Buckhorn Makes Policy Changes to Secure City's Long-Term Financial Position - Changes only affect non-bargaining unit employees hired after October 2011

03/18/15

Today Mayor Bob Buckhorn executed two Executive Orders that will change longevity awards and unused sick leave payout for non-bargaining unit employees hired after October 1, 2011. Non-bargaining unit employees are managerial, professional, and supervisory employees not covered by union contracts.

The first Executive Order eliminates longevity awards completely for any non-bargaining unit employee hired on or after October 1, 2011. This award had previously been eliminated for all managerial employees in 2008. Longevity awards are based on years of service and employees are eligible after five years of continuous service and range from $500 to $1,500.

The second Executive Order affects the payment of unused sick leave for any non-bargaining unit employee hired or rehired after October 1, 2011. Currently an employee with ten years of continuous service receives a lump sum payment equal to one-half of the employee's accumulated sick leave at the time of retirement. A non-bargaining unit employee hired after October 1, 2011 will receive one-fourth of the accumulated sick leave at the time of retirement after ten years of continuous service.

Currently, the City spends $3.1 million annually for longevity awards for all employees of which $588,500 is for non-bargaining unit employees. Payment of unused sick leave varies based on retirements each year, but ranges from $2-3 million annually.

The City will not realize an immediate cost savings. However, these two policy changes are part of a long-term planning effort and will result in a savings that will benefit the City for years to come. "This helps to secure the long-term financial security of the City and reflects the current economic realities," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

For additional information, please contact Employee Relations Manager Sarah Lang at (813) 274-8072 or via email at sarah.lang@tampagov.net.

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