Bedford Select Board Awaits Survey Results Before Finalizing Salary Ranges

December 29, 2023
Bedford Town Hall

The Bedford Select Board is waiting for the arrival of the wage and classification study before closing a public hearing on amendments to the salary administration plan bylaw. 

The bylaw classifies all municipal jobs and assigns a pay-scale range to each, except for those covered by collective bargaining agreements. It is amended every year at town meeting to authorize classification and wage changes.

The Select Board opened the required public hearing on Dec. 18, and Town Manager Matt Hanson said he anticipates receiving the results of the comparative study in January.  

They could influence some of the bylaw parameters, especially since five positions already exceed the maximum set under the current bylaw. They are fire chief, police chief, finance director/town accountant, and human resource director, all salaried positions, and animal control officer, paid by the hour.

Town government conducts the comparative surveys every few years to learn if its pay scale is competitive, especially for managerial positions. Select Board member Margot Fleischman commented that it is not uncommon for the value of particular jobs to increase between studies. “We have some evidence that says they are not comparable to other communities,” added member Emily Mitchell.

At the Dec. 18 hearing, Hanson proposed a 3 percent increase over rates for the current year for employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements. A separate town meeting article gives the town manager funds to use for merit increases as well.

Several new positions will be incorporated into the bylaw at various grades if approved. Hanson proposed elevating treasurer/collector by two grades.

That position is now unfilled. Alex DiZio was hired in March, and “he recently resigned to take an opportunity in a nearby community,” said Hanson on Tuesday, noting that “the prior treasurer/collector left after less than a year as well.”

While the position is vacant, Hanson said, “the assistant treasurer/collector, along with the finance director, finance and human resources staff, all pick up a portion of the workload. We may use an occasional consultant for certain aspects of the job if needed and depending on the length of the vacancy.”

The manager also proposed the addition of a facilities project manager, a position proposed as an alternative to assistant facilities director. The director of human resources is also restored to the bylaw; Colleen Doyle had that responsibility when she was promoted to assistant town manager. She is now human resources director in Watertown.

The Select Board continued the bylaw amendment hearing to Tuesday, Jan. 16.

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