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."