Virginia Beach City Council votes to approve step plan to address employee retention

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

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