Aldermanic committee recommends conclusion of compensation study

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BMA Community Improvement Committee on May 7, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) Committee on Community Improvement has recommended against a postponed deadline for an ongoing classification and compensation study for city employees.

City of Manchester Human Resources Director Lisa Drabik told the committee that work is approximately 65 percent done, but the original end date is scheduled for June 30, 2024, and usage of the $750,000 in Community Improvement Program (CIP) funds allocated for the project can no longer be used after that date without a deadline adjustment.

Drabik added that approximately $250,000 of that amount has been used for payment to consultants who in coordination with the Human Resources Department have examined 20 comparable municipalities for comparisons to their job classifications with the over 400 job titles currently in place for Manchester’s municipal public employees.

Over 80 meetings, hearings and other events have also been held with city employees to create an overarching analysis. While that analysis is largely complete, Drabik said that she would need until at least the end of the next fiscal year (June 30, 2025), if not longer, to create a set of recommendations on any possible improvements to the compensation and hierarchical structure for those over 400 different types of city employees. Drabik also noted that comparable studies of this type take approximately 18 months to complete and this one began last summer.

Lisa Drabik
Lisa Drabik on May 7, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long stated that not extending the deadline would waste the money spent so far on the project, and that funding for any obligations with the contractors past June 30 would have to come from the general fund budget rather than CIP funding.

Committee Chair Chris Morgan said that usage of general funds would be less than costs to the taxpayers after the conclusion of the project’s recommendations if the deadline extension allowed those recommendations to be created.

Long was joined by Jim Burkush (Ward 9) in opposing the recommendation while Morgan was joined in support of the recommendation by Crissy Kantor (Ward 6) and Ross Terrio (Ward 7).

A vote on the recommendation by the full BMA is expected in two weeks. A presentation on what has been accumulated in the study so far is expected sometime in the summer or fall regardless of the BMA’s response to the recommendation.


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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.