by Steven Hale
Mayor Karl Dean will be filing legislation today with the Metro Council to authorize a buyout program for Metro employees.
The mayor’s office said in a release that, in the short term, the program will be “cost neutral” to the Metro government and that the cost of incentive payments “will be recovered as some positions are abolished due to efficiencies gained through reorganization.” Dean’s office estimated the total amount of the incentive payments for the new program would fall between $5 million and $7 million. The mayor framed the move as a chance for department heads to find savings.
“Nashville is fortunate to have an outstanding and dedicated workforce, including many employees who have worked for Metro a long time,” Dean said, in the release. “This incentive program gives our department heads additional flexibility to reassess personnel needs and look for savings. Just as major corporations use retirement incentive plans to improve their business, this program provides Metro a unique opportunity to better position our departments to serve Nashville residents in the years to come.”
The program would offer eligible Metro employees $700 for each year of service with the city. About 1,590 Metro employees would be eligible for the program, according the mayor’s office. They would have until Jan. 18 to accept the buyout and must leave their jobs by Feb. 28 if they do.
Dean's office said the program will include provisions deferring retirement until June 30 for police officers, firemen, and other workers related to public welfare and safety.