About the Personnel Department

The Personnel Department provides a wide range of internal services to the City's departments to ensure that employees are well-trained, fairly compensated, healthy, and happy. These services include:

  • Providing professional labor relations services, including contract negotations with each of seven unions
  • Maintenance of job descriptions, classifications, and compensation packages
  • Maintenance of personnel records
  • Implementation of state and federal policies and procedures
  • Equal opportunity employment and affirmative action oversight
  • And more


  • Job Postings

  • Holiday Calendar

  • Policies

  • Employee Guidebook

  • Learning Organization Statement

  • Data

Job Postings

Title Department Application Start Date Application End Date
Senior Economic Development Planner Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) 03/25/2021 Open Until Filled
Economic Development Specialist OSPCD - Economic Development 03/25/2021 Open Until Filled
Lifeguards Parks and Recreation 03/23/2021 Open Until Filled
Dilboy Stadium Laborer Parks and Recreation 03/23/2021 Open Until Filled
Electrician DPW - Electrical Lights and Lines 03/31/2021 Open Until Filled
Social Worker Health and Human Services 02/12/2021 Open Until Filled
LGBTQ Liaison Health and Human Services 01/28/2021 Open Until Filled
Talent Acquisition Manager Personnel 01/27/2021 Open Until Filled
CLINICAL YOUTH SPECIALIST Health and Human Services 01/27/2021 Open Until Filled
Lifeguards Parks and Recreation 11/23/2020 Open Until Filled


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2020 Holidays

For Non-Bargaining Unit Employees**

Wednesday, January 1 New Year's Day
Monday, January 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, February 17 Presidents' Day
Monday, April 20 Patriot's Day
Monday, May 25 Memorial Day
Wednesday, June 17 Bunker Hill Day
Saturday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 7 Labor Day
Monday, October 12 Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Wednesday, November 11 Veterans' Day
Thursday, November 26 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 27 Thanksgiving Friday
Thursday, December 24 Christmas Eve (1/2 day)
Friday, December 25 Christmas Day

2021 Holidays

For Non-Bargaining Unit Employees**

Friday, January 1 New Year's Day
Monday, January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, February 15 Presidents' Day
Monday, April 19 Patriot's Day
Monday, May 31 Memorial Day
Saturday, June 19 Juneteenth Independence Day
Monday, July 5 Independence Day (Observed)
Monday, September 6 Labor Day
Monday, October 11 Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Thursday, November 11 Veterans' Day
Thursday, November 25 Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 26 Thanksgiving Friday
Friday, December 24 Christmas Eve (1/2 day)
Saturday, December 25 Christmas Day

*Under State Law, all holidays falling on Sunday must be observed on Monday.
**Please note: For bargaining unit employees, holidays are pursuant to collective bargaining agreements and may vary from this list.

The City of Somerville prides itself on being a learning organization. We believe that innovation and growth stem from learning and trying new things. Our goal is to encourage employees to be creative and learn new skills by providing easy access to opportunities for professional growth and development in a variety of ways.

Access to Training and Professional Development Opportunities

The City provides routine training on employment-related policies and best practices.

Department Heads are encouraged to work with staff to assess and plan for a variety of job-related programs to support continued learning, growth, and professional engagement of employees.

The Personnel Department further supports learning opportunities and access when departmental budgetary constraints may arise. Additionally, the Personnel Department administers the Non-Union Education Reimbursement Program.

Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement may be provided opportunities and/or incentives for advancing education and professional growth as outlined in the appropriate agreement.



For more information about professional development opportunities, programs, and access please feel free to contact the Personnel Department at (617) 625-6600 x3300. 

Recruitment and Retention

The City of Somerville’s Personnel Department is responsible for the recruitment and retention efforts of the City. Recruitment includes filling vacant positions and some retention efforts include internal promotional opportunities resulting in a transfer to a new position. Both of these items are captured in the data below.

The chart below shows the increases and decreases by fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) in new hires and transfers that the Personnel Department processed.

New hires and internal transfers between FY15 and FY19 (proposed) average 200, with 30-40% being internal and 60-70% being hires each year.

Medical Leave Notifications / Applications

The City of Somerville’s Personnel Department oversees and administers medical leave notifications and applications in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the City of Somerville’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Service Member Family Leave Policy located at this link.

The chart below shows the increases and decreases by fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) in employees who were notified of their eligibility to apply for leave due to medical necessity.

Medical leave applications: 110 in FY15, 118 in FY16, 121 in FY17, 180 projected for FY18, and 185 projected for FY19

City Workforce Diversification Data

The City of Somerville is committed to maintaining an inclusive working environment that values the diverse backgrounds and characteristics of all people. The City embraces the different perspectives and experiences, increased innovation, expanded skills pool, and enhanced teamwork created by a rich environment that reflects the community it serves. These values are integral to the City’s provision of services and broad vision for its future.

