Municipal Employee Consolidation Could Secure Money for Raises
The mayor of Gary, Indiana, is proposing an employee consolidation plan that aims to reduce overall costs and free up money for workforce raises
By Mary Velan
The mayor of Gary, Indiana, is proposing an employee consolidation plan that aims to reduce overall costs and free up money for workforce raises. Gary is considering consolidating several of its departments' employees including:
- General services
- Vehicle maintenance
Furthermore, Gary may combine its police officers and firefighters into one entity of public safety workers. These officers would be trained to perform both police and fire-related tasks, The Chicago Tribune reported.
According to the mayor, the consolidation strategy would offer benefits to both the city and municipal employees. The city would be able to provide more efficient services while public employees enjoy new opportunities to advance in their careers. The strategy does not call for laying off any city workers, but rather making better use of available workforce through new skills training and consolidation, The Chicago Tribune reported.
The idea of combining employee efforts was inspired by recent moves in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where police and fire departments joined forces to create a single public safety agency. The mayor argues putting all current employees from the other four departments mentioned into a single department could increase the city's employee count without paying for new hires. As each employee would gain additional skills, they would qualify for higher-paying jobs. The city could afford the jump in salaries thanks to the savings achieved through consolidation, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Learn more about the proposal here.