PARIS — Contract talks between Oxford County commissioners and the union representing Oxford County Sheriff’s deputies have entered a crucial point, according to county Administrator Scott Cole.

The two sides met for over two hours in a closed-session late Wednesday night. Although no formal action on the contract was taken, the two sides are preparing for more negotiations, he said.

“I think we’re in the most intense phase of discussion,” Cole said.

In November, the two sides met for the first time after a considerable gap in negotiations.

The union and commissioners have been negotiating for a new agreement since the labor contract for deputies, corporals and sergeants in the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office expired in 2011.  

Last summer, members of the union voted to disband the Oxford County Deputies Association and join Teamsters Union Local 340. At the time, members said the in-house union, which had represented the deputies for the previous 15 years, felt it could no longer accomplish its goals in talks with commissioners.

Previously, outgoing association President Joshua Wyman said the main point of contention for deputies was wages, arguing Oxford County deputies are among the lowest paid.

A call to Teamsters business agent Ray Cote was not returned Thursday afternoon.

Additional meetings with teamsters are scheduled June 12 and 18, Cole said. No timetable for when the two sides could come to an agreement has been made.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate on when that will happen,” Cole said.


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