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Virginia Beach city employees petition for higher wages, hazard pay

More than 300 people signed the petition. The Virginia Beach City Workers Committee said there would be more signatures added before the petition was delivered.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Tuesday morning, representatives from Virginia Beach Public Works, Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation and Human Services announced a petition for higher wages.

In the letter to Mayor Bobby Dyer and the city council, signees asked the city to re-evaluate the pay scale to bring up all wages, provide 10% hazard pay for coronavirus and other health threats, investigate possible cases of managerial abuses of power and allow department representatives to meet with the city manager.

More than 300 people signed the petition. The Virginia Beach City Workers Committee said there would be more signatures added before the petition was delivered Tuesday night.

The committee asked for a response to these requests by November 24.

Here's a transcript of the petition:

City of Virginia Beach Workers Deserve Better Pay and Fairness

We, the undersigned essential employees of the City of Virginia Beach, deserve better pay and fairness. The city works because we do. The City of Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state and has a high cost of living compared to other surrounding cities, yet our pay lags behind.

We request that the City Council, City Manager and Department Heads work with us to make the following changes:

1. A complete re-evaluation of the entire pay scale to bring up our wages based on the work we do to meet standards of wage scales in other cities our size with similar cost-of-living.

2. 10% hazard pay. In addition to working during the global coronavirus pandemic, the essential work that we do is hazardous and has long-term health impacts that should be compensated for.

3. Stop management threats and abuse of power. There are many situations of unfair management treatment in our departments without effective oversight from the City. We call for a systematic investigation.

4. Provide a seat at the table for worker leaders in each department, democratically elected by their co-workers, to meet with the City Manager to ensure safety and fairness for all workers.

We appreciate the city being willing to meet with a committee of workers in Waste Management, but this should be expanded to other departments.