Posted by: jgomori Posted date: June 15, 2021
By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Alcona County Sheriff’s Command Officers were looking for wage increases when they sought out POLC representation, but they never could’ve imagined the significant pay raises that would follow.
After years of being underpaid and feeling neglected by their former representation, POAM, the group joined the POLC along with Alcona County Sheriff’s Deputies, Corrections, Clerks and Jail Cooks in November 2020.
Command staff had agreed to a 6-month contract extension so they waited and watched as the POLC brought home amazing pay raises for the Deputies, Corrections Officers, Clerks and Jail Cooks. Full-time Deputies received a 14 percent increase and Corrections Officers pay bumped up 16.11 percent.
After settling their contract, POLC Labor Rep. Chris Watts helped Alcona County Command build upon the Deputies and Corrections wage increases.
“It’s a very significant raise! Command is getting 5 percent over the top pay of the Deputies whose wages just greatly increased,” said POLC Director Rob Figurski.
Both groups restructured their pay scales. Deputies and Corrections cut their pay scale from 15 years to 8 years to top out. Command, which also had a 15-year pay scale, took things one step further.
“We knocked 15 years off their pay scale,” Watts said.
Command now has a three-tier top out. “They get to the top of the raise heap early as opposed to 15 years,” Figurski said.
Command’s 2-1/2 year bargaining agreement became effective June 7, 2021. After their probationary period, Command Officers receive $27.50 per hour in 2021. By Jan. 1, 2022, the wage increases to $27.75. By Jan. 1, 2023, the last year of the contract, the starting wage following probation will be $28.25 per hour.
“The way it works the probation period is 5 percent over the highest paid Deputy when you become Sergeant,” said Sgt. Scott McKenzie, the Local Union Secretary. “That was a big change to the pay structure. When you became a Sergeant before we still had a 15-year stepping scale. Basically, now it’s the probation period and your tier.”
“Previously, when you got promoted, you started at whatever dollar amount you were close to in Patrol,” Watts said. “We got rid of that sliding pay scale and just established a wage differential from Patrol. Upon ratification they see a 20 percent increase in wages and 1 to 2 percent increase both years thereafter.”
“We did a three-tier system just to help our County out,” Sgt. McKenzie said of the dramatic pay raises. “This was just for this contract to ease into it.”
Bereavement time increased from three to five days per year and the group received an extra step in their longevity pay. “Our longevity went from a two-tier to a three-tier system,” McKenzie said.
With 10-14 years of service, Command staff receive $500 per year in longevity; from 15-19 years, longevity is $750 annually; and Employees with 20 or more years receive $1,000 each year.
“They also got a bump in their shift premiums,” Watts said. “They basically had whatever Patrol gets plus a nickel before. They kept that, but they went from 20 cents to 55 cents for afternoons and from 25 cents on midnights to $1.05 shift premium.”
The Sheriff’s Secretary, also a member of the Command unit, received a 7.5 percent pay increase upon ratification. Her pay increased to $21 per hour.