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$1.9M in bonuses for city workers came from extra revenue projections

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones left city workers a parting gift.

On Friday, both full-time and part-time city workers were given a one-time bonus that totaled nearly two million dollars.

Tammy Hawley, the mayor’s press secretary, said the bonuses came from extra revenue projected for next year, though it is unclear exactly how much of a surplus.

Hawley said that city employees were notified this week about the bonus.

All eligible full-time permanent workers who have worked with the city will get $500 dollars and part time permanent employees can expect $250 dollars -- both before taxes.

Hawley said the mayor's 2016-2017 budget included 12 percent cuts across the board to city departments, on top of the three percent reductions the year before.

The cuts were a part of the city's operational budget.

Some city council members raised concern over the bonuses, after they battled to provide funding for city schools during the budget, and also as some city services were scaled back.

"City employees work really hard, and we want to make sure they are compensated, but I think council needs to be informed of these things," said Councilman Chris Hilbert.

"I think we should have had a discussion, where they could have had it in a paycheck, not just a one-time bonus that after you take the taxes out -- what do you wind up with?" said councilwoman Reva Trammel.

Hawley said that during the mayor's eight- year term city workers received two percent bonuses and salary increases.

"We are sensitive to the needs to keep salaries competitive to stabilize the workforce and have provided bonuses or salary increases when able," said Hawley.

Below is the city's record of what has been done over Jones' term showing his persistent effort in that regard:

12/20/2008 - 2% salary increase to all employees (given in 2009 and retro'd back to 12/20/2008

7/29/2011 - $1,000 Bonus for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees

10/5/2013 - 2% for general employees & 1/2014 Police & Fire received a
step increase (partial paid 10/5 & the other part paid 1/14).

9/2014 -     2% Bonus

7/11/2015 - 2% for general employees and step and career development for
sworn Police and Fire (avg. increase of 8% for sworn Police and Fire)

7/9/2016 -   Step increase for sworn Police and Fire with avg increase
being 3.8% for the step and plan structure adjustment.

12/16/2016 - $500 Bonus for full-time employees and $250 Bonus for part-time

She said city employees received this latest one in Friday's payroll.