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Cook County sheriff's deputies get new contract

Thursday, August 02, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Cook County sheriff's deputies Wednesday signed off on a new contract, the first time in 15 years the deputies and the county haven't ended up in arbitration.
The deputies, who provide security at county courthouses, historically have come out winners every time they went to arbitration with Cook County. Board President Todd Stroger said that's a reason he tried to change the negotiating process.
"This marks a reformation of our administration's commitment to bargain fairly and in good faith with our union members," Stroger said.
Teamsters Local 714 representative Michael Vendafreddo said the county made "a little bit better of an offer" than previous years, and members overwhelmingly approved it.
The county's top labor negotiator, Jonathan Rothstein, said the deputies will be getting a wage increase similar to what other county unions already received.
Their salaries will rise 14.75 percent over four years, county officials said. For health insurance, deputies will pay increased co-pays and deductibles starting this year and will have higher paycheck deductions next year.
County health benefits have long been cheap for employees. Deputies were paying 0.5 percent of their salary, capped at $8 per paycheck, Rothstein said, regardless of how many family members were on the plan.
In the new contract, the $8 cap is gone and deputies will pay up to 1.25 percent of their paycheck depending on how many people are getting benefits, Rothstein said.

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