The Commissioners Court met with the Sheriff’s Office Employee Association on Wednesday to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. The negotiations lasted roughly two hours.
Union negotiators from CLEAT led discussions on the 21 articles that makeup the current collective bargaining agreement. Resolving disciplinary actions has been a contention during the negotiations.
Craig Deates with CLEAT pointed out the union has a problem with Sheriff Lane Mooney not rehiring approximately 20 percent of the employees in the Sheriff’s Office when he took the office in 2020. Deates wants a clause in the contract to prevent a new sheriff when taking office from not rehiring current deputies.
Mooney like all the county sheriff’s in Texas have the constitutional right to not rehire deputies when they become sheriff. Commissioner Robert Viator stated the Commissioners Court cannot void the sheriff of his constitutional right and authority. There is a pending court case in Texas that is attempting to repeal the constitutional clause that allows sheriffs in all 254 counties not rehire employees when the newly elected official takes office.
Another negotiation session between the two parties is scheduled for Thursday, October 14. The collective bargaining session is scheduled for 9:00 AM to 12 noon in the Administration Building of the Courthouse.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
photo: OCSOEA representatives look on during negotiations with county commissioners. Sheriff Mooney is on the back row (center).