Higher pay proposed for Pittsfield department heads, officials


PITTSFIELD -- Higher rates of pay for department heads and other officials are proposed in a new city salary schedule proposed by Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi.

The new schedule, proposed as an amendment to Chapter 16 of city code concerning personnel, would replace the existing scale. It will go before the City Council's Ordinance and Rules Committee at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Bianchi said the proposal stems from a study conducted for the city in 2012 by consultant Rachel Brown of Medfield, to determine how Pittsfield supervisors and professional employees are compensated compared to those in similar communities. Comparatively low levels of pay are considered a factor in Pittsfield's difficulties in attracting candidates for key posts and in retaining employees over time.

While officials have been aware of those problems, Bianchi said, funding across-the-board raises is never easy. "There is never a good time" to seek pay raises, he said.

The overall cost of the proposed raises would depend on vacancies and at what level each of the officials has reached at the time the schedule is approved, he said.

The consultant "made recommendations for a new salary structure," Bianchi said, and his proposal is largely based on that report.

The mayor also named a committee, consisting of Director of Finance and Treasurer Susan Carmel, Community Development Department Director Douglas Clark, Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood and Personnel Department Director John DeAngelo, to further review the study information.

The consultant considered data from 15 communities similar to Pittsfield in terms of size, geography and other factors, Bianchi said.

The proposed new schedule sets a starting salary and a range of pay, depending on experience and performance, for supervisory and professional posts. At the top level, which includes the mayor, police chief and fire chief, salary would start at $92,213 to start to a potential maximum of $119,887. Bianchi currently is paid $87,000 annually.

The next level, starting at $83,830 and ranging as high as $108,979, includes the commissioner of public utilities.

The level just below that ranges from $76,214 to $99,081 and includes the director of finance and treasurer, the community development director and the solicitor.

The lowest management pay scale on the schedule would pay $35,552 to start and range to a maximum of $46,217.

The proposal would make raises retroactive to July 1, 2013, start of the current fiscal year.

To reach Jim Therrien:
or (413) 496-6247
On Twitter: @BE_therrien


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