Deputies pushing for more pay in contract negotiations
The Webb County Sheriff's association has been negotiating a contract with Webb county commissioners for months.
Their previous contract already ended and they have yet to reach an agreement on a new one.
Sheriff deputies filled the courtroom today hoping for some progress.
" Public safety we can't put a price on it."
The Webb County Sheriff departments contract has expired but they have one year to negotiate a new one... Of which two months have already passed.
Today a group of deputies and association members were at commissioner court to negotiate the contract.
Ronald G. Delord - Special Counsel Cleat
" What we've asked the county to do is in the second, third, fourth and fifth year that they give the deputies 3%, 3%, 4%, 4%. Its less than 3% in a five year period."
The association says they feel that they are left behind as other law enforcement agencies make more than double the salary of some deputies.
" If you got patrolman from the Laredo Police Department making more than a captains in the sheriff department that is inadequate."
The association says a starting deputy makes a little over thirty thousand a year and can make up to a little over forty a year.
The department is losing deputies because their salary doesn't compete with other agencies.
Making the sheriff department short staffed.
John Hale - President of Sheriff Association
" We just want the point to be known that we work in an environment were our costumers or clients do at time wish us harm and puts us as a whole other category."
The department is already hurting as their budget was cut this year by ten percent.
Sheriff Martin Cuellar says he has the solution to fix the deficit; a new jail.
" Have the old jail as a detention facility for federal inmates and make revenue."
Sheriff Cuellar says that will bring at least ten million a year and can be used to pay for the deputies’ salaries.
Meanwhile the association hopes commissioners are listening.
Today commissioners met behind close door and discussed the issue in executive session.
No action was taken...
But they say they will continue looking at all options and will continue negotiations with the association.