City to pay workers for money-saving ideas

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SAN DIEGO — A program that will provide financial incentives to city of San Diego employees who pass along ideas to save money in municipal operations will begin accepting proposals Aug. 15, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the concept behind the “San Diego Works” program is to use the savings to pay for more services for residents.

Employees or groups of workers can earn up to $5,000 if their ideas are incorporated into the budget for the next fiscal year, he said. The actual bonus amount will depend on how much money is saved.

“This is a different way of doing things at City Hall,” Faulconer said. “We can accomplish so much more when we work together. We can harness the power of great ideas for the benefit of San Diegans.”

Almis Udrys, the city’s director of performance and analytics, said his office will encourage employees to team up to develop proposals and submit them by Nov. 15. His office will then vet the various ideas.

The cutoff date is necessary so financial staff can include accepted proposals in the budget planning process.

“San Diegans deserve a government that works for them,” Faulconer said.

The employee incentive package was accepted by all six of the organized labor groups that represent city employees. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the labor agreement for the program at a special meeting on Thursday.

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