City workers get $3K bonuses as finances improve SanTan Sun News

City workers get $3K bonuses as finances improve

April 12th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
City workers get $3K bonuses as finances improve
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

City of Chandler employees will be getting a $3,000 bonus this month.

City Council authorized the bonuses last week after holding off on raises during the pandemic.

The city plans to spend $5.5 million on $3,000 bonuses for all its 1,522 full-time employees and $1,500 for 29 part-time workers.

The one-time bonuses will apply to all workers who were hired before Dec. 31 and have remained employed through March 27.

City officials believe employees deserve a bonus after a chaotic year reacting to a tumultuous health crisis and still having to get through their day-to-day business.   

“Team Chandler rose to the occasion and maintained a high level of service to Chandler residents while keeping city operations and services functioning,” acting City Manager Joshua Wright wrote in a memo to Council.

More than 200 city employees have contracted the coronavirus this past year — one of whom ended up succumbing to the virus.

Officer Tyler Britt, a 19-year veteran of the Chandler Police Department, died in January shortly after contracting COVID-19. 

At the time city officials were crafting the 2020-21 budget, the revenue picture was murky amid business shutdowns and layoffs.

“A decision was made to hold ongoing market increases for general employees until the city was able to fully realize the impact the pandemic would have on city revenues and operations,” Wright’s memo states.

Tax revenue generated from retail sales was 15 percent higher in December than the previous year and monthly revenue was on an upward trajectory just around the time the 2020-21 budget was implemented.

Between July and December of last year, Chandler collected about $89 million in sales taxes – a significantly higher figure than the $80 million collected during the same period in 2018 or the $83 million collected in 2019.

As a token of appreciation for the workers who took on more responsibilities this past year, Chandler decided a hefty bonus could make up for the challenges they’ve had to endure with a scaled-down workforce.

During the pandemic, the city was able to save nearly $8 million in labor costs after choosing to leave many job positions open. The city has since begun to hire some new employees.

“Vacant city positions were held for several months as part of the budget considerations which placed additional responsibilities on employees,” public records state.

Chandler is currently reviewing requests from its various departments to spend $6 million in ongoing costs to create 22 new job positions for the next fiscal year.

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