One hundred and twenty of Berrien County’s finest are getting a late Christmas present in the form of a pay raise.
According to the Herald Palladium, Berrien County sheriff’s deputies are going to receive an annual pay raise of one-percent for the next three years. The raises are the result of a new contract approved by county commissioners on Thursday, and is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 after the old contracts expire at the end of 2012.
The contracts provide deputies with a small wage increase and also require employees to share a greater burden for the cost of health insurance premiums. Right now deputies pay 15-percent of the cost, but under the new contracts that percentage will gradually increase to 20 percent by 2016.
All personnel hired to the unit on or after Jan. 1 of next year will not receive retiree health care, and the new contract increases the time required to receive pension benefits from five to 10 years of service.