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Supreme Court Details Deputy Sheriff’s Longevity Calculations


By Jack Holstrom, MACo/JPIA Personnel Services Administrator

Sheriff & Deputy Sheriff Salary Determination Worksheet

The Montana Supreme Court in Close v. Lewis and Clark County 2008 MT 271 (August 5, 2008) detailed the method that must be used by county government in calculating deputy sheriff’s longevity pay. A review of the decision indicates the following steps should be utilized in making pay calculations for the Sheriff, Undersheriff, and  Deputy Sheriffs’.

The calculations for the following examples are based on the uniform salary compensation schedule amount recommended by the County Compensation Board and approved by resolution by the Board of Commissioners for the Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer, Clerk of Court, Assessor, Superintendent of Schools, Sheriff, Surveyor, Justice of the Peace, and Auditor. The uniform amount must be the same for the Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer, Clerk of Court, Assessor, Superintendent of Schools, Sheriff, Surveyor, Justice of the Peace, and Auditor.

 The Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff have 10 years of service and the Sheriff’s Office has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the Deputy Sheriff’s Union which provides that the minimum base annual salary for Deputy Sheriffs holding the rank of Captain shall be 80% of the salary of the Sheriff. The County Compensation Board has approved a cost-of-living-increment for the year at 2.8%

SHERIFF’S SALARY CALCULATIONS

1. Calculate the County Sheriff’s Base  Salary. The uniform amount recommended by the County Compensation Board pursuant to 7-4-2503, MCA and cost- of- living increment is the County Sheriff’s Base Salary.

Compensation Board Uniform Recommendation $30,000
Cost-of-living increment:  2.8% x $30,000 +  840
County Sheriff’s Base Salary $30,840

2. Calculate Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriffs and Undersheriffs Salary Calculations.

The County Sheriff’s Base Salary plus the $2000 increment provided in 7-4-2503(2)(b) MCA is the Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriffs and Undersheriffs Salary Calculations.

County Sheriff’s Base Salary $30,840
$2000 increment + 2,000
Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriff and Undersheriff
Calculations.
$32,840

3. Calculate Sheriff’s Longevity.  Sheriff’s Longevity is the County Sheriff’s Base Salary x 1% x years of service with the Sheriff’s Department.

1% x $30,840 x 10 years = $ 3,084

4. Calculate Sheriff’s Total Salary. The Sheriff’s Total Salary is the Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriff and Undersheriff Calculations plus the Sheriff’s Longevity.

Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriff and Undersheriff Calculations $32,840
Sheriff’s Longevity + 3,084
Sheriff’s Total Salary $35,924

UNDERSHERIFF’S SALARY CALCULATIONS

1. Calculate the Undersheriff’s Base Salary. The Undersheriff’s Base Salary is 95% of the Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriff’s and Undersheriff’s  Salary Calculations.

Sheriff’s Base Salary for Deputy Sheriff’s and Undersheriff’s Calculations

 $32,840 x 95% =  $31,198.

2. Calculate the Undersheriff’s Longevity. The Undersheriff’s Longevity is 1% of the Undersheriff’s Base Salary x years of service with the Sheriff’s Department adjusted annually on the anniversary date.

1% x $31,198 x 10 years = $ 3,120

3. Calculate Undersheriff’s Total Salary. The Undersheriff’s Total Salary is the Undersheriff’s Base Salary plus Undersheriff’s longevity.

Undersheriff’s Base Salary $31,198
Undersheriff’s Longevity + 3,120
Undersheriff’s Total Salary $34,318

DEPUTY SHERIFF’S SALARY CALCULATONS

1. Calculate the Deputy Sheriff’s Base Salary  Using 7-4-2508(2)(a)(b). multiply the Sheriff’s Base Salary calculated  for Deputy Sheriff’s and Undersheriff’s Salary Calculations by the percentage of the Sheriff’s salary that each individual deputy earned.

$32,840 x 80% = $26,272

2. Calculate the Deputy Sheriff’s Longevity. The Deputy Sheriff’s Longevity is the Deputy Sheriff’s Base x 1% x years of service with the Sheriff’s Department.

1% x $26,272 x 10 years = $2,627

3. Calculate Deputy Sheriff’s Total Salary. The Deputy Sheriff’s Total Salary is the Deputy Sheriff’s Base Salary plus Deputy Sheriff’s Longevity.

Deputy Sheriff’s Base Salary $26,272
Deputy Sheriff’s Longevity + 2,627
Deputy Sheriff’s Total Salary $28,899