Auburn council approves ‘premium pay’ for city workers

AUBURN — City workers will receive $1,200 in “bonus” bonuses after the city council approved spending Monday using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In total, the board allocated $565,000 for bonuses, which officials called a method of retention at a time when it is “extremely difficult to recruit, train and retain quality staff.”

The city approved hazard pay of $1,500 for public safety personnel in December, and school officials are expected to vote on similar bonuses for school personnel this month.

The federal funding approved on Monday will pay bonuses for full-time staff, but also set aside $65,000 for a police retention program, boosting starting salaries for entry-level patrol officers.

The board voted unanimously on the motion to add money for staff bonuses.

Auburn spent $175,000 on police and fire bonuses in December after representatives from police and fire unions spoke to the council.

City Manager Phil Crowell said staff looked at what other communities had allocated for the bonus and, after a federal definition of the bonus was introduced, began talks to offer the bonuses to city staff. .

According to a memo, the police retention program would increase starting salaries “for entry-level officers through officers entering their fourth year.”

Auburn received $13.5 million from the federal relief bill and slowly allocated the funds. Funding for design work for water and sewer infrastructure projects and information technology needs was also approved on Monday.

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