Sheriff's union declares impasse on negotiations; No agreement on pay, test scores

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Hundreds of men and woman sworn to keep Orange County's streets safe are upset with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Channel 9's Jeff Deal discovered.

On Wednesday Orange County Sheriff's Fraternal Order of Police No. 93 told Channel 9 critical contract negotiations are going nowhere with several issues that deputies and the Sheriff's Office can't agree on.

One of the issues at the center of the fight is pay, Deal learned.

The union declared an impasse in negotiations effective immediately.

The union's labor committee chairman told Deal Orange County deputies make on average of about $10,000 less a year than counterparts with similar experience in the Orlando Police Department, which is creating morale issues.

The second sticking point is related to scores on professional tests for those wanting to become supervisors.

Right now a passing or cutoff score is 85 percent. The union said the administration wants to drop the cutoff down to 75 percent.

The union feels supervisors make important decisions that affect lives, and those supervisors need to be well-versed in department procedures and policies, so they need to be held to a high standard.

The union also claims it's having a much larger impact, because deputies are leaving the department in record numbers.