Council reviewing bonus package for city’s dispatchers

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Employees at the city’s Communications Center could receive a sizable bonus if they continue working there until Carmel’s dispatching services ultimately merge with the county’s.

The City Council last week presented an ordinance that would amend the salary ordinance for city employees and allow for a pretax retention bonus of $7,500 to be paid to Communications Center employees who are not retained by the city or offered a job with the county if and when the city begins contracting with the county for dispatching services.

To receive the bonus, these employees must be full-time and considered to be in good standing, as determined by an individual picked by the city to manage the transition process.

In the March 6 edition of Current in Carmel, it was reported the city was working such a package to reward the employees who have remained at the center during months of uncertainty. Mayor Jim Brainard has said the city likely would keep some of its employees following a merger, and the rest would have an opportunity to interview for a position with the county. However, taking a job with the county would mean a loss of seniority and a pay decrease of about $20,000 annually for Carmel’s dispatchers.

A consolidation is being considered because of a change in state statute requiring counties have no more than two public service access points beginning 2014: a primary and a backup. Under the original proposal, Carmel’s center would be under the county’s control and would serve as the backup to its primary center in Noblesville. The change also is expected to save the city $1.5 million each year.

The council sent the retention bonus ordinance to its Finance Committee for further review.

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