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  • By Dana Casadei

Employee compensation, staffing study update

Bloomfield Township Trustee Michael Schostak presented an update to the township board Monday, February 24, on the current township compensation and staffing study, with a mid-March draft expected. The study, which has been contracted with Minneapolis-based Segal Waters Consulting, is looking at employee compensation and staffing levels at the township. In November, the board unanimously approved to contract with Segal Waters to conduct the study following board dissension over staff pay, benefits and staffing levels. A kick-off call was made in early December, followed by two on-site meetings in January with the consulting group. Schostak said since then a lot has happened. "We are diligently moving forward," he said. "We continue to have at least weekly phone calls with the team." Schostak said there are three key components to the study: compensation, classification and staffing analysis. The compensation segment is currently 50 percent complete, while classification is at 25 percent, he said, and staffing, which they are starting to lay the background for, is only at five percent completion. Schostak reported to the board they should expect a draft analysis by mid-March of the compensation portion, for which they selected 12 public sector employees, who were asked to fill out a compensation survey of 75 benchmark positions. The consulting company is currently waiting on the second section to be complete. Segal Waters will then compile and analyze the data and include private sector data as well. From there, all township employees will complete a benefits opinion survey, where they will highlight their top four benefits in terms of importance to them. Schostak said surveys should be going out within the next few weeks. For the classification portion of the study, all Bloomfield Township employees completed a job description questionnaire, which was submitted to Segal Waters. "The next step is the Segal team will come to the township to hold focus groups with selected employees to learn more about specific jobs and workplace opinions," said Schostak, who noted the classification component of the project was expected to be in by the end of April. Lastly is the study's staffing component, where the same 12 public sector employees will receive a staffing study within the next couple of weeks. Segal will collect the information and prepare an analysis by early May with a board presentation to follow. "If I leave you with nothing else but that last bullet is what I want you to know, and that all three of the components of the study are being done in parallel," Schostak said. "We are making good progress." The proposed study will be the first of its kind in more than a decade, and is intended to address questions about employee recruitment and retention in light of budget reductions and upcoming contract negotiations. The study will look at staffing and workloads, position descriptions, compensation, benefits and job evaluations across the township's departments, including its elected officials. The study will also look for any instances or appearance of conflicts of interest, and provide guidance and support for human resources and management staff. The board in September approved issuing a request for proposals from vendors to conduct the study. An ad-hoc compensation study committee was also formed to develop specific components of the study and evaluate proposals. The committee, which recommended contracting with Segal Waters, consisted of Schostak; Bloomfield Township finance director Jason Theis; government consultant and financial advisor Bob Kittle; Bloomfield Township resident and former Oakland County Deputy Executive of Economic Development and Community Affairs Tim Meyer; and resident and retired auto industry executive and consultant Paula Butler.

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