The City Council will mull rescinding the city's hiring freeze this week, five years after it was imposed in the midst of the recession.
A total of 304 positions have been eliminated since the freeze was imposed in late 2008. The freeze occurred in phases, starting with a halt to external hires and temporarily affecting internal hires as well.
City staff said that the freeze is no longer necessarily, partly because of how many waivers have been granted -- 338. Departments are only filling needed positions, they wrote, and many are confused about when to request a waiver.
"The 2008 hiring freeze, intended to help the City respond to unanticipated financial
conditions, now appears to be a redundant management tool," city staff wrote in their report.
Based on city budget documents, the number of full time city employees has dropped from about 4,100 in 2009's budget (excluding independent boards) to 3,671 in 2013. The mayor has proposed adding about 27 new employees this year.
If the budget committee approves rescinding the hiring freeze on Tuesday, it will likely go to the full council later this week.