To the editor:
(This response relates to the decision offered by P.E.R.C. as it relates to the $2,400 dollar employee bonus issued to Lee County Sheriff's Office employees at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year.)
It has been more than two years since deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office voted to unionize. Today, they still have no contract despite negotiations, an appeal to the Board of County Commissioners and the start of a new fiscal year.
A bonus was given to all employees in September, 2012, but it did not include law enforcement deputies. The decision to exempt that sole group was after consulting with an outside law firm well versed in these matters. It certainly made sense since the union was trying to negotiate its own deal, independent of everyone else.
As I told employees in an email last night, "more than a full year later, that group of members was finally able to secure what everyone else had long since received from the Sheriff's Office - not from a Union. In other words, they just got what you already had and this is something they would have received long ago had the matter not been in dispute."
I will take the opportunity to review the entirety of the P.E.R.C. ruling and give it due consideration in the coming days.
Sheriff Mike Scott
Lee County Sheriff's Office