- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

SUPERIOR, Mont. (AP) - Mineral County commissioners say they can’t afford to improve their contract offer to striking sheriff’s office employees.

Five deputies, five dispatchers and six detention officers went on strike on Monday after working for nearly a year without a contract.

Striking workers complained that commissioners refused to negotiate after offering raises of 70 cents an hour for lower paid employees and 50 cents an hour for others. Strikers say they want a multi-year contract and longevity incentives to help reduce turnover.

Commission chairman Roman Zylawy tells the Missoulian (https://bit.ly/1ZdjjTA ) the county has taken money from the library, fair board, hospital and general fund to boost the sheriff’s budget.

Zylawy, a sergeant with the Montana Highway Patrol, says the county has mutual aid agreements with the patrol along with Sanders and Missoula counties to respond to urgent incidents.

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Information from: Missoulian, https://www.missoulian.com

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