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Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos proposes wage increase for county employees

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Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 01:46:05-04

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — Within recent months, the Tucson City Council voted to raise the minimum wage for its city employees.

In May 2021, city council voted unanimously approving nearly $30 million in raises for city employees. The compensation package included raising wages to market-rate pay level and a 2% increase for workers not effected by market adjustments.

In February 2021, city council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour city workers. Prior, city employees were earning statewide minimum wage of $12 an hour.

In December 2020, Mayor Regina Romero announced the change and that it would affect over 2,000 city employees starting in February 2021.

Now, Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos is proposing that the Pima County Board of Supervisors adopt the same pay structure and increase pay for its county workers as well, so the department and county don't relinquish employees.

In a letter sent to the Pima County Board of Supervisors Friday, Sheriff Nanos states, in part:

Recently, the Pima County Sheriff's Department labor unions and associations authored a letter requesting consideration from the Pima County Board of Supervisors for fair and competitive pay for its members. This was a collaborative effort by all PCSD employee groups. As you know, this comes on the heels of the City of Tucson's massive pay plan for all its employees.

Sheriff Nanos sent a previous letter in May to the Board of Supervisors requesting the board look at the Tucson Police Department's pay and come up with a similar compensation package.

Sheriff Nanos says the department has lost some deputies to other neighboring law enforcement agencies.

The letter in part, reads:

The potential staffing challenges will impact not just the sheriff's department, but departments county wide. A large majority of governmental job-seeking prospects exist right here in the metropolitan Tucson area.

It continues, in part:

My employee associations and unions put politics aside, and I am asking the board to do the same. An unprecedented opportunity to fix compression, provide competitive wage and retain talented staff is at your doorstep. Serendipitously, this wage chasm with our competitor and the county's massive compression issues present themselves juxtaposed to the clearly portended Pima County financial windfall provided by the Federal American Rescue Plan. The money exists, the reasons are clear and firs-time opportunity has presented itself. I ask you to act - not just for the Pima County Sheriff's Department employees, but for all county employees.