Roanoke City Council increases pay for all city workers

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke City Council made some big moves on Monday — one of which increases the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour beginning Dec. 27.

As part of this ordinance, all full-time public safety employees for the City of Roanoke will receive a one-time stipend of $1,500 as long as they keep working for the city through June 1, 2022.

In addition, all full-time non-public-safety employees will receive a one-time $1,000 payment while all part-time non-public-safety employees who will get a one-time $500 payment, as long as they are employed by the city on Dec. 27.

Through a separate ordinance, all full-time public safety employees who were employed by the city on July 1 and stay employed with the city or the Roanoke Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 1, 2022 will receive a one-time payment of $2,000.

City council members shared their thoughts on Monday, Dec. 20 about why it is important to give this $2,000 payment to public safety workers.

“We didn’t have the riots and the things that went on in other cities. I think a lot of that has to do with the leadership that goes on at the police department,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.

City Manager Bob Cowell says the money is coming from a recent rise in revenue and hopes it will combat worker shortages in Roanoke.

In addition to the increases in pay, the Roanoke City Council passed an ordinance to give 25 police officer recruits a sign-on bonus.

Cowell says the city is 44 positions short of where they would like to be, which is why it’s time to get those numbers back up.

According to Cowell, the city created a recruitment bonus last year for officers who were already certified. If they wanted to transfer from another jurisdiction, they could receive up to $7,000.

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