AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – “69% of our employees have been employed with Augusta for less than three years while 6% have been employed for more than 20 years this data further impresses upon us the need for employee retention efforts” said Takiyah Douse, Interim City Administrator.

The Commission’s Administrative Committee presenting this week a plan to improve recruitment and retention of city workers.

Interim city administrator Takiyah Douse says although the vast majority of the US employers are reporting high turnover ratios, that’s not the case for Augusta.

“The 2022 authorizing employee count is 2916 of which 86% represents the cities full-time workforce. “ said Douse.

Mayor-Elect Garnett Johnson says as a business owner he feels private companies and businesses are becoming competition for city- government employment.

“We were able to increase the starting pay for the entry level positions within the city to 15 dollars an hour which I think is a great start however we still have to be able to compete against those jobs offered in the  private sector.” said Johnson.

Douse says in recent years Augusta gave a 1.5 % cost of living adjustment to their employees, she recommends it go higher to retain workers.

“My recommendation today is to give employees a 3% cost-of-living adjustment to be implemented October 2022” said Douse.

Mayor-Elect Johnson also recruitment numbers for law enforcement officers are at an all time low- and hopes efforts to recruit and retain those positions improve in the future.

“You know I can speak specifically to the sheriffs department and that even on the campaign trail is that we have trouble attracting and retaining some of the best talents and that we have agencies that offer more pay” said Johnson

The item is expected to be further discussed next Tuesday by the full commission.