County reaches tentative union agreements

The Baltimore Sun

After striking deals with the deputy sheriffs and the sheriff's sergeants, Anne Arundel County has reached at least tentative contract agreements with all 10 of its unions, County Executive John R. Leopold announced yesterday.

The deputy sheriffs union, Local Teamsters 355, and the sheriff's sergeants union, National Union of Law Enforcement Associations Local 777, reached separate agreements Monday night on three-year contracts, county officials said.

Ratification votes are scheduled this week.

The proposal for the 60 deputy sheriffs provides an annual 3 percent cost-of-living increase plus a 4 percent merit raise, said shop steward Dave Belisle.

Representatives for the eight sheriff's sergeants could not be reached yesterday afternoon.

County officials have not disclosed details of the terms of any of its new contracts.

Seven of the 10 unions have ratified their contracts, including the organizations serving police officers, the firefighters and maintenance employees and administrative support employees. They represent about 2,600 of the county's 4,200 employees.

Five of the unions - representing about 1,600 employees - have new four-year contracts, what Leopold called "an unprecedented achievement that will provide labor stability" for the county government.

County officials had been bracing for the impact of rising labor costs within the framework of several fiscal challenges that the local government faces.

"This is one of the looming concerns we had," Leopold said of the labor contracts, but he added: "The taxpayers can be proud of the results."

Sun reporter Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

Here is a summary of the status of the union contracts to date:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 582 and Local 2563, representing 1,200 labor and maintenance employees and administrative support employees, each ratified four-year contracts.

The Fraternal Order of Police, representing 560 police officers, ratified a two-year contract.

The International Union of Police Associations, Local 141, representing 23 detention sergeants, ratified a four-year contract.

The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1563, representing more than 830 firefighters, emergency medical technicians, lieutenants and captains, will vote next week on a three-year agreement.

The Fraternal Order of Anne Arundel Detention Center Officers and Personnel Inc., representing 241 detention officers, ratified a four-year contract.

The Police Supervisors Association, representing 74 positions, has a two-year agreement after an arbitration award was issued to the county.

Teamsters Local 355, representing 40 correctional program specialists, has agreed to a four-year contract.

Teamsters Local 355, representing about 60 deputy sheriffs, will vote this week on whether to ratify a three-year contract.

National Union of Law Enforcement Associations Local 777, representing eight sheriff's sergeants, will vote this week on whether to ratify a three-year contract.

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