ALBANY — In an effort to trim what could be a $40 million deficit, County Executive Dan McCoy is offering any employee a one-time, $15,000 check if he or she quits.
Any employee considering the Early Separation Payout will have to decide by Sept. 4 and voluntarily resign by Dec. 15. The employee cannot return to the county payroll for a minimum of three years.
It is not technically an early retirement incentive because employees do not have to have a minimum number of years in county employ or be of a certain age to qualify for the ESP.
In addition to the $40 million deficit — caused largely by a sharp decline in sales tax, hotel occupancy tax and other tax revenue impacted by COVID-19 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state could cut funding by an additional 20 percent absent federal help.
“Despite these challenges, the County of Albany continues to work tirelessly to find solutions to our budget crisis, with our perpetual goal of maintaining our exceptional services to our community, while keeping our county staff employed,” reads a letter from the Albany County Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Management and Budget David Reilly to employees.
He said there are a limited number of ESP incentives available and applications will be reviewed “in order of receipt and in consideration of many factors, including, but not limited to, department size, salary and ability to maintain vacancy.”
The employee’s position will not be funded in the 2021 budget, which is currently being formulated.
Other stipulations in the ESP include:
- Employees can still collect accrued vacation time
- Employees are not automatically entitled to accrued personal and sick time unless it is stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement.
- Employees will get paid longevity if a bonus is due between the effective date and Dec. 31.
- Health insurance will continue only through a COBRA or through agreements with a respective collective bargaining unit as they apply to retirees.
- The program will not provide any additional credits for consideration by the state retirement system.
This story will be updated.