ELIOT, Maine — Town Manager Dana K. Lee told the Select Board Thursday night that non-union town employees are not happy with the present town pay plan and the awarding of vacation time.

The plan was implemented after a compensation survey was commissioned by a previous Select Board. The employees say the survey is dated, using 2016-2017 fiscal year numbers, and some of the towns chosen for that survey were not appropriate in comparison with Eliot, resulting in lower-than-expected salary ranges.

Lee asked that the board consider re-surveying the salary data from more comparable towns and consider returning to a lump-sum award of vacation time instead of monthly accrual of vacation time.

He said one employee is leaving Eliot to work in a nearby town for more money.

The personnel policy has three pay plans: for non-union employees, for Police Department union employees, and for Public Works union employees.

“Both unions are balking at a ‘pay plan’ with steps versus the traditional negotiations of a percent increase to all wages each year,” Lee stated in his memo.

“We don't have to consider the change immediately, but at some point the staff have been really quite forceful in asking we could consider that at a minimum,” Lee said Thursday.

Select Board member Philip Lytle asked to see the original survey, saying he wanted to know what towns were used in the survey.

Robert Pomerleau, a member of the previous Select Board that commissioned the salary survey, said, “It stunned me to see this recommendation after we just spent thousands of dollars to hire a consultant. We spent a year on the work.”

Pomerleau said the objective was to make sure the town was paying fair and competitive wages. He said the complaint about the towns used in the survey was discussed early in the process, and the consultant listed his reasons for selecting the towns. He said the former board threw out the lower three or four steps in each pay range and compared the survey with a Maine Municipal Association study.

“We were at the top of the pile,” Pomerleau said.

Select Board member Philip Lytle said he did not disagree with Pomerleau and added he would welcome talking with the consultant again. Board member Alex Orestis asked that the survey information be available for review. The board will take up the topic in a future workshop.

In other business

The board considered a waiver of the town’s nepotism policy in the Department of Public Works. The town charter forbids any town employee from supervising a close relative. The Select Board established an Ethics Panel to hear appeals of the policy. Stanley Moulton, the father of Public Works Director Joel Moulton, was hired at the transfer station before the charter was implemented. Joel Moulton submitted a management plan that would remove himself from any management of Stanley Moulton. Joel said Stanley’s position is not subject to promotion, and he has no direct oversight of him.

The Ethics Panel recommended the waiver because the loss of Stanley Moulton would mean the loss of experience and knowledge, the difficulty of finding a replacement and a risk of favoritism is mitigated due to organizational and administrative structures. The Select Board approved the waiver.

The board made several reappointments: Jean Paulantonio to the Aging in Place Committee, William Hamilton to the Board of Appeals, Sarah Plocharczyk to the Conservation Commission and Melissa Magdziasz Horner to the Planning Board, from alternate to regular member. Douglas Warrender was appointed as an alternate to the Planning Board. The board repealed the Harbor Committee for lack of anyone interested in serving.