City of Wausau should rethink bonuses

I want to say a big “thank you” to our city workers, all of whom have endured the challenges and hardships of the pandemic to keep the essential work of the city going, and at a high standard of quality.

They should all be acknowledged for their effort and dedication to the public. A $1,000 bonus is incommensurate with their efforts American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are available for just this purpose!

Retaining good employees is important to assure our citizens receive the highest quality of services and assistance. Retaining good employees requires workers to feel safe, appreciated and united as a team. These factors weigh even more heavily than money, according to many studies.

The suggestion to provide one group of workers with monetary acknowledgement and not another creates an environment of conflict and resentment. It is divisive and disruptive. It is detrimental to the quality of services the city provides us.

One has to question why? Why is this suggestion being brought forward, particularly when the funds are available to reward everyone?

Has City Hall assimilated the devolving Scott Walker and Chamber of Commerce-inspired workplace culture? That anti-union resentment is acceptable and should be encouraged?

Knowingly or not, this suggestion represents anti-worker practice and hurts the public.

You can avoid this by recommending the money does come from ARPA funds and be given to all our heroes working behind the scene at City Hall. Raising the bonus to at least a meaningful $2,500 as an investment in people should also be considered.

An investment in people should comprise more than a tiny fraction of the cost of an artful curvy structure that will never be essential to keeping crucial services going for our citizens through a devastating pandemic.

This is a bad optic for the city of Wausau, and an optic that just doesn’t seem to go away!