Denver Sheriff’s Deputies Face Pay Freeze This Year Under Contract Approved By City Council

DENVER, CO — Denver City Council approved a one-year contract Monday night with the union representing sheriff’s deputies, effectively freezing salaries and cutting other benefits for the year that’s already well underway.

The newly approved contract means deputies will not receive raises this year, Department of Public Safety’s Director of Communications Kelli Christensen said. It also temporarily suspends uniform allowances, premium holiday pay and benefits for seven holidays and longevity pay through the rest of the year. It’ll save the city about $1.77 million, Christensen said.

Other city departments had been asked this year to propose cuts of up to 11% of their budgets. Similar cuts in the police union contract are expected to save the city about $5 million, though officers will receive raises in 2022.

The delay in approving the contract comes from an impasse last month between city officials and the Fraternal Order of Police Denver Sheriff Lodge 27, which sent negotiations to an arbiter for the one-year contract.

That impasse echoes a similar disagreement over a two-year contract for Denver’s police officers, which also went through arbitration. Much of that strife stemmed from the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, calls to defund the police and demands for increased police accountability locally and nationally.

Council members approved the contract on a 12-1 vote — with Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca opposed — and without conversation Monday night.

A single-year contract is uncommon, even the two-year Denver police contract approved late last year was shorter than normal. Christensen said it’s not yet clear when negotiations will begin for next year’s contract with deputies. Sheriff’s union officials did not respond to a request for comment.

From The Denver Post

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