SOUTH PORTLAND — Six city employees will take $7,000 cash payouts and voluntarily walk away from their jobs, the city announced Wednesday.
Those employees include three police officers, two firefighters and a bus driver. Their last day will be Feb. 27.
City Manager Jim Gailey said all city employees had until noon on Wednesday to participate in the voluntary retirement or resignation incentive, designed to reduce potential layoffs in next year’s budget. Employees could have opted for one year of health insurance, instead of the cash payment.
“The attempt was a thoughtful approach to downsizing during these tough budget times,” Gailey said.
The five public safety workers all have at least 27 years experience, Gailey said, while the bus driver will be returning to school.
“These employees have given their professional lives to the South Portland community and we all owe them a sincere thank you,” he said.
It’s unclear whether the city will hire replacement officers.
If it does, the city will probably see cost savings next year, since new officers could be hired at lower salaries and would not receive as much vacation time as more experienced officers.
Gailey said public safety veterans get five weeks of paid vacation, which increases the department’s overtime costs.