City firefighters and police officers could see pay raises within 2 weeks

RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond police officers and firefighters who were expecting pay raises this month will most likely see those raises in two weeks.

This comes after members of City Council tell CBS 6 that City Attorney Allen Jackson revealed a special council meeting to approve the transfer of funds for pay raises was not necessary.

Pay raises were supposed to go out to firefighters and police officers Friday, July 28, after being approved earlier this year as a part of the 2017-18 city budget. A memo sent to firefighters this week said the raises would be delayed until September.

Earlier this week, the mayor’s office said one of the reasons the raises would be delayed was because of a new City Council regulation that requires council members to approve a transfer of funds between major city programs.

Jim Nolan, the Mayor's press secretary, said the mayor’s office will await a written confirmation from the City Attorney that states City Council does not have to approve the transfer of funds.

“If the City Attorney determines that the budget language adopted in May by Council does not necessitate this ordinance, then we would expect to process the raises so that they will be available in the next pay period,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan previously told CBS 6 that the city administration didn’t have the raise amounts completed to get them out by the July 28 date. But Thursday, Nolan said everything is ready to go now.

If the written confirmation is received by Friday, July 28, eligible Richmond police officers and firefighters will receive raises on their paycheck in two weeks.

Mayor Stoney sent an apology letter to city firefighters and police officer, saying the workers will receive the “increases you deserve, with retroactive pay, as soon as possible.”

Here is a copy of the full letter:

To Richmond’s Police Officers and Firefighters:

In the strong Mayor form of government we have here in Richmond, the buck stops with me – and the well-deserved step increases you expected this week should have been with you.

When it became apparent that the processing of more than 1,000 individual increases was taking longer than expected, we should have communicated that delay to you sooner. You and your families have a right to be upset -- I know I would feel exactly the same way. Your sacrifice and commitment deserve our support and appreciation. We can and will do better.

I made these raises one of my top budget priorities because I know first-hand the hard work you do under what are at times extremely difficult circumstances. From the multiple roll calls, community walks and battalion meetings I have attended over the last seven months, I also know we all want the same things – an efficient and responsive government where the Mayor’s Administration, City Council and our 4,000 employees work together to make life better for our residents.

It is my expectation that this issue will be resolved in the next few days, and you will receive the increases you deserve, with retroactive pay, as soon as possible. I am grateful for your continued service and commitment to this City. Please stay safe, and I thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter as we work to build One Richmond.

Sincerely,

Levar M. Stoney