City workers in Virginia Beach fight for a living wage

rally pic vb minimum wage.jpg
Virginia Beach City Workers Union rally (March 1).jpg
Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 18:20:06-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Beach City Workers Union is headed to City Hall Tuesday evening to request that the Virginia Beach City Council pass a resolution in support of Collective Bargaining.

Virginia increased the minimum wage to $11 an hour on January 1, 2022, and a law signed by former Gov. Ralph Northam is designed to increase the wage to the federal minimum of $15 per hour by 2026.

According to the Union, 825 city employees currently make less than $15 per hour. The majority of those custodians or landscapers at city parks.

Their data shows that last November, the Virginia Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis found that 9 out of 10 city employees do not make the necessary $65,000 per year to raise a single child in the city limits.

Charles Brown, an organizer for UE Local 111, told News 3 they’ll hold a press conference outside City Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. After that, they will go inside for the city council meeting, where they plan to speak before council members during the public comment portion.

"We’re trying to at least get them to acknowledge us; at least put it on the agenda, if nothing else," stated Brown.

He added, "When you compare the cost of living in Virginia Beach as it relates to some of the other cities and then you look at some of the wages that a lot of these workers are making, it’s really abysmal in comparison."

The Virginia Beach City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday and is being held at City Hall, located at 2401 Courthouse Drive. The meetings are live-streamed. Click here to watch.

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