County sheriff's deputies, who have already approved job actions up to and including a strike, will meet Thursday to consider the county's latest contract offer, which their union negotiators have termed unacceptable.
A flier distributed Tuesday to the 800 members of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs said "job actions appear necessary" because management has made what it called its final offer during talks Monday.
"We just want them (the deputies) to know before they support any job action why the (negotiating) team is unhappy with the county's position," said Robert G. MacLeod, general manager of the association.
MacLeod said the union had lowered its previous wage demand of 6.8% for each year of a two-year contract to 5.75% but is still asking for, among other things, special pay for pilots and observers who fly in the department's two helicopters.
In Monday's negotiations, the first in more than a week, the county offered a salary raise of 4.75% for only one year, according to John Sibley, director of employee relations. In previous talks, the county had proposed 4.1% for the first year and a maximum of 3.8% for the second, based on a formula calling for a 1% increase for each 2% increase in the consumer price index.
On May 30, after negotiations had reached an impasse, the deputies voted overwhelmingly to authorize the union leaders to call job actions if talks did not resume.
"Without unanimous support of the membership, we will not convince the county to increase their offer to an acceptable level," said the flier sent out Tuesday.
MacLeod said it has not been determined exactly what form the job actions would take, but "we are reviewing our options and will also ask for alternatives from the membership on Thursday."