BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association said Tuesday in a news release that BSO owes employees about $12 million in underpayments and past pension contributions, but the agency's general counsel told Local 10 News Wednesday that the number is actually in the thousands.
According to the news release, a recent arbitration hearing affirmed that BSO has been underpaying its employees for hours worked.
"This is a huge victory for current as well as retired employees," Union President Jeff Bell said in a statement. "The union attempted to resolve this matter for a fraction of the cost and agreed to language changes in the contract to favor BSO months ago. The sheriff is trusted as the gatekeeper of public funds and unfortunately, he let personal feelings related to a no-confidence vote get in the way of saving the public at least $10 million."
The union claimed that BSO offered to go back as far as 2007 to compensate all current employees and pay back lost wages, but according to the arbitrator's ruling, the "union conceded that any remedy in this matter would only apply to unit members from 30 days prior to the filing of the grievance going forward."
The grievance was filed on Jan. 19.
Payments are expected to be made to employees affected by Sept. 30.