HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County has made a proposal to implement raises ranging from 4.4% to 14% for local government and school employees.
These changes in salary would start this spring and continue into the next fiscal year.
The proposal includes a series of pay increases for different groups including teachers, police officers and firefighters. Pay for teachers in the county would increase by 6.9%.
These changes would impact the almost 11,800 employed by the Henrico County government and school system.
“These raises for our hardworking county and HCPS employees are much needed and well deserved,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Daniel J. Schmitt, of the Brookland District.
According to a release from the county, the extra money available for raises is due to strict budgeting throughout the 2020-2021 fiscal year, including during the pandemic. There was about $99 million worth of proposed expenses cut and saved during that period. Part of the cut expenses was a 3% raise for employees.
“As a county, we are able to consider a plan of this magnitude only because of Henrico’s many years of conservative fiscal management,” Schmitt said. “The unknowns we faced as we entered the pandemic last year forced us to make extremely difficult decisions about our budget. Because of the aggressive cuts we made then, we are able to take bold action now.”
The county expects the raises to cost about $54 million over multiple fiscal years. Taxes will not be increased to cover these changes.
Within the next two years, the county projects wages will raise enough to make the lowest employee a rate of $15 per hour.
“The pandemic has proven that great employees really are invaluable,” said Vice Chairman Patricia S. O’Bannon, of the Tuckahoe District. “Henrico must take these steps to ensure that our salaries remain competitive so we can continue to attract and retain the most experienced, well-trained and efficient workforce.”