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.