Orange County supervisors on Tuesday finalized a new labor contract with a majority of county employees, who will get 2.5-percent annual raises for most of the next three years.

Supervisors approved both contracts without public discussion Tuesday. The only no vote came from Supervisor Michelle Steel, who opposed the OCEA contract while voting for the law enforcement manager raises.

The new contracts cover about 11,000 county government workers represented by the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), including mental health workers, public health nurses, social workers, and sheriff’s special officers. OCEA represents about two-thirds of the county’s roughly 17,000 employees.

The OCEA raises call for 2.5 percent annual increases now and for the next two years, followed by a 3.5 percent raise in July 2022. Officials estimate the cost at $334 million over the four-year contract, $238 million of which would come from unrestricted county funds that can be used for any government purpose.

Another labor contract, with 91 law enforcement managers, also was finalized by supervisors Tuesday. It calls for the same 3.5 percent annual raises sheriff’s deputies will get, totaling 14.7 percent in raises over the next three years.

At their most recent meeting, on Oct. 8, county supervisors unanimously approved 3.5-percent annual raises to deputy sheriffs and DA investigators for the next three years, totaling an estimated $151 million over the contract period, $110 million of which would be from unrestricted funds. The deputy sheriffs raises were approved unanimously.

The deputy raises total 14.7 percent over three years, with OCEA raises totaling 11.5 percent during the same period.

When the final raises take effect in 2022, the additional taxpayer costs average $31,400 annually for each sheriff’s deputy, sheriff sergeant and DA investigator; and $12,600 annually for each OCEA employee.

Click here to read our full article previewing the latest round of raises.

Nick Gerda covers county government and Santa Ana for Voice of OC. You can contact him at

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