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Kemper deputies, dispatchers return to work

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Feb. 7, 2001
DEKALB Kemper County deputies and E-911 dispatchers briefly walked off their jobs Tuesday because they have not received raises.
A special meeting of the Kemper County Board of Supervisors was called to resolve the issue, but county officials say the hurt feelings are a result of miscommunication and bad timing.
Burroughs said employees called Sheriff Sam Tisdale and asked him to schedule an emergency meeting with the supervisors.
She said the rest of the dispatchers' salaries comes from E-911 monthly surcharges $1 for residential phone lines and $2 for commercial.
Tisdale said one dispatcher stayed on the Tuesday morning shift and deputies left the building to go get patrol cars, apparently getting ready to turn them in.
Acting County Administrator Mike McGrevey said the situation stems from a misunderstanding. He said he called Board President James Granger, who was in Jackson for the day, to come in and talk to the sheriff's employees.
So far, supervisors have reviewed several departments about 15 employees but the review is ongoing, he said.
He said the sheriff's employees will be reviewed next, then road and bridge employees and garbage crews a total of 55 to 60 employees.
Employees reviewed Monday did not receive pay increases, McGrevey said. Instead, the proposal is that all pay raises after the review is complete be made retroactively effective Feb. 1.
Tisdale said his employees returned to work around 2 p.m. after the meeting, during which they were promised a raise of $100 a month. He said their raises could be approved next week.
Though "they don't think the raise is enough," Tisdale said for now they are back on the job.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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