Albany struggling to retain city employees, officials say

Albany County
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City of Albany

Tending on NEWS10

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — More than 15 City of Albany department heads and officials have sent a letter to the Albany Common Council about employee retention. According to the letter, more than 120 city employees have resigned over the past six months, with more that have given their notice to resign.

“City employees are resigning to not only make more money (in some cases, 50% more) but to leave behind the public remarks that make them feel as though their work is not appreciated or valued,” the letter reads.

City officials not only said the lack of pay raises is why employees are leaving, but the current work environment is also to blame. Salary increases are often not approved right away and employees don’t feel confident they are supported by employers and the city.

“When salary increases for promotions or requests for additional resource are delayed or denied, we end up losing experienced employees and then have to raise the salary anyway to hire replacements (if we can find them),” said the letter. “Our workforce watches these decisions, and it signals to them they are not appreciated, not worthy, and pay increases will not be supported even if the salary study shows they are warranted.”

Officials said this lack of employee retention risks the ability to deliver essential city services. They said councilmembers have an important role when it comes to approving salary increases and new positions. The officials want to work with councilmembers to discuss the challenges the workforce is facing.

“The employment crisis is real, it requires agility, creativity and a purposeful effort to be seen as an employer of choice.” said city officials.

The letter was signed by:

  • Hon. Darius Shahinfar, City Treasurer
  • Rachel McEneny, Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services
  • Sergio Panunzio, Commissioner, Department of General Services
  • Jonathan Jones, Commissioner, Departments of Recreation / Youth & Workforce Services
  • Joe Coffey, Commissioner, Albany Water Department
  • Eric Hawkins, Chief, Albany Police Department
  • Joe Gregory, Chief, Albany Fire Department
  • Marisa Franchini, Corporation Counsel
  • Mark Dorry, Chief Information Technology Officer
  • Faye Andrews, Director, Albany Community Development Agency
  • Rick LaJoy, Director, Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance
  • Brad Glass, Director, Department of Planning and Development
  • Tolani Elumade, Director, Human Resources Office
  • Nick Blais, Acting Director, Budget Office
  • Randy Milano, City Engineer
  • Ann Marie Salmon, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services
  • Brian Shea, Chief of Operations
  • David Galin, Chief of Staff to Mayor Kathy Sheehan

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