Letters to the Editor

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PIERCE COUNTY: How dare we seek COLAs

Letter by Jeff England, Puyallup on July 22, 2011 at 10:26 am with 28 Comments »
July 22, 2011 2:58 pm

How dare the Pierce County sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers even think to ask for a cost- of-living increase? Who do they think they are?

In my profession, I run the daily risk of being assaulted, shot, stabbed and killed. I have had to work every shift on every holiday. I am routinely exposed to blood-borne and airborne pathogens, which I have unavoidably taken home to my family. I have seen and handled numerous dead bodies, including three children under the age of 10 burned to death by their father.

I face criticism and legal liability at every turn. My employers even have a section which does nothing but investigate me and fellow employees, looking for reasons to fire us. I have been spit upon by several members of the public for which I work.

In the 13 years I have been in my profession, I have been to 10 funerals for my fellow professionals. I have to have extra money taken out of my paycheck to pay for family medical bills, despite having insurance.

What do I do? I am a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy.

If the News Tribune practiced thorough journalism (instead of listening to Pierce County mouthpieces like Kevin Phelps or Joe Carrillo), they would discover that the sheriff’s department is among the lowest-paid departments of like sizes and calls for service.

I would like to go on but I have to go pick up my new Rolls Royce.

Leave a comment Comments → 28
  1. Sounds like you need to quit and get a better job in the private sector!

  2. newscrap says:

    Jeff
    Of course you DESERVE a COLA, but so do other public employees and others in the private sector. Unfortunately, since revenue in the state is down and cuts have to be made, how in God’s name can you justify getting MORE money when others have to take cuts. If you get MORE then the cuts to others would have to be even higher. It is not about what everyone DESERVES at this point in time.

  3. tree_guy says:

    It sounds like there’s nothing good about your job. Is that true?

    Do you get your paychecks on time? Do you get a pension? Does your employer provide you with some health benefits?Do you enjoy some job security? Do you get to wear a nice uniform? Do you frequently get accolades from the public citizens? Do you occasionally get some job satisfaction? Do you take pride in your job?

    I’ll bet there are a few people in the national unemployment line of 15,000,000 who would change places with you. What do you say?

  4. Dear_John says:

    Do you get a company car to drive home?
    I wish I did.
    Heck, a convenience store clerk faces about as much risk as a cop; an for minimum wage and no benefits.
    Molly Maids and janitors are exposed to pathogens every day, for around ten bucks an hour.
    Don’t get me wrong, thank you for your service, but put on your “Big Boy” pants and stop sniveling. We all are working with less these days.

  5. Haven’t had a COLA in three years – it sucks – but there ya go.

  6. geeterpontiac says:

    If you have it so tough, you could always quit your job and do something else. :)

  7. You have to be smart enough to realize COLA stands for Cost of living adjustment…..see, inflation is down, your “cost of living” has actually decreased. Be happy that you are getting what you shoudl get-which would be a cost of living decrease. You are the reason your unions and guilds need to be busted!

  8. stetsonwalker says:

    I know some nursing home orderlies that do the same job you have described…they make pennies above minimum wage….

  9. meant “that you are not getting what you should”, typo.

  10. If a person is so disatisified with their job.I feel they would do everyone,a favor by finding a different vocation.They aren’t doing themselves or their employers any favor by staying in a job they dislike.I think they would resent being called to do any responsible action that might be called for.

  11. bobcat1a says:

    Well Jeff, I guess you found out what kind of people you’re protecting. They won’t miss you till you’re gone and then it’ll be too late. I guess they would prefer cheap cops who are on the take like you find in the third world. I’m glad our grandparents weren’t so me-centric or there wouldn’t even be a United States. If the attitude expressed in these letters is dominant, we soon won’t have what our ancestors created and they will have their third world country.

  12. pazzo242 says:

    Jeff, as a retire Tacoma cop I understand what you are saying but going public was not your best idea. Thoughts like yours need to be kept to yourself and let your union bosses take the heat. When individual deputies go through the list of the bad side of the job you will only be looked at as a whiner and give law enforcement a bad name–there is already enough of that going around. I wish you luck in getting your COLA or any pay raise but it will be a hard, uphill battle.

    Next time pick you public battles a bit better and at the right time.

