, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling today announced the start of a new program that offers city employees a cash incentive for leaving.
Earling says the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) is in response to the $1.1 million shortfall the City is facing and an effort to begin the 2013 budget process.
This program gives the City the option to offer one-time cash incentives to employees to voluntarily separate from employment, either through retirement or resignation. The goal is to reduce the City’s overall salary costs by reducing full-time employee levels.
The mayor will work with department directors and finance director Shawn Hunstock to determine impacts and if a smaller staff can be achieved without significant disruptions in service.
In order for employees to be approved, their departure must result in a quantified, ongoing savings to the City.
“This program has been successful in a few other area cities,” said Earling. “By offering a one-time cash incentive, it may assist employees’ decisions to retire or resign, producing ongoing longer term savings to the general fund.”
The incentive ranges from three months to six months of salary, depending on the number of years of service. Employees can also opt for smaller cash incentive and a percentage of payment toward health benefits.
Said Earling: “ I am hopeful that this will be a successful first step in developing a balanced budget for 2013”.