Orange County and the Sheriff’s Office Employee Association had not met for almost 30 days until Wednesday. The two parties conducted a collective bargaining session for over three and a half hours in the Commissioners Courtroom.
Although there were disagreements on several of the articles that makeup the collective bargaining agreement, the main sticking point appears to be the issue of Disciplinary Actions in Article 18. Some of the wording may have been amended to suit both parties, but the process for resolving disputes over disciplinary action remains unresolved.
The Sheriff’s Office Employee Association preferred any dispute go to arbitration. The Commissioners Court representing Orange County was opposed to that mentioning several appeals that the county had that went to arbitration, almost all of which went against the county. The Court recommended a five-member Disciplinary Review Board within the Sheriff’s Office to hear any complaints. Any appeal from that board would go to an Orange County District Judge instead of an arbitrator.
No future negotiation dates were set after Wednesday’s meeting. It was agreed by both parties that 60 days remain during which further negotiations could be scheduled before an impasse would be declared.
Written by KOGT Radio