Having recently approved a refund of $150 for each owner-occupied household in the suburb, Schaumburg authorities are now considering payments of $1,000 for full-time workers and $500 for part-time workers to help them bear the effects of inflation.
The source of all the money is the surplus of the suburb’s general fund, which is projected to be $18.3 million at the end of the current fiscal year on April 30.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has severely reduced Schaumburg’s income, the current climate, combining economic recovery and inflation, has turned out to be more favorable for the suburb’s finances.
This month, the gift cards will be mailed out to approximately 19,500 suburban homeowners, with a total value of about $2.9 million.
The estimated cost of employee benefits is $441,500 for 407 full-time and 69 freelance employees who will work in the suburbs on April 1.
The Schaumburg Finance Committee unanimously recommended the payments, and final approval will be put to a vote by the suburb council on Tuesday, March 28.
“The staff have been extremely helpful during the pandemic,” said Board of Trustees member George Dunham, who heads the finance committee. “It’s a way to reward them for it.”
Mayor Tom Daly said that while extra money could always be directed to roads, officials wanted to do something to help the community in a different way. According to him, after almost $3 million was allocated for homeowners, it was decided that some benefits could be provided to employees as well.
The suburb’s manager, Brian Townsend, said workers had clearly been hit by inflation and the suburb was suffering from a particularly competitive job market.
“I think it’s a responsible way to recognize these two factors,” Townsend said.
If approved, the payments will be included in the paychecks of non-union employees as soon as possible. Payments for union workers must first be approved by the union leadership.
As with homeowners, these payments are considered lump-sum payments based on the unique circumstances of the fiscal year.
Last year, Schaumburg employees were given a paid “Pandemic Relief Day,” which most of them celebrated on Presidents Day 2022. There was no such opportunity this year.