Sonoma County government and its largest group of public safety workers have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract.
The deal, involving the 470-member Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association, is the first reached with rank-and-file public safety employees under the county's recent bid to curb rising pension costs and reduce total compensation.
The deal covers correctional deputies and counselors, probation officers, park rangers, emergency dispatchers, fire inspectors and some investigative posts.
Kimber Williams, SCLEA's president, said the proposed contract achieved savings for the county while remaining "fair" to the group's members.
The association announced the deal on its website Thursday and set a ratification vote for Monday.
"The county was clear it was concessions bargaining and ongoing savings that were the focus," Williams said.
She voiced confidence that employees would approve the deal, though sources in the bargaining unit have suggested it faces what is likely to be a tight vote.
County officials declined to discuss the agreement this week, wary of interfering with or influencing the vote. They said the deal was consistent with a contract reached earlier this year with the county's largest labor union and recent deals with top officials and a small group of law enforcement managers.
Negotiations between the two sides began in July and the group's contract expired in November.
The new contract, as summarized by the law enforcement association, would achieve savings for taxpayers through a package of concessions that includes a schedule change designed to reduce overtime, a continued salary freeze through October 2014, and the reduction or elimination of some wage premiums offered for dozens of different posts, skills and duties.