Lassen County Deputy Sheriff’s Association continues its battle to increase wages with the Lassen County Board of Supervisors. In a video update from the association, negotiations for labor wages have come to an impasse and they are urging community intervention. The video opens with an emotional picture montage of deputies in the community with the words, “We live here, we work here, and we serve here, but we keep losing deputies, we want to stay here.” The voice of one deputy addressing the board for his resignation cites the reason for negative financial impacts facing the county, increasing cost of family medical insurance, and non-competitive wages, yet places no blame on the department, the sheriff, or administration. In reaching out to Lassen County Supervisor and Chairman of the board Chris Gallagher for a statement, he could only offer that they are working through the process. According to the Lassen County Job posting page, the salary for a Deputy Sheriff I is between 43k and 57k plus benefits, and a Deputy Sheriff II can earn up to just over 62K. Sheriff Growdon responded that the Deputy Sheriff II classification was created a few years ago, increasing the top step by 10%, but starting wages across all county positions are low in today’s employment market. He did address that medical insurance costs are strenuous on all county employees with a family yet that is a separate issue in need of addressing. What it appears to ultimately boil down to is the county not having the budget to increase wages across the board for all of its employees.
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