Some Employees In Retirement Incentive Program To Stay On Beyond December
By Jenna Carlesso
December 03, 2010
Cityline reported earlier this week that 30 employees have applied for the city's voluntary retirement incentive program, which gives workers four additional years of pension credit or a number of years of free medical coverage.
Three of those employees will stick around until June (as opposed to Dec. 31--when the rules say the employees must leave) because of an extension from the mayor. Those employees are HR Director Santiago Malave, Deputy HR Director John Byrne and City Assessor Larry LeBarbera. The mayor said earlier this week that some employees will stay on longer for transitioning purposes.
City spokeswoman Sarah Barr's press release is below:
Pedro E. Segarra
EARLY RETIREMENT OPTION
TO SAVE CITY APPROXIMATELY $1 MILLION
---NEWS AND COMMUNITY RELEASE---
(December 3, 2010)--- Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced today that the early retirement of 30 city workers will amount to approximately $1 million in savings for the City of Hartford--- a city that is trying to close a projected $10 million budget gap for FY 10-11. The savings include the approval of three deferments until June 2011 and nine others staggered over a period of three months to allow for a more orderly transition.
Those receiving the June deferments include Santiago Malave, Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations, John Byrne, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Lawrence LaBarbera, City Assessor. The nine others are John McGrane, Assistant Director of Public Works/City Engineer, Breeda Burchell, Emergency Services, Denise Aguilera, Pension Commission, Evelyn Rivera, Development Services, Jennifer Cassidy, City Council staff, Gary Carter, Treasurer's Office, Kathleen Palm Devine, City Treasurer, Katherine McCormack, Director of Emergency Management and Giselle Feliciano, City Council staff.
"An early retirement incentive is better than a lay-off," said Mayor Segarra. "This is also just one of many tools we are looking at to deal with the long-term financial challenge that faces most municipalities as well as individual households. Balancing a budget is not easy but it is required by our charter and it will be done."
This is the fourth consecutive year that the City has reduced its workforce--- going from a high of 1700 employees to 1400 after this incentive plan is implemented. This latest round of retirements represents a 23% reduction in the City's non-union and unclassified workforce. In recognition of the remaining employees having to assume greater responsibilities, critical functions, and workloads, the Mayor is considering additional compensation for those who are eligible. This potential monetary increase would go to those who have had salary adjustments in the last two fiscal years. The projected savings would not be impacted.
"I am working diligently to create and foster a more efficient working relationship with the state and federal government in order to attract more resources to the City so that residents are not adversely impacted. This is also being tied into other strategies being implemented to mitigate the deficit in hopes of avoiding a tax increase or the depletion of the rainy day fund," said Mayor Segarra.
Efforts are underway with City Council to restructure the benefits program so that any future exempt staff will be employed under an amended ordinance that is more in line with market conditions in order to achieve additional savings.