The City has a hiring policy that supports workforce diversification. The policy can be located at this link. Diversifying a workforce occurs over time, as employees retire or move on to other opportunities and recruitment efforts strive for a rich pool of diverse, qualified candidates to interview for open positions.  It is the City’s belief that community engagement and education efforts, combined with a consciously inclusive work environment, will increase interest and applications from local diverse candidates for the varied professional careers available with the City of Somerville. The best way to report diversification efforts is to review current employee data in relation to new hires. Below are charts that demonstrate the effects of the City of Somerville’s diversification efforts on gender and race for the period of May 2017 through May 2018.

Please note that Public Safety (Police and Fire) hires and promotions are governed by the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission’s statutory hiring process.  The City fills vacant Police Officer and Fire Fighter positions through the Massachusetts Human Resources Division (HRD), Civil Service Commission as required by the Commonwealth, using eligible lists established by the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission for the City of Somerville. Eligible lists are active for a period of approximately 2 years, and are based on residency and candidate score (as determined by Civil Service). City recruitment and diversification strategies for Police and Fire are therefore focused on increasing interest in the public safety field and providing knowledge about civil service and civil service testing. In this way, the City hopes to attract non-traditional candidates to consider and pursue local public safety careers. 

47% of all staff are female and 53% are male. Since 5/17, 52% of hires have been female and 48% have been male.

4% of all Fire staff are female. All Fire staff hires since 5/17 have been male.

12% of all Police staff are female. Since 5/17, 27% of Police staff hires have been female.

Regular FT and PT staff are made up of the following demographics: 2% Asian, 7% black, 9% Hispanic, 1% other, and 82% white. Since 5/17, 8% of hires have been Asian, 10% black, 19% Hispanic, 2% other, and 60% white.

Fire staff are made up of the following demographics: 1% Asian, 7% black, 4% Hispanic, and 88% white. Since 5/17, 20% of hires have been black and 80% have been white.

Police staff are made up of the following demographics: 2% Asian, 10% black, 9% Hispanic, 78% white. Since 5/17, 9% of hires have been black, 18% Hispanic, 73% white.

Personnel Investigated Sexual Harassment Complaint Data

The City of Somerville prides itself on being as transparent as possible. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very sensitive and serious topic. The City of Somerville has a clear Equal Opportunity policy prohibiting a variety of unacceptable behaviors including but not limited to sexual harassment. This policy can be located at this link.

Sharing data in relation to sexual harassment is a delicate matter. It is critical that certain information remains private, including identifying information, which is exempt from public disclosure.  One reason for this is that sharing identifying information can re-victimize reporters of sexual harassment.  It can also increase fear of or actual retaliation, and may lead to suppressed reporting. It is critical to provide a safe place for employees to report their concerns. The data below is thus provided without identifying information. With that in mind, the City wants to make clear that it conducts fair and thorough investigations and takes proportional action against employees who are found in violation of City policy on sexual harassment.   

This table summarizes the number of sexual harassment reports the Personnel Department received from 2013 through 2018, the findings, and the actions the City of Somerville took in relation to substantiated complaints.

There was 1 substantiated complaint in 2014 mandating counseling and 1 in 2015 leading to separation from service. There was 1 unsubstantiated complaint in 2017. There were 2 substantiated complaints in 2018, with 1 separation and 1 resignation.

Employee Benefits

The City of Somerville monitors ad hoc benefits such as enrollments to flexible spending accounts and cost savings derived from the City’s health insurance opt-out program. Data provided below captures increases and decreases by fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

Medical leave notifications/applications were at 110 in FY15, 118 in FY16, 121 in FY17, 168 in FY18, and 185 in FY19

Flexible Spending and Dependent Care Accounts are expense accounts for certain out-of-pocket medical or dependent care costs that are funded with pre-tax deductions from an employee’s paycheck.

Annual savings from the medical insurance opt-out program have increased steadily from FY15 to FY19, from $200,000 to almost $700,000.

The Opt-Out Program is designed to reduce the amount the City spends to provide medical insurance to employees by offering a financial incentive to benefit-eligible staff who choose to cancel their City-provided medical insurance and acquire insurance through another source. The fiscal year 2018 Opt-Out incentive was $2,000 for an individual plan and $4,000 for a family plan, resulting in a net $625,836 savings for the City.  Participation is voluntary and intended to benefit both employee participants and the City. The policy can be located at this link.