UC Commission ratifies law enforcement contract

Bizar Male

Jul. 23—LA GRANDE — Nonmanagement employees with the Union County Sheriff’s Office and corrections department are set to receive pay raises of at least 3% each of the next three years.

The pay increases will be granted under the terms of a three-year deal with the Union County Law Enforcement Association ratified by the Union County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, July 21. The contract is retroactive to July 1 and runs through June 30, 2024.

“I’m very happy with the contract. It is fair to the employees and it is fair to the community,” said Union County Commissioner Donna Beverage. “It took a lot of work to come up with a contract that is satisfactory to both parties.”

Terms of the contract call for employees with the UCLEA to receive a base salary boost of 3% in 2021-2022. They will receive a minimum pay increase of 3% and a maximum boost of 4.5% in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.

The pay raises in the final two years of the contract will be based on the previous year’s average consumer price index in United States cities.

The contract also boosts what UCLEA employees receive in incentive pay for having a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree, an increase to 6%. Employees previously received a 5% pay increase for having such a degree.

Another new feature of the contract is a physical fitness incentive. Employees who can complete the Oregon Physical Abilities Test in 5 minutes and 30 seconds or less will receive a $500 bonus payment. The 5:30 objective is based upon the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training standard.

The Oregon Physical Abilities Test is used to evaluate whether entry level police officer candidates have the essential physical capacities to perform their duties.

The Union County Law Enforcement Association has 28 members. All are patrol officers or work at the Union County Jail.

Dick Mason is a reporter with The Observer primarily covering the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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