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County employees to get 4% pay increase

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | January 12, 2022 12:00 AM

Flathead County employees will get a 4% raise after the county commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the pay increase.

The commissioners unanimously supported the pay hike effective this month. The commissioners approved several resolutions that increase pay for elected officials, along with union and non-union employees within the county.

Chairperson Pam Holmquist said the increase is necessary to retain employees and keep the county operating.

“Several department heads have expressed issues with keeping and finding people,” she said. “This is about retaining staff.”

According to law, the county has to increase the salaries of elected officials by the same percentage when raises are given to county employees. For example, the sheriff’s salary sets the subsequent pay for the sheriff's deputies.

The County Compensation Board recommended the increase.

County Administrator Pete Melnick said elected officials and department heads in the county have expressed a sense of concern regarding retaining employees.

“There’s a call to action to retain people,” he said. “We’re an efficient county with a small workforce and we need everybody here to provide that service to the county that the public expects.”

The Flathead County attorney’s salary rises to $123,210; the county sheriff’s salary will be $102,561; the two justices of the peace increase to $91,353; the county commissioners, clerk of district court, county treasurer, county clerk and superintendent of schools increase to $79,406.

The county administrator pay increases to $135,782.

Features editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or hdesch@dailyinterlake.com.

[A previous various of this story said the county health officer received a pay increase when the position did not get a pay increase.]

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