GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

August 2, 2010

Rockport takes fresh aim at salary structure

By Jonathan L'Ecuyer
Staff Writer

ROCKPORT — It's been more than a decade since the town conducted a "classification and compensation study" of its municipal positions, but officials are looking to update that plan this year.

Rockport is seeking proposals from human resources management consulting firms to conduct the study and will accept bids for the work Aug. 9 through 30, according to Town Administrator Linda Sanders.

The town has only made minimal changes to its Classification and Compensation Plan since the last study was completed in 1997.

"Over time, the plan has become outdated and is in need of revision," Sanders said.

The firm hired to complete the study will review and update job descriptions for positions covered by the study; develop recommendations for compensation; and produce a rating manual and related materials which may be used by the Personnel Board to keep the plan updated.

"By having this study completed, the town will have information to determine internal equity and external competitiveness for all municipal positions," Sanders said.

Consultants interested in the work must have at least three years of experience in conducting this particular kind of study and must have completed at least four Classification and Compensation studies in Massachusetts, preferably for other municipalities.

Once a consultant is selected, the firm will hold orientation sessions to explain the process to affected employees. All employees will be requested to complete a questionnaire requiring them to list their job duties, requirements and responsibilities.

The consultant will work to create, modify and update job descriptions for all positions in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable federal and state statutes.

Rockport has 78 full-time employees, excluding the School Department and Police Department, of which 52 are covered by collective bargaining contracts. Approximately 54 percent of total employees belong to unions or other collective bargaining groups.

There are also a number of part-time positions and several other positions on stipend.

The chosen consultant will also perform a market salary survey of communities comparable to Rockport in size, population, economic climate, proximity to a major city, among other characteristics. The firm will then utilize the market survey results and comparable job descriptions to compile a recommended compensation plan and salary schedule.

Jonathan L'Ecuyer can be reached at 978-283-7000 x 3451 or jlecuyer@gloucestertimes.com.