Cliffside beach with title An Update from Human Resources

County Labor Relations Bargaining Update - December 2022

Author: Human Resources
Date: 12/21/2022 3:54 PM

Learn more about the most recent agreement with DSA, take a look back at some bargaining milestones during 2022, and find out what's coming next in the New Year

As the 2022 calendar year comes to a close, we want to highlight some important recent events and major milestones from this year related to union contract negotiations. Our goal is to ensure County staff are as educated and informed as possible on these topics.

2022 In Review

Labor Relations remains a busy division, as the Life Cycle of Labor Bargaining is constantly in motion for employee associations once contracts are close to expiration and negotiations begin – 2022 was certainly no exception! In total, we reached agreements with six represented employee associations, Sworn Deputy Sheriff's Association (Sworn Deputies), District Attorney Investigators Association (DA Investigators), Deputy County Counsel Association (Deputy County Counsel Attorneys), Deputy Sheriff's Association (Correctional Deputies, Non-Safety Law Enforcement, and Dispatchers), SLO County Sheriff's Managers Association (Sheriff’s Management ), and SLO County Employees’ Association (Public Services, Supervisory, Clerical and Trades), all with three-year terms, and a three-year resolution with unrepresented employees approved by the Board of Supervisors. The MOUs and resolutions can be found here.

Take a look at the timeline below to see this year in review:

We found the negotiations between the County and employee associations very collaborative, and we value the hard work and dedication these associations demonstrated throughout the bargaining process. The result was multiyear agreements that provide meaningful compensation gains, increased operational efficiencies, and improvements to working conditions for County employees.

DSA Update

The final contract/MOU negotiation for 2022 was between the County and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA). We are pleased to announce that the County and DSA reached a tentative agreement for new MOUs for 2023 through 2025 on October 12th, 2022. The MOUs were recently ratified by their membership and approved by the Board of Supervisors on December 13, 2022.

DSA Agreement Summary

The County and DSA agreed to a three-year term, commencing January 1, 2023, and expiring on December 31, 2025. Employees in Bargaining Units 03, 14, 21, and 22 are represented by DSA. The key terms of the agreement are summarized below.

  • Wages

    • Across-the-Board Wage Increases: Across-the-board increases of 2.5% effective the pay period including January 1, 2023.
    • New Step 6: A new 6th step will be added to the salary range effective the pay period including January 1, 2024. The additional step will give employees who are “topped out” at Step 5 the opportunity for an additional, five percent step increase. Employees who have been at step 5 for a year or more as of the effective pay period and have a current satisfactory or higher performance evaluation will be moved to the new Step 6. All other employees will move to step 6 based on the normal step progression.
    • Pension Holidays and Cap
      • To mitigate the impact of rising pension costs on employees, there will be a pension holiday (i.e., no pension increases) during the three years of the MOU term.
      • A 1.5% pension reduction will be effective January 2023.
      • A 1.0% pension reduction to their pension contribution effective January 2025.
    • Cafeteria Contributions to Employee Health Premiums - To address rising health care costs, the County and DSA agreed to an increase to the County’s monthly cafeteria contribution  will increase as follows:

Additional agreements include increases to bilingual differential, career incentive allowance, uniforms allowance, safety equipment allowance, special assignment pays, and shift differentials. The new DSA MOUs can be viewed here.

Final Observation on the DSA Bargaining Process

Both DSA and County labor teams worked diligently to bargain in good faith and reach an agreement that would make a meaningful impact to DSA members’ compensation and work experience here at the County. We look forward to implementing the new MOU provisions in the coming weeks.


Following our last update on the SLOCEA Tentative Agreement, the new MOUs were ratified by SLOCEA and approved by Board of Supervisors on October 4th. Significant improvements for SLOCEA represented employees included retroactive across-the-board pay increases of 3% and equity increases for employees in classifications that were below market median or were in classifications with recruitment and retention issues, both effective July 2022, as well as the addition of a 6th step to all SLOCEA classification pay ranges. You can review the updated Job Class Salary Listing table here. Future cafeteria and wage increases will also be implemented in January and July 2023, January and July 2024, and January 2025.

Looking Ahead to 2023

The County looks forward to continuing to bargain in good faith heading into 2023, as we jumpstart the new year of bargaining with the San Luis Obispo Prosecutors’ Association (SLOPA), which are scheduled to begin negotiations by March 1, 2023.

Employees represented by the Sworn Deputy Sheriff’s Association are scheduled to receive a 2.5% across-the-board wage increase on the January 13th paycheck per the MOU agreement. To offset rising healthcare costs for employees with dependents, employees in contribution tiers with medically-covered dependents are scheduled to receive cafeteria increases effective January 1st. The complete list of 2023 cafeteria contribution amounts by bargaining unit can be found here.

The Labor Team is striving to provide more education and information to employees and departments in the coming year, so stay tuned for more updates in the future.