since the board’s closed session on Tuesday where the dispute appears on the agenda, SEBA president, Laren Leichliter, sent out an email entitled “Lip Services or Commitment to Public Safety?” The title alone suggests there is still distance between what the mediator recommended and the county is willing to fork out.
Sheriff’s deputies, along with a number of other classifications within county service, contend that they are underpaid in comparison to those holding similar positions in nearby counties. In the last six years under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer, and with the backing of the Board of Supervisors, San Bernardino County has become a training ground where inexperienced candidates are hired over experienced candidates, receive their training at San Bernardino County expense, and then move on to greener pastures in other counties.
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