Working Group To Propose 4% Retention Bonus For City Of Tulsa Employees Using Virus Relief Funds

Jun 9, 2021

Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Updated June 10, 5 p.m.  

A working group is still hashing out plans for the City of Tulsa’s $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, but a leading proposal has emerged.

"There are obviously many ideas for ARPA funds, but at the top of everyone's list is providing for a retention bonus for our employees," City Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper told her colleagues during a committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Hall-Harper said what’s on the table is a 4% bonus for employees with at least one year of service and who are still at the city during the last pay period of the calendar year.

"Although this will not be a part of our budget approval next week, we wanted you to be aware of our anticipated proposal. Of course, this is just a proposal and will be subject to collective bargaining for some employees, and we will make sure to schedule this for future council committee meetings for full council consideration and input," Hall-Harper said.

The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joe Biden signed into law in March included $130 billion in direct aid for local governments. Mayor G.T. Bynum has said he wants to use the city's latest round of coronavirus relief funding in ways that doesn’t obligate the city for future spending.

The city’s fiscal year 2022 budget includes $4 million for employee raises. Civilian city employees took furloughs last year equal to 10% pay cuts.