More than 300 angry Ventura County sheriff's deputies picketed the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to protest what they called an inadequate salary contract offer.
County negotiators have offered an 8.5% pay hike over two years, but deputies, while refusing to disclose a figure, say they want more than twice that amount.
Deputies are paid $25,594 to $32,631.
Gary White, president of the Ventura County Sheriffs Assn., which has 547 members including 25 investigators from the district attorney's office, said that deputies' salaries lag as much as 8% below those paid to police officers in Simi Valley, Ventura and Oxnard.
The salary difference makes it difficult to attract qualified candidates, he said.
County officials said that deputies' salaries compare favorably with those of deputies in other counties with the population and revenue of Ventura.
The deputies' contract expired in early April, and both parties are meeting with state mediators to resolve the issue, White said.