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Orange County Digest

Countywide : County Reaches Accord With Its Last Union

October 22, 1987

County labor negotiators have reached a tentative wage agreement with the last of eight employee groups that had been battling with the county for months.

The tentative agreement with the Orange County Employees Assn. was reached late Tuesday night after more than 37 hours of almost nonstop bargaining. It is the largest county employee union, with 6,500 members.

Union and county officials declined to detail the accord until the membership approves it.

Four of the other agreements have been ratified by union members; those with the sheriff's deputies and marshals have received final approval from the Board of Supervisors.

"Nothing is ever totally satisfactory, but I think, given the problems the county had this year, it's a reasonably good agreement," John Sawyer, general manager of Orange County Employees Assn., said Wednesday.

Sawyer, however, said the county's credibility suffered when officials said the county couldn't afford employee raises and then found more money for the other agreements reached in the last three weeks.

Also, he said, the months of negotiations have "damaged the morale of employees. That affects the efficiency and the work and the morale of the people."

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