Augusta severance policy changed

CSRA News

Augusta,Ga (WJBF) Last April when the city administrator and city attorney were forced out both did not leave empty handed they were granted one year severance pay, city severance policy has been criticized as overly generous but those days are coming to an end.

Shelley Griffin just finished paying his Augusta property taxes, and says he’s handed enough money over to city department directors heading out the door.

“You had a couple of them resign on their own and still got paid and I don’t think that was fair,” said Griffin.

But it was city policy, Augusta Commissioners would grant up to a half a years salary to a departing department head,even if they were leaving for a new job.

“Have we been too generous in the past?”

“Lord yes we’ve been too generous you know people look at Augusta like we’ll go there for a little bit then we’ll get a pay day and we’ll move on to somewhere else,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

Commissioners have debated changing the policy for three years finally agreeing to cap severance at three months, and only if the department head is let go without cause.

“I could have gone along with one but three is reasonable because there maybe some special circumstances you have to leeway there for the government to work,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

Commissioners voted to reduce severance payouts, but members still believe some severance pay is still in order.

“I believe what we are doing is fair to give someone three months that gives you the opportunity to find other employment that does give you some time to make some decisions on the direction you want to go in,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.

“It’s not exactly what we wanted but it was a righteous compromise,” said Commissioner John Clarke.

“You wanted one month or no months?”

I wanted one month tops on anything but if you resign or our terminated with cause I don’t think you should get paid for anything,” said Clarke.

It will be awhile before the new severance policy has any impact the current two dozen or so department directors will be grandfathered in so they will remain able to get up to six months if the are forced out without cause, in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6

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