JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the second year in a row, JEA employees are slated to get bonuses, or as JEA calls them, "pay for performance."
This year, each of the nearly 2,000 employees could get an extra $1,500. JEA says it's money the employees have saved the company by operating more efficiently and safely.
Staff members say they deserve it having saved the utility millions.
"Well, it's a group effort," JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce said. "We all have to concentrate on things very important, such as safety, our budget and, of course, customer satisfaction. That is one of our main priorities this year."
Last year the employees received a bonus as well of about $1,250. The employees did not meet all their goals, but it had been since 2007 since an across-the-board pay raise was given to employees. That bonus was also nearly blocked by City Council, which eventually approved it.
This year, some employees received raises, but not everyone.
"They don't need $1,500 each," JEA customer Jay Hibbard said. "Come down on the cost of the prices, the monthly bills."
Not everyone agrees with that assessment.
"I want one, too, but it's great because they have great customer service down here, so they deserve it," JEA customer Jennifer Williams.
JEA says the utility's full board must approve the action, and the checks would not go out until the end of the year. JEA says it has also passed the savings onto its customers. Last month's bills were a little lower because of a fuel charge rebate, and as JEA is preparing next year's budget, Boyce said there is some good news.
"We did not have any rate increases last year and we don't anticipate any for next fiscal year," she said.
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