FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Denver Sheriffs Make Additional Sacrifices for the City
Sheriff’s Union Amends Contract to Increase Departmental Savings to Nearly $2 Million
(DENVER) Joined by Mayor John Hickenlooper and members of the Denver City Council, the Denver sheriff’s union - Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #27 - announced Wednesday that union members voted to reopen their collective bargaining contract and accept $448,000 in reductions in addition to the $1,495,000 in Career Service sacrifices they have already made. The resulting $1,943,000 in total savings averages to about $2,687 per deputy.
“Balancing a budget with a $70 million deficit looming is no easy task, but thanks to the generosity and team spirit of countless city employees, it will be possible with minimal impact on City services and minimal number of layoffs,” Mayor Hickenlooper said. “By escorting and guarding prisoners, sheriff’s deputies have the one of the hardest, most thankless jobs in the City. They work in dangerous environments with constrained resources and difficult working conditions - yet they show up every day to do their job in keeping our community safe. Today, they go beyond the call of duty by making additional personal sacrifices to help our City during our budget crisis.”
According to the proposal passed by FOP members Tuesday night with an overwhelming 91% affirmative votes, the $448,000 in cost reductions will be achieved through savings in uniform allotment ($138,000) Election Day holiday pay ($234,000) and bilingual pay ($76,000). These reductions are in addition to the almost $1.5 million in initial cuts that members of the Sheriff’s Department, as Career Service employees, have already taken (ie: increased health benefits contribution, increased pension contribution.)
"During the economic crisis that confronts our city, it is imperative that everyone make an effort to find ways to save money without negatively effecting services,” said FOP Lodge 27 President Mike Britton. “These concessions by the Denver Sheriff Deputies are an attempt to do our part to help during these difficult times."
The savings achieved through this collective bargaining renegotiation will, in part, enable the Denver Sheriff’s Department to maintain current scheduling practices for deputies working 10-hour shifts.
“We’re grateful for their sacrifice, particularly in the face of the difficult job they do so well,” said Alvin LaCabe, Manager of Safety.
The Sheriff’s Department’s existing collective bargaining agreement was not set to expire until December 31, 2004; however, the FOP agreed to amend the existing contract. Denver Firefighters Union Local 858 announced their renegotiated contract to save the City money on September 2.
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