Virginia Beach City Council votes to approve new pay structure to address employee retention, staffing shortages

Virginia Beach employees rally for step plan.PNG
Virginia Beach City Council approves step plan (May 10).PNG
Posted at 7:38 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 23:12:06-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach City Council members voted to approve a new pay structure to address employee retention and staffing shortages during Tuesday night's meeting.

Previously, News 3 reported that several Virginia Beach city workers were calling for a step plan, in which an employee's pay would be based on their years of service. Some public works employees who said they are being paid under $15 an hour called for a raise.

With Tuesday night's vote, the City of Virginia Beach will spend more than $32 million to implement this step plan, which is the largest overall pay structure for the city in 20 years.

Council members say the goal is to have a 3% separation between each step, with an implementation that each employee receives a 5% minimum pay increase.

Employees with the Virginia Beach Police Department, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Department of Public Works, just to name a few, will be on this step pay plan.

Brian Luciano, the president of the Virginia Beach Police Benevolent Association, says this has been a long time coming.

"We’ve been advocating for a step plan for a very long time, and it’s been illusive. Our efforts go back decades. To be the one to pass it through the finish lines is very exciting," Luciano told News 3 reporter Leondra Head after the meeting. "We should have had it long ago. We are happy to have it now, but it will absolutely address retention and recruitment."

Related: Possible raise for city employees in the works: Norfolk looks to increase minimum wage to $18 for city workers