Granite Quarry contracting to rewrite employee handbook, conduct pay study

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2020

By Carl Blankenship

SALISBURY – Granite Quarry is contracting with MAPS Group to rewrite its employee handbook and policy manual as well as perform a pay and classification study.

The services will cost the town $8,000.

Larry Smith said he became aware of issues in the employee handbook when he was first hired as the town’s interim manager last year and read a section of the employee handbook claiming certain information was protected under personnel privacy policy when he knew it was not.

Smith found more issues with the handbook as time went on and attributes the issues to last entity which wrote the manual primarily providing human resources services for the private sector rather than public entities.

Smith consulted with the League of Municipalities, which provides the town’s risk management insurance, and was advised it would be better to have a firm familiar with public employment law rewrite the manual entirely instead of attempting to fix all the issues with the current manual.

“It just needs to be redone,” Smith said.

The board on Monday night in one motion approved contracting with MAPS to create the new manual as well as perform a pay study.

Smith said he already looks at the town’s pay scales to make recommendations, but a full study done by a firm will have greater detail. Smith said a town commissions a pay study when it realizes its pay scales have not been revisited in a while or are out of date.

The study will do more than compare employee pay to people working similar jobs nearby. It will compare benefits and insurance coverage provided for employees and employee classifications.

“The biggest thing is to get it on the radar,” Smith said, adding the town needed to contract with MAPS now to get on the firm’s schedule for the fall. The study will not be able to begin until August or September.

Spencer recently completed a pay study as well.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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