Wages for employees of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office are set to increase 4 percent per year for the next three years after county commissioners approved the measure.
At their Monday Dec. 19 meeting, Morrow County Commissioners gave their unanimous approval to negotiations between the Sheriff’s Office and Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council (FOP/OLC) relative to wages, hours and other employment conditions of sheriff office employees.
A primary facet of this negotiation is the 4 percent increase in hourly wages each year for the next three years. The new rates will be effective Feb. 1, 2017. This increase will be in each category including Road Deputy, Deputy Jailer, Deputy Dispatcher, Records Clerk, Sergeant and Lieutenant.
Whiston said that the goal for the Commissioners and the Sheriff is to have a wage scale that would be comparable to surrounding counties. It has been the experience of the Sheriff that just as new officers are trained, they go to a surrounding county that offers better wages. This constant need to train new officers is also an added expense for the Sheriff. These new officers are also often Morrow County residents who would prefer to stay employed here.
The Commissioners also discussed the commitment that Sheriff John Hinton has to reducing the drug issue in Morrow County. That drug addiction feeds the problems of theft and other crimes in the county.
“We want to put our support behind the personnel in the Sheriff’s Department,” stated Whiston. “Our local funds need to go to this.”
The new wage scale will put Morrow County’s Sheriff’s Office on par with surrounding counties in three years’ time. That is provided that those counties stay the same in their wage offering.
Wage supplements will also go into effect for property room technician, Training Officer and other officers with assigned duty. Employees will receive longevity pay for required years after three years, six, 12, 18 and 23 years of service. Clauses for sick leave and training expenses were also approved. The agreement will be in effect through Jan. 31, 2020, unless either party moves to amend or modify the agreement.
Commissioner, Dennis Leader noted that a new board of commissioners will need to look at the cost of training, technology, building and infrastructure to have more efficiency in the Sheriff’s department. He hopes they will be open consider the possibility of centralizing 911 and the Dispatch center with the Sheriff’s Office.