The Juneau Meeting is contemplating providing sign-on bonuses and enhancing retirement advantages to draw and retain extra metropolis employees.
This winter, a driver scarcity led to the non permanent cancellation of some metropolis bus routes. However the issue goes deeper — greater than 1 / 4 of metropolis workers have been on the job for lower than a 12 months, as extra skilled workers age out of the workforce and youthful employees keep for shorter intervals of time.
Metropolis Supervisor Rorie Watt stated some positions requiring technical abilities have been particularly onerous to fill.
“Heavy tools operators are onerous to seek out proper now,” he stated. “Folks with business drivers licenses, bus drivers, IT employees, programmers.”
Watt outlined three proposals at an Meeting finance committee assembly Wednesday evening. The primary is to supply sign-on bonuses of as much as $40,000 for sure positions. To get that bonus, an worker must decide to working a minimum of two to 4 years, relying on the job.
Metropolis leaders additionally steered the town contribute to dependent care versatile spending accounts. That’s a pre-tax account that workers can use to pay for childcare.
“Through the COVID-19 pandemic working mother and father and caregivers left the workforce in excessive numbers and have but to return to full-time employment,” Watt wrote in a memo to the committee. “In truth, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nonetheless two million fewer ladies within the workforce than pre-pandemic charges.”
The third proposal, from Finance Director Jeff Rogers, would match retirement contributions made by employees employed since July 2006. Below Alaska state legislation, these workers – who make up Tier IV of the Public Worker Retirement System – get particular person retirement accounts moderately than paying right into a pension, and so they can take their accounts to new jobs after 5 years.
Watt stated contributing to their accounts may inspire metropolis workers to remain for a number of years.
“We’re attempting to copy that hook that outlined advantages workers have,” he stated. “They begin to consider job modifications and so they suppose, ‘If I keep longer, I’m incentivized.’”
Meeting member Michelle Hale stated it may very well be a neighborhood answer to a statewide downside.
“It has felt, on the metropolis degree, like we’ve been in a lure of a former Legislature’s making,” she stated, referring to the 2005 choice to ascertain Tier IV.
The finance committee agreed to maneuver the proposals ahead. Metropolis leaders will incorporate them into the proposed finances and current them to the complete Meeting.