City to pay Spanish-speaking workers extra - FOX 13 News

City to pay Spanish-speaking workers extra

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ATLANTA -

The city of Atlanta is going to pay extra to workers who speak Spanish fluently.

Atlanta City Hall recognizes that its current workforce is ill-equipped to handle the growing Hispanic population, which, in customer service calls may need help from anything to a water bill to getting public safety, emergency help.

To change that, the city will offer an extra 2 percent in worker's paychecks if they know the language.

Grady High School Spanish teacher Liliana Orgegon said the pay hike could keep her students motivated.

"At some point, some of them do appreciate having the opportunity to learn another language. Many of them just you know, are here because they have to be here. But I guess that the plan, the incentive will be a wonderful tool to encourage them," said Orgegon.

The initial allotment will go for public safety workers, but city managers are hoping to expand the program to include all employees who deal directly with the public.

In the city council meeting, it was said that workers in the corporate community are often paid an extra 3 to 5 percent if they know Spanish.

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