Bexar deputies get immediate 2 percent pay raise under new contract
Updated 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Bexar County and its sheriff’s deputies finally have a new four-year labor agreement, after hard-fought negotiations that began in 2009.
The Commissioners Court on Tuesday unanimously approved a contract with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County that provides for an immediate 2 percent raise and 3 percent raises in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The contract also offers higher pay to deputies with advanced certifications.
In a vote Friday among 632 deputies, the contract was ratified 483-149.
Despite the split vote among union members, county and union officials hailed the pact as fair to taxpayers and deputies. The contract covers this and the next three fiscal years, ending in fall 2015.
Union vice president Juan Contreras said the agreement resulted from “professionalism displayed by both sides of the table. … We hope to keep this positive momentum and keep the professional relationship that we established.”
Commissioners praised the work of union leaders who took office in October and pushed the talks to fruition.
“That’s great leadership,” County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “We’ve all been wringing our hands, hoping this day would come.”
“This day is a result of real collective bargaining,” added Precinct 2 Commissioner Paul Elizondo. “This present (union) board is a tremendous example of what can be done when people think positively and want to work together. You’re taking care of your members, and you’re taking care of the citizens and taxpayers.”
Deputy Chief Charles Benson joined in thanking the union leadership for being open-minded during the talks.
“They realize somebody has to pay the bill, and they realize the county is giving them a fair contract,” Benson said.
Also Tuesday, commissioners authorized negotiations on a possible economic development grant for NBTY Inc., which plans to invest $6 million on the East Side in the former Judson-Atkinson candy plant at 4266 Dividend St.
The New York-based company, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplements, disclosed plans to create 65 full-time jobs with full benefits and annual pay of $27,832. A corporate website says NBTY makes 22,000 products in its lines of “high-quality, value-priced” supplements for global distribution under the NBTY and other brands.