ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over the past six months, the City of Albany has lost 120 employees. A letter signed by many department heads was sent to the Albany Common Council, asking them to consider salary increases for current employees, as well as new hires, to help prevent them from leaving.

“We are having a very difficult time retaining employees. Just like any other business and entity is at this time. The letter to the council was really just asking them for their support and understanding during this time and to stress how important our people are to us,” said Marisa Franchini, City of Albany Corporation Council.

Franchini said that every day, more employees give their notice. Some take jobs with the state, which pays more money. She said the common council is constantly denying salary changes, which she claims is causing low morale amongst employees who aren’t making a lot.

“Every salary change and every ask is questioned and every time we try to give benefits or additional pay to our salary lines that those changes are questioned to an extent that we don’t think is necessary,” stated Franchini.

Councilman Owusu Anane said that when he first saw the letter sent to the Albany Common Council, he was perplexed. “We’re the ones that have passed legislation to bring the city up to a living wage, which is 16 dollars or more. We’re the ones who have been advocating for union-negotiated contracts to be settled,” he said.

Anane said the council recently passed extra paid sick leave for employees during the pandemic, as well as a pay equity study to see if salaries are comparable with similar positions across the state

“We need to do the study first before we give anymore raises,” said Anane. “There has been a routine increase to raises in the city of Albany without justification and we’re saying no more.”

The city is hoping that the results will be released within the next month.