  13. truthbusterguy says:

    I didn’t think cops werre whiners. Mr. England, your donut crumbs are still on your shirt. You should be ashamed for such a letter.

    Those on Social Security have not had a COLA in two years.

    Listen you union thugs, No COLAs for ANYONE in this country until this country can afford a COLA for our seniors on SS. And that the truth from TBG.

    Enough said.

  14. frankiethomas says:

    Dude look around! Things are tough all over. My property value has crashed, my wage has been frozen for three years, and I don’t even get to carry a gun to my place of work where I could be assaulted on any given day. Geez.

  15. aislander says:

    I support the Sheriff’s Department and was inclined to be sympathetic to your argument until you introduced the class-warfare red herring into it…

  16. PumainTacoma says:

    Tree Guy is right. Sounds like a bunch of kids (worse than kids) complaining about not getting a second cookie for dessert. Heck you’ve had plenty of desserts. Time to go on a diet; starting with that car allowance.

  17. Must be nice to have your pay frozen for the past few years. Many people, myself included, have taken a large pay CUT over the past few years, and yes, we are still doing the same amount or more work at work. You think it’s tough to get by without incremental raises? We’ve managed to get by with 30% less money coming in.

    There is a huge value to the work our public safety officers perform, but as long as they are able to put food on the table their pay is just fine.

  18. olympicmtn says:

    I pay over $200 a day in state, federal and property taxes. How much is enough from my billfold to take in one 24 hour day? Forget the extra pay. Start going to work and going without that extra computer, that extra tv, that extra pedicure.

  19. So we Mr. Right Wing Treeguy calling a Deputy Sherriff a ‘union thug’ AND supporting increased SS payments to seniors?

    I’m offering 3:1 odds the sun will no longer raise in the east.

  20. harleyrider1 says:

    Jeff,
    You did a disservice not only to yourself, but others that wear the uniform. These are tough times for other people – the ones that pay taxes that contribute to your take home car, equipment you don’t have to buy, your medical and dental – and your pension. You still have your pension. You didn’t lose it when things busted. Actually you still have everything.

    Your world hasn’t changed.

    As for the risks of your job: Did you not know that when you were excited to become a deputy sheriff? TV or movies, newspapers – anything give you a clue that at times, not every moment or every day, but at times it might be dangerous?

    Your listed pay under your name is $74,452.97. Might you be able to hold off a little longer without a COLA for a year or two, Jeff?

  21. tree_guy says:

    Treeguy calling a Deputy Sherriff a ‘union thug’ xring

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/07/22/no-cola-for-county-employees/#ixzz1T2M8R7mB

    I never called a Deputy Sherriff a ‘union thug’ you delusional twit.

  22. ItalianSpring says:

    It appears 9/11 is soooooo long ago now.

  23. I respect the law enforcement folks. I do believe they have a thankless job and a dangerous one at that. But I agree with pazzo’s comments. Taking this issue to the public was an ill-advised and poorly thought- out idea. Many public sector workers and retirees have not had a COLA in years. In my neighborhood there are police officers from several jurisdictions and a few fire fighters. Many of them drive their assigned government vehicles home daily. That’s a perk that you won’t find in the federal government, at least around here. Domicile -to-Duty transportation is expressly against the law, even for General officers, without express permission from the Secetary of the Army or Congress. Recruiters are the exception.

  24. (sp) ‘Secretary” of the Army..

  25. T_G,
    My apologies, it was Truthbuster, not you, that called the deputy a union thug – see T_B_G’s post of July 23 at 7:14 AM

  26. tree_guy says:

    OK thanks for your correction. Have a good day xring.

  27. Copper2Steel says:

    I hope Deputy England isn’t speaking on behalf of his entire department.

    Those that are still employed, have benefits, etc. should feel grateful every day — especially these days.

  28. mr.”self egotistic officer” an alert! there are thousands of city employee’s that save lives every day and have not had a cost of living raise in yr’s! they also make less wages than you do,with more education. where you the only person that witnessed and handled the the tragic child’s event? think about all the emergengy personnel and city employee’s that go into dangerous situations every day, like you do, only don’t have a weapon to protect themselves. you chose your profession, so don’t complain about the same situation we are all in.watch out, the next cuts may be lay off’s. I’d choose you first.

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