Justify this

Millions of dollars are being paid in “retention bonuses” by Valley cities while they’re laying off employees, cutting pay or raising taxes in the struggle to deal with the current economic crisis.

What justification is there for giving these bonuses when Arizona’s 9.3 percent base unemployment rate has drastically reduced staffing turnover?

In Phoenix, workers qualify for bonuses once they hit the maximum pay for their job and have six years with the city. About half of the city’s nearly 14,000 employees will receive a total of $14.3 million in retention bonuses this year. Yet in order to balance the current budget, the City Council cut $270 million, or 22 percent, from Phoenix’s general-fund budget, including $156 million from programs and services.

The daily has the full report here.

Some Valley cities offer bonuses based on longevity. Check out this list published in the Arizona Republic.:

– Avondale: No.

– Chandler: No.

– Glendale: Yes. Nearly $300,000 paid to 173 firefighters and 232 staff hired before 1992.

– Gilbert: No.

– Goodyear: Yes. $104,000 paid to about 200 employees with five or more years of service.

– Mesa: Yes. $4 million to approximately 700 workers.

– Peoria: Yes. $23,940 paid to 57 employees hired before 1989.

– Phoenix: Yes. $14.3 million paid to 6,989 employees.

– Scottsdale: No.

– Tempe: Yes. $572,226 paid to 311 police and firefighters.

Given the dismal economy and the high rate of unemployment, how likely is it employees of Valley cities would be leaving their jobs — retention bonuses or not? These payouts, using taxpayer dollars, are nothing short of unconscionable.

For starters, Phoenix’s globetrotting Mayor Phil Gordon, should have his wings clipped.

4 Responses to Justify this

  1. Jana Simmons says:

    There is no justification for these outrageous bonuses in these troubled times. They should thank their lucky stars they even have a job, when so many thousands of Arizonans have lost theirs and their homes, as well. I’m furious just reading about this.

  2. ron says:


  3. Margaret Sullivan says:

    This is maddening. These people aren’t going to leave their secure and stacked with benefits, government jobs. They don’t need incentives to stay on, but that money could have been used to keep some of the laid off employees in place. I wonder if those people who have friends losing their homes while they got incentive bonuses ever thought of that while they were spending their cash.

  4. sherriaz says:

    There’s simply no justification for this, period. No city, county or state employee is going to leave unless they are getting out of AZ and then a retention bonus isn’t likely to sway them. Glad I live in a town that sees the light on this.