TOWNSEND — Alongside its charter review process, Townsend has been conducting an employee classification study using an outside consultant.
According to Town Administrator Andy Sheehan, the last time this was performed was in early 2000.
“It is generally regarded that any in-house study was flawed because it failed to put town workers on a level playing field, it’s very tedious and hard to do internally,” he said.
For that reason, this year they hired Sandy Stapczynski of Human Resource Services, Inc. in Andover.
According to the Human Resource Services site, Stapczynski has done consulting for numerous small towns, cities, schools and other public entities. Her work specializes in local government.
“She has disseminated a questionnaire to and is performing interviews with town employees in order to look at more uniform pay scaling and job descriptions,” Sheehan says.
In addition, she is also comparing jobs within Townsend to those in 15 to 20 other Central Massachusetts communities.
Union workers from the Police, Telecommunications and Highway departments are exempt from this review.
Sheehan stressed that study is not designed to identify unnecessary positions, but will be used to better understand them and deal with them through transition periods when Townsend Employees retire or resign.
“All wages need to be on par and internally comparable,” he says.
Shehann says that historically there has been positions with similar name and titles which are unequal. Some positions aren’t in the outdated pay matrix and it is arbitrary who assigns the pay.
“Any problems have to be addressed and then reviewed frequently, this has to be a living document,” he said.
Sheehan expects the study to be done in mid-September so the town can vote on any wage adjustments which have to be made at October Town Meeting.
— Luke Steere