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San Francisco sheriff’s union compares overtime to slavery as members make $200k-plus in OT a year

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(The Center Square) – The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association recently referred to the extra hours their union members are working to as “slavery.

The union wrote on its website in April: “Overtime Slavery: San Francisco Sheriff’s Office Struggles Amidst Rising Violence and Staff Shortages.”

“Within the walls of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, a troubling reality is unfolding. Deputies, the frontline warriors of law enforcement, are being pushed to their limits by an unyielding demand for overtime work,” the San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association stated in the post.

The union said its deputies were averaging 5.25 hours of sleep a night due to the overtime.

What the union didn’t say is how much compensation its members are getting for working the extra hours.

In 2023, a senior deputy sheriff made $402,472 in overtime and had a total salary of $580,333.

In 2023, 10 members of the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Association union has made $200,000 or more in overtime.

Funding for the Sheriff’s office has increased from $204 million in fiscal year 2019 to $244 million in fiscal year 2023. The San Francisco Police Department and the Sheriff’s office costs have increased from $$746 million in fiscal year 2019 to $890 million in fiscal year 2023.

The union pointed to examples that trigger overtime such as pro-Palestinian protesters blocking the Golden Gate Bridge in April.

“The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is in the midst of a staffing crisis, severely impacting its ability to maintain safety and respond effectively to emergencies,” the union stated in a media release. “The recent blockage of the Golden Gate Bridge by pro-Palestinian protesters underscored the department’s challenges, with off-duty deputies being urgently called in to address the situation due to the staffing shortfall. … We are running out of Deputy Sheriffs!”

The city stated in budget documents that it is prioritizing hiring 75 new sheriff’s deputies in 2024-25 and 2025-26. The Sheriff’s office was budgeted for 1,002 full-time jobs in 2023.

The city stated it is also facing a staffing shortage with its city police force. An analysis in January 2024 stated it had 1,589 sworn employees which was 485 short of the recommended level.

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