Another 21 Lucas County sheriff's deputies were notified Thursday that they will be jobless in two weeks, adding to the 26 sheriff's employees already laid off this year, authorities said.
County officials have said savings from the layoffs will help the sheriff operate within the 2010 department budget of $33,244,892, which was reduced from 2009.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken and Administrator Peter Ujvagi were not immediately available for comment.
Union leaders blasted the move Thursday, saying the further elimination of the sheriff department's ranks erodes the safety of Lucas County residents.
The county had been negotiating with UAW Local 3056, which represents the non-command deputies, to consider a package of wage cuts and other concessions that would have avoided staff layoffs and saved an estimated $625,000 this year and $2.7 million next year, said Aaron Nolan, bargaining unit chairman for the union. He declined to provide specifics of the concessions, but said negotiations seemed to fall apart Tuesday when county officials indicated staff cuts were coming.
"We were to the point where we were bridging the shortfall that was there," Mr. Nolan said. "The only thing that stopped it, we wanted to maintain the health and safety of the officers [with current staffing levels] and they refused to do that."
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