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Orange County Digest

Countywide : Deputies, County Fail to Reach Accord

September 18, 1987

After seven hours at the negotiating table Thursday, an official for the union representing county sheriff's deputies said the union will call a membership meeting early next week.

Officials from both sides agreed not to discuss details of the meeting, but the union official said they do not have a tentative wage agreement to offer members.

John Sibley, county employee relations director, also said the county did not bring any offers of higher wages to the meeting Thursday. Instead, he said, some previous offers were repackaged with the same amount of money.

"There was no breakthrough today that would allow me to say we have an outright agreement," Sibley said after the meeting at the county Hall of Administration in Santa Ana. "It wasn't like going fishing with your best friend, but I think both sides worked very constructively."

Robert MacLeod, general manager of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said no agreement was reached on the issue of a fact-finding hearing, which deputies have requested to investigate the county's ability to pay salary raises.

The 1,100-member union has threatened a strike any day in the wake of two months of salary negotiations and a weeklong work slowdown in August. After the last set of talks broke down on Sept. 2, MacLeod said, "I don't see how it could get any more serious." The union announced Sept. 11 that members were 100% behind a major job action to win higher wages.

Thursday's meeting was called by Wyatt Hart, a retired sheriff's captain acting as mediator in the talks. Hart was not available Thursday, but he said earlier that the meeting was called to avoid a major job action.

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