Facing budget shortfalls, the city of Grand Junction is offering employees the opportunity for voluntary separation.

The program is being offered with the hope that if enough people take advantage of the opportunity to leave their jobs voluntarily, additional job cuts won't be necessary.

Revenue for 2016 is down 4.7% from forecasts and 2017 doesn't look any better. After reducing projected expenditures as much as possible, city officials say the next step is to cut labor.

City employees interested in "separating" from their employment have four options.

  • Temporary unpaid leave
  • Early retirement incentives
  • Voluntary separation incentives
  • Voluntary change in status (reduced hours)

The incentives being offered for voluntary separation are modest to be sure, ranging from one month's salary, six months of COBRA payments, or early qualification for a retirement health plan.

The city has 635 regular full-time employees. The most likely candidates for his voluntary separation would seem to be those who are reasonably close to retirement anyway.

Employees have until October 17 to notify the city of their intent to leave their job. At that point, the city will determine if additional involuntary layoffs will be necessary.