Tucson City Hall reports serious understaffing

TUCSON, Ariz. - Lots of worry at Tucson City Hall after multiple departments are reporting serious understaffing.

City leaders believe a pay raise can help stem the tide, but they can't agree on how to dole out the money.

The biggest issue is employee pay and retention. 

City Manager Mike Ortega said almost every department is understaffed.

So, how do they to fix it?

They believe paying people more money will help.

The city has $6 million available to spend on employees, but they can't agree on how to slice that pie. 

One option is to give employees a 2.5% raise now, then a 2% raise in July when the be fiscal year starts, and then a $1,000 bonus next calendar year.  

One proposal is to give more money to lower paid employees, but that could create compression --- which means new employees and mid-career employees earning in the same neighborhood --- that can be as a disincentive to stay.

The city manager said he'd come back in two weeks with more options. 

The catch is that they can't give out so many raises that they can't pay for them in a few years. 

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