CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An increase in pay for weekend work is helping to reverse a tide of turnover at the Division of Motor Vehicles, according to the agency’s Commissioner Pat Reed.

The DMV started a shift differential pay program three months ago for those who work Saturday in the Martinsburg and Kanawha City offices.

“It has made a difference. No longer than it’s been in effect we know of several employees who had considered leaving but decided to stay because of the shift differential, said Reed. “We’ve also seen a morale boost at both Kanawha City and Martinsburg and we feel it’s made a big difference.”

The two locations are the only DMV offices in the state with Saturday hours. Those employees who work the Saturday shift earn an extra $5 an hour. Typically the Saturday workday will stretch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Although the DMV closes at noon on Saturday, if customers are in line, the policy is nobody is turned away.

“I don’t have a number, but I can tell you they are volunteering for Saturday shifts,” Reed explained. “They are pleased about it and there is a difference.”

The program was implemented in hopes of stopping the high turnover rate. It costs the agency approximately $3,500 to train each worker, but employees were leaving in three to six months and the process would start over again. The additional pay on Saturday, according to Reed, is a fraction of the cost to continue to train new employees.

“As we’re interviewing now we can interview with the possibility of them being interested in the shift differential,” she said. “Between that and the extra money, we feel like we’re going to eliminate the turnover and in turn give our people better services.”

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