RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Pay raises for city firefighters and police officials that went into effect this month may not be paid until September.
The pay increases, which were approved as part of the city budget, were delayed due to a new ordinance regarding financial oversight that was recently passed by city council members.
The pay adjustments went into effect on July 8 and were supposed to appear on employees’ next paycheck.
According to press secretary Jim Nolan, the city’s budget office finalized the raise calculations in the last week. Now, in order to move that money into the appropriate departments, they need approval from city council.
The mayor’s office said Mayor Levar Stoney was made aware the news on Tuesday. His reaction was “I want them to have their money now.”
Mayor Stoney has now requested a special meeting with city council to address the problem.
Meanwhile, City Council President Chris Hilbert said he too only learned about the problem on Tuesday when 8News starting asking questions.
“I am disappointed that this is where we are I thought we were going to work together,” Chris Hilbert said.
He said they had been asking for a calculation from the administration for a while but got nothing. He said the calculations and this delay in raises were not mentioned to council at their meeting Monday night.
First responders say they are left disappointed again after hearing the news that the raised promised to them have been put on hold.
“I feel like we are in the middle of a political game that’s being played in the city of Richmond,” said Keith Andes, President of the Richmond Professional Firefighter Union. “I know for one personally and I know my members don’t like to be put in this position.”
Andes said the lack of communication is sending a bad message to those serving our city.
“I don’t know it just seems like someone is trying to make a statement to somebody else and I just want to say they are playing a dangerous game,” Andes said.
Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham called the news disheartening.
“There’s a lot of heartache and heartburn from members of both sides, police and fire,” Chief Alfred Durham said. “It’s a very unfortunate incident.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.