The Ocean City Council has approved a plan to increase salaries and offer additional incentives for municipal employees. The moves aim to retain current staff and attract new hires amid a tight labor market.
Under the plan, most employees will receive a 3-3.5% pay bump starting in 2023. City Manager Terry McGean says this will better align Ocean City salaries with comparable jobs elsewhere. “We need to stay competitive to keep good employees,” McGean said. The raises are estimated to cost the city around $250,000 annually.
In addition to the raises, the city will offer hiring and retention bonuses for hard-to-fill positions. New hires for jobs like lifeguards, public works staff, and summer laborers will receive up to $1,000. Employees who stay through the entire summer season will get a $500 bonus. Part-time employees are also now eligible for health benefits if they work over 30 hours a week on average.
McGean said the incentives should help attract more applicants and get staffing levels where they need to be for the busy summer months. Some council members expressed concern over the added costs but ultimately voted in favor of the plan. The changes are slated to take effect in January.