(KMOV) -- It was a somber moment inside the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office as twelve officers were given their walking papers as they were finishing their shift Saturday afternoon.
The Officer's Union and St. Clair County have been debating terms for weeks and with no agreement on a proposal from either side and with the St. Clair County department struggling with money, layoffs were eminent.
The labor dispute surrounds an arbitrator's decision to award deputies a $9.50 raise over three years. The county chairman says for the present condition of the department, that figure is not unrealistic.
The president of the Officer's Union, Deputy Patrick York, was one of the twelve officers laid off. He said, "I hold out hope. I'm not real optimistic, but I'm hopeful something will get done."
York holds on to hope that may come in a new proposal from the county. No details of the proposal are being discussed, but it could bring back all twleve officers that were laid off.