JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved a new, four-year Fulton County Deputy Sheriffs’ Police Benevolent Association contract carrying 2.5 percent annual raises.
The 20-0 vote at the County Office Building followed a closed-door executive session, and a negotiation process last fall that went public for awhile.
Board action followed an executive session with Albany attorney Elayne Gold of Roemer, Wallens, Gold and Mineaux. She briefed the board on the PBA’s collective bargaining agreement and went public herself Tuesday.
“I think both sides worked very hard for a good strong contract,” Gold said.
The county’s labor counsel called negotiations between the PBA and the county “collaborative,” which she said is the ultimate goal of bargaining.
“I think it worked very well this time,” Gold said.
The new retroactive Fulton County Deputy Sheriffs’ PBA contract runs from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2020. The first three years indicate annual pay raises of 2.5 percent. In the fourth year — and effective Jan. 1, 2020 — the contract shows increases in the three-year rate of deputies by $750 and then adjusts with a 2.5 percent increase.
PBA President Keith Manners said outside the Supervisor’s Chambers, following contract approval, that negotiations were hard fought but worth it and will benefit his members.
Sheriff Richard Giardino on Monday said the deputy raises will go a long way to help his department be competitive salary wise with other sheriff’s offices.
“It’s long overdue,” he said.
Giardino thanked the Board of Supervisors and the committees involved, adding that the successful negotiations represent a “high point” of his tenure as sheriff.
Both Manners and Giardino took the unusual steps of making public statements regarding contract talks as they were going on. Giardino claimed last fall that Manners made untrue statements about the possibility of the department’s road patrol and night patrol being eliminated because of personnel shortages.
Manners, on the other hand last November, said the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office continues to lose deputies to nearby agencies such as the Glove Cities’ police departments, where they can make $10,000 to $15,000 more. He called it a “huge problem.”
The memorandum of agreement approved Monday between the county and the PBA includes these rank differentials, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019: Corporal pay — 10 percent above a third-year deputy; sergeant pay — 3.75 percent above that of a corporal; and lieutenant pay — 4/5 percent above that of a sergeant.
Annual longevity in the contract ranges from $1,000 for one year of service up to $7,000 for 25 years and above.
Other provisions in the contract include: Increase in uniform allowance to $500; meal allowance increased to $10; field training officers will receive $40 for each shift; sick leave incentive increases; educational stipends increased to $275 for an associate’s degree and $475 for a bachelor’s degree; vacation leave and dental insurance provisions; and discretion by the sheriff for pay rates for lateral transfers.
PBA annual salaries for 2020 would range from $46,092 for a starting deputy to $65,366 for a lieutenant.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]