Richmond City Council, Stoney reach collective bargaining agreement

Under the agreement, employees will be able to negotiate retirement, healthcare, pay and salary.
After months of debate, Richmond City Council and Mayor Stoney’s office reached an agreement regarding collective bargaining for city employees.
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 8:57 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After months of debate, Richmond City Council and Mayor Levar Stoney’s Office reached an agreement regarding collective bargaining for city employees. It essentially lays out the framework to allow workers to unionize and negotiate with city leaders regarding working conditions and wages.

“City workers will finally have a seat at the table where our wages, benefits and working conditions are decided,” Phil Shepard. “My fellow city employees and I are one step closer to negotiating our union contracts.”

When it comes to fighting for workers’ rights, city employees like Shepard say they can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. For months, city workers have been working towards a collective bargaining agreement allowing them to come to the table to improve working conditions and benefits for city employees.

During Monday’s budget work session, the mayor’s office and Council finally agreed.

Fifth District Councilmember Stephanie Lynch says under the agreement, employees will be able to negotiate three big issues: Retirement, healthcare, and pay.

“I have championed for our employees for years. I am ecstatic to have my colleagues reach an agreement that benefits employees,” said Councilmember Reva Trammell. “This agreement moves the needle forward and ensures their voices will continue to be heard for years to come.”

In a statement, Stoney says, “he appreciates the collaboration between his administration and council to reach an agreement that will support workers and our citizens.”

If passed, the race will be on for the city to hire a new labor rights administrator to act as a middle-man between the city and the worker’s bargaining units.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time, but in the ordinance, we actually gave ourselves 120 days,” Lynch said.

City workers will also have to vote for union leadership to be able to begin negotiations with the city.

“All sides made compromises, but I believe we have achieved a meaningful and long-lasting outcome that will empower our city workers and ultimately, will yield better results and city services for our citizens,” said Lynch. “I am proud of the partnership and collaboration fostered between the administration, city council, and union representatives during this process.”

City workers will also have to vote for union leadership to be able to begin negotiations with the city.

The city council will vote on whether to pass the ordinance during the July 25 meeting.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.