Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Human Resources Department

From the Franklin Annual Report 2019:

Fiscal Year 2019 was a very busy year for the Human Resources Department. The Town continued to experience our “retirement boom” with the departure of Fire Chief Gary McCarraher, former Deputy Fire Chief Paul Sharpe, and of course, the retirement of our fearless leader, Jeff Nutting, after 18 years as our Town Administrator! The show must go on, even without these valued employees, and we are lucky to have Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and new Fire Chief James McLaughlin and Deputy Chiefs Joseph Barbieri and James Klich stepping up to lead us for the foreseeable future.

The Police Department kept us very busy this year with a few retirements as well as the implementation of a new schedule in the Patrol Division. We are now one of a handful of communities in Massachusetts that offer a (“4&4” schedule. The schedule allows our officers to work four (4) ten (10) hour days and then take four (4) consecutive days off. Although the schedule officially started in FY20, we spent a significant portion of FY19 preparing for this adjustment, including adding additional Patrol Officers to the Police Department. As a result of the new schedule and a few other personnel changes, we hired 7 new Patrol Officers and promoted 2 Officers to Sergeant in just one fiscal year.

As a result of the retirements and other movement within the Fire Department, we appointed a new Chief, 2 Deputy Chiefs, 3 Captains, 2 Lieutenants and 5 new Firefighter/Paramedics in FY19 (and the first week of FY20 since Chief McLaughlin started on July 8, 2019).

Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the Town also hired a Conservation Agent, an Archivist, an Administrative Assistant in the Town Administrator’s Office, a Clerk the Treasurer’s Office, a Clerk in the DPW, 2 Assistant Youth Services Librarians, 2 Library Assistants, a Town Electrician, 3 Custodians, and 2 Heavy Motor Equipment Operators at the Department of Public Works, and part-time employees in Recreation and the Senior Center. Like in years past, we hired about 30 students to work full-time at the DPW and in Facilities for the summer. These employees were instrumental in getting our schools and school grounds ready for the 2019-2020 school year.

As in years past, Jeff Nutting, Jamie Hellen and I worked closely with the Finance and HR teams from the Franklin

Public Schools and the Insurance Advisory Committee to try to contain the cost of health insurance. We currently provide health insurance to approximately 1200 employees and retirees from both the Town and Schools on our plan. Even a small increase in health insurance premiums can have a huge impact on the total budget.

For the second year in a row, the Town offered a qualified high deductible health insurance plan through Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to our active employees. If an employee moved from the traditional HMO to the high deductible HMO plan, they could save money on the monthly premium in exchange for a slightly higher deductible. This plan change saved the Town money, so we shared some of the savings with the employees by depositing money into each employee’s Health Savings Accounts (HSA). During the open enrollment period, we had 21 additional employees join the High Deductible Plan, bringing our numbers up to about 40 Town employees. These employees saved the Town an additional $19,000. This figure does not include the savings realized by people who joined the plan in FY18 or the additional savings achieved by the School Department. We have received very positive feedback from employees who have joined the high deductible plan and hope that we can continue to experience these savings in future years.

We worked closely with the Human Resources Department for Franklin Public Schools to offer a “Benefits Fair” during our open enrollment period in April. We invited representatives from Harvard Pilgrim and our other insurance vendors to set up tables to provide benefit information to our employees. We had a great turnout and employees were very pleased to have the opportunity to gather additional information and ask questions.

It was a very busy and challenging year, but HR Administrator Sandy Golebiewski and I both enjoyed it. It is very exciting to be part of the hiring team and it has been a pleasure getting to know our new employees and welcoming them to the Town. We look forward to another year of serving the employees and retirees of the Town of Franklin.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen M. Bratt
Human Resources Director

Download your copy of the Annual Report

Visit the Human Resources Dept online  https://www.franklinma.gov/human-resources

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Human Resources Department
Franklin Annual Report 2019: Human Resources Department

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