Marion County commissioners approve new $3.8 million union contract for deputies

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a new two-year contract which would give raises to about 225 Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies and other employees at a cost of $3.8 million.

The cost associated with the new contract is not factored into the county’s 2024 budget and will require the board of commissioners to pass budget amendments in the fall, said Jeremy Schwab, spokesman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The agreement with the Marion County Law Enforcement Association will provide cost of living increases for law enforcement with the sheriff’s office through June 30, 2026. The agreement provides a 4% increase as of July 1 and a 3% increase for 2025-26. 

Under the new contract, entry-level sheriff’s deputies will now make $34.81 an hour, a raise of $1.34.

The agreement also provides incentive pay for officers who get intermediate and advanced state law enforcement certifications, increases for employees working night shifts, and an increase in county retirement plan contributions from $50 to $100 monthly. 

Schwab said the new contract covers most of the 375 full-time employees at the sheriff’s office including patrol deputies, jail deputies, nurses, and other non-sworn staff such as facility security aids. 

It’s the largest of three unions representing sheriff’s office employees. Commissioners on Wednesday also approved a two-year contract for the county’s parole and probation officers

That union includes about 30 employees, Schwab said. 

The second contract provides a 4% increase for the first year of the contract and a 3% increase for the second year, Marion County Undersheriff Jay Bergmann said. The agreement will cost the county about $629,600, according to the agreement. 

Bergmann said the new contract will also include a 5% increase for hearings officers. 

“That work requires additional training and certifications and we felt like it deserved a little more pay,” Bergmann said. 

The Salem City Council recently approved a new three-year contract for 160 police union members that provides officers with a 13% raise over two years. 

Contact reporter Joe Siess: [email protected] or 503-335-7790.

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Joe Siess is a reporter for Salem Reporter. Joe joined Salem Reporter in 2024 and primarily covers city and county government but loves surprises. Joe previously reported for the Redmond Spokesman, the Bulletin in Bend, Klamath Falls Herald and News and the Malheur Enterprise. He was born in Independence, MO, where the Oregon Trail officially starts, and grew up in the Kansas City area.