16 Percent Raises for New Deputies

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Byline: Jake Griffin jgriffin@dailyherald.com

As the deadline approaches for the DuPage County Board to pass the coming years budget, the battle over pay increases for public safety workers is heating up.

The county has come to an agreement with the sheriffs office that would provide for 16 percent raises for more recently hired deputies, but smaller bumps for longtime employees that would be in the range of 3 percent, board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom said.

"The sheriff is comfortable," Schillerstrom said. "Negotiations fell within the parameters of what we proposed."

Starting deputies would see salaries increase from $41,500 to $48,000.

Schillerstrom said the higher pay will help attract new employees and retain the ones who often jump to neighboring counties for more pay after being trained in DuPage.

The board still has to approve the plan, and some board members have questioned why the sheriff is paying deputies who work in the jail and courthouse on the same scale as patrol deputies. Other counties pay a premium for patrol deputies. A vote on the budget is expected Nov. 25.

But the bigger tussle may be over raises for prosecutors, whose starting pay is $48,000, which pales in comparison to comparable-sized counties. States Attorney Joseph Birkett is seeking an 11 percent hike for his prosecutors, but the current budget calls for only an automatic 1. …