Wednesday Sep 09 2009
Supervisors display poor leadership in dealings with deputies
By: Laurie Bettencourt, Placer Deputy Sheriff’s Association
Tuesday the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to impose a contract that will take about $600 a month out of each and every sheriff’s deputy, sergeant and DA investigator in the county’s paycheck – officers who are here each and every day, all day and all night, on holidays and weekends, for the citizens of this county; officers who would literally run into a burning building without thinking twice to save a life; officers who each and every shift do things that you’re glad there are other people around to do for you. The Sheriff’s Association negotiated in good faith for over three years and requested that the county enter into mediation per their regulations, which they chose to disregard. During these negotiations the county employed divisive tactics which resulted in 90 members leaving the association. They surface bargained with no intention of ever ratifying a contract. They gave the association incomplete and inaccurate costing sheets which were applied differently to the county than they were to the employees. They provided inaccurate information to the media regarding salary costs for association members. They refused to accept offers from the association which included almost $2 million in cost savings for the county, and they refused to even meet with the association leadership for over six months. These officers did not deserve to have this punitive contract imposed on them. Placer County deserves better leadership. True leadership is not about getting the last word in, about getting your way, or about being right – it’s about doing what is right. Just because you’re in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean you get to run people over. Laurie Bettencourt is the secretary for the Placer Deputy Sheriff’s Association.