What Our Employees are Worth

Did you notice an increase in pay in your most recent paycheck?  This is thanks to the new pay plan that was approved, as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget, by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 27. The $54.8 million plan was originally put forward on Tuesday, February 9 by the County Manager, John Vithoulkas, and Director of Finance, Meghan Coates to “reward a lean and efficient workforce.” The County Manager stated he wanted to share a “moment of gratitude for our employees; for those that have defined our Henrico Way of public service” and that these across-the-board pay increases were to “show and demonstrate what our employees are worth.”

This three-part pay plan that increases the wages of all 11,000 employees at no cost to taxpayers. The first step is what you witnessed in your most recent paycheck; a 2% scale adjustment and targeted market adjustments for some classifications. This means all employees received at least a 2% increase in their wages. Some positions, due to specific local market circumstances and conditions, also received a market increase to help address pay lag as well as pay range lag. The second step of the plan is a merit-based increase which will be effective in June at the start of FY 2022. This will give all eligible full-time and permanent part-time employees who did not receive the market increase an additional 1-step (2.372%) increase to augment their pay. The third and final piece of the plan is the longevity-based increase to take effect October 2022. Full-time and permanent part-time employees that have been with Henrico County for 10 -14 years as of January 1, 2021, will see an additional 1-step (2.372%) increase in their wages. For a 15–19-year tenure there is a 2-step (4.8% increase), for 20 -24 years a 3-step (7. 286%) increase, and for 25+ years a 4-step (9.8%) increase.

This new pay plan not only rewards employees for their efforts, but it achieved the goal to make Henrico County the regional pay-leader for critical public safety and education positions. All sworn personnel in the Divisions of Police and Fire will receive adjustments totaling at least 9.43%. Sworn personnel in the Sheriff’s office also received market adjustments, and Sheriff Deputy positions lead the region in pay. A comparison of educators throughout the region with varying levels of tenure and education proved that in many cases our educators were also pay leaders; even more so with 38% of teachers eligible to receive the longevity increase.


The bottom line is that every full-time and permanent part-time employee, regardless of position or tenure, will receive at least a 4.372% wage increase by the end of summer. A pay increase this large has not been seen in the County since 2007.

 How is this possible and sustainable? You may recall the spending freeze and tightened budget that was adopted in June 2020 as a precaution in the wake of the pandemic. As of February 9, 2021, due to our resilient local economy, revenue projections are outperforming the adopted budget by $81 million. As we resume hiring and spending in FY 2022, our land book increases, residential revaluation raises, and new construction have more than offset the decline in hotel/motel and some retail revenues. In her final statements, Meghan Coates affirmed, “We’ve already seen the [COVID-19] impact. There may be some lingering effects … but what we are seeing in our economic development pipeline ensures me that this is in fact sustainable.”

If you are interested in seeing how these increases will affect your wages specifically, please login to Oracle and click open the Employee Direct Access folder and you will find a link labeled Proposed Employee Compensation Plan. If you have any other questions, please view the FAQ or contact your agency supervisor.


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Transformation starts with YOU… and the support of a Health Coach

Just as a sports coach can help an athlete develop and excel at a specific sport, a Health Coach can assist you in achieving your fitness and wellness goals. Employees looking to be healthier by losing weight, reducing stress, improving diet and nutrition, or creating a more active lifestyle, can now utilize health coaching services offered through the Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division.

Each employee has unique nutrition, fitness, and wellness goals driven by personal history and experiences. There is often a need for guidance and accountability to create a sustainable behavior change, and that is where a Health Coach can assist. The Health Coach can educate employees on their health risk factors, how certain habits or choices may augment those risks, and offer tools to help employees make healthier dietary and lifestyle changes all while providing accountability and motivation to meet their goals.

It is a partnership between the employee and their coach that guides the employee toward the changes they want to make. Together, they will create goals and action plans to achieve those goals. Coaches use their intuition, compassion, and empathy to develop a rapport with employees to make the process productive and successful. Then, the coach will motivate and push the employee to reflect on themselves and see their health in ways they never have before.

To learn more about Health Coaching offered through the Fitness and Wellness Division, visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint Health Coaching page.

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Tis the Season for Fresh Produce

Did you know there are more benefits to eating seasonal produce than just the availability and grocery bill savings? As produce ages, their nutrients decline. Eating the fruit or vegetable at their peak harvest time means they will have the most nutrients and flavor. There are also digestive and health benefits such as lighter, more watery produce being readily available in the warmer seasons when your body needs more hydration, and denser foods ripening in the colder months when your body needs the fortification. In addition, the local economy and ecology can benefit when you support local farmers markets and produce stands.

This month, as Spring has sprung, the list of in-season produce is starting to lengthen with items such as asparagus, carrots, cherries, lettuce, strawberries, and zucchini. It also includes some less popular foods such as apricots, swiss chard, artichokes, okra, and rhubarb.

If you are interested in eating seasonally, here are some recipes and ideas to get you started:

Apricots can be eaten raw, dried, grilled on a salad, as a chutney, or in desserts like this fresh apricot crisp!

Artichokes can be eaten hot or cold, but be sure to learn the proper way to cut and peel them. Try this delicious dip recipe!

Asparagus can be eaten steamed, roasted, boiled or baked into a variety of recipes like this frittata!

Carrots are usually eaten raw, roasted or in a puree. Try these honey-glazed carrots!

Cherries need to be pitted but can be eaten in pies, sauces, or raw. They pair well with many flavors like this porkchop recipe.

Lettuce has many varietals and is usually eaten raw in salads or on sandwiches. Try a ton of spring produce at once in this ultimate spring salad!

Okra is typically eaten fried, stewed, oven-roasted, or in gumbo. Try it sautéed with tomatoes in this recipe.

Rhubarb is usually eaten cooked with some sort of sweetener, like in this pie recipe, but can be eaten raw. Be careful that you only eat the stalks.

Strawberries are probably the most diversely used produce on the list. You can eat them raw, as a flavor additive to ice cream and baked goods (such as this berry cobbler), and in smoothies and jams.

Swiss Chard can be used like spinach but is often sautéed like in this delicious side dish recipe.

Zucchini can be eaten raw, sautéed, as zoodles, or grilled. Next time you want potato chips, try this zucchini alternative!

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