Pay raises for Richmond firefighters, police officers will be delayed

Published: Jul. 25, 2017 at 8:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2017 at 4:15 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As part of this year's new budget cycle, Richmond police and firefighters were set to receive pay raises on their paychecks this Friday. However, it turns out that will not happen.

When your life is in danger, they risk theirs to get there.

"We come in every day and do what we're supposed to do. Any one of these incidents can take our life," said Keith Andes with the Richmond Firefighter's Association.

Andes is speaking out about information he received from top leaders about police and fire staff's pay raises.

"They won't be receiving it this Friday. It will be delayed until sometime in September. Three days before these folks are supposed to receive this, we're
talking about a delay," Andes said.

Councilman Mike Jones says the city's budget department reached out to the fire and police departments.

"We asked for a particular set of information, it wasn't given to us. Our budget staff asked for specifically how they wanted it broken out," Jones said.

"So did the fire department d rop the ball?" NBC 12 asked.

"I'm not saying who d ropped the ball. I'm not saying whose responsible. I'm just saying this is what was told to me," Jones said.

Some also pointed to a controversial decision council made in May to change the way Richmond government works, now requiring city council - not the mayor - to approve changes in spending across departments. Some people are questioning how long it will take to speed up the raises. City council does not normally meet in August.

"It's like a power struggle, and now, we are front and center in this power struggle. I can tell you police and firefighters hate to be in that position," Andes said.

"I'm not saying anyone is doing anything underhanded or trying to delay the process because I know the mayor wants police and fire taken care of as well as I know, city council wants police and fire taken care of," Jones added.

The mayor could call an emergency meeting so council can come back to the table and take action on this matter right away. Otherwise, the raises
may not go through until September with the additional pay implemented retroactively.

"If you make a promise, you should keep it," Andes said.

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