Berrien Commissioners approve pay raise for court clerks


The Berrien County Board of Commissioners has approved a pay increase for trial court clerks.

Berrien County Administrator Brian Dissette tells us the board recently did an exhaustive study of pay for all county employees, but took a close look at court clerks after hearing from a group of them last summer. At a board meeting in August, the clerks complained of pay so low it compares to fast food jobs.

Over the past several months, county leadership has worked with leadership from the Berrien County Court, reviewing the situation, reviewing the staffing shortage, and then ultimately working in tandem with court leadership to determine the grade increase,” Dissette said.

Dissette says the board vote this week gives a new pay grade to trial court clerks and deputy registers.

The resolution that was passed over a series of years will impact the county court clerks. They’ll see roughly a 10% wage increase spread over a number of years. Total cost for the rollout of the grade increase is approximately $126,000. That’s spread over 36 employees.”

Dissette said the Berrien County Trial Court has secured state funding to cover the cost of the pay increase. It’s also eliminating two funded-but-vacant clerk positions.

Additionally this week, the county board approved a pay increase for assistant prosecutors to help deal with a shortage of them in the prosecutor’s office.

The board’s action this week did not affect clerks working in the Berrien County Clerk’s office, something Clerk Sharon Tyler has been pushing for.