Gautier leaders invest in their employees

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier city workers will get a bump in the paychecks every December. The city council approved a longevity pay plan. Each December, a city worker's time with the city will be rewarded. An employee who's been on the job for a year will get $120, while a 10 year employee will get $1,200.

City Manager Samantha Abell has recognized in her annual report to the council that retaining employees is her city's most critical issue.

Longevity pay plan approved Thursday night will compensate employees for every month they worked for Gautier. The formula adopted by the city council is $10 per month capped at 10 years for employees, and capped at 20 years for directors.

The longevity pay plan is similar to what Biloxi offers its workers.

The city manager says longevity pay will cost Gautier $45,000. But, she says, the investment is worth it because training employees and losing them to regional employers costs the city an estimated $80,000 per year.

According to Abell, the Gautier City Council has taken action the last two years to offer employees an improved compensation package. Those improvements include a new pay scale for police officers that raises their salary to above average for the Mississippi Coast; Increased holiday benefits for both police and fire; low medical costs through the city's self-insurance fund and "telemedicine" consultations and prescriptions; a potential annual cost of living allowance (COLA); and now employee longevity pay.

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