Every hard-working Virginian deserves to make a living wage and have a voice on the job. That’s why the Prince William County Labor Caucus calls for county and school board budgets that invest in fair pay, strong benefits, workers' rights, and quality public services for all working families in our community.
The Caucus recognizes the much-needed 17.5% pay scale increase for the police department that went into effect on January 1, 2023, to ensure a fully-funded and fully-staffed workforce. Our County deserves the same in every vital aspect of community service. We also recognize the inequity in compensation this has caused all other county service workers including our fire department, county employees, and our teachers and school employees.
The proposed compensation for our first responders, county employees, and school employees are:
● Police department: salary scale adjustment.
● Fire department: 6.8% raise, with salary scale adjustment.
● County employees: 6% raise, with salary scale adjustment.
● Educators and school staff: 2% raise, with salary scale adjustment and INCREASE in health insurance premiums.
The Prince William County Labor Caucus understands that both the Board of County Supervisors and the School Board are considering an increase to board salaries in light of market comparisons and the desire to remain competitive with neighboring jurisdictions. We ask that the same methodology be fairly applied to all county and school system employees.
“At the end of the day, none of us go into public service to become wealthy; we just want to do meaningful work in our community and make a living wage. My fellow coworkers and I thrive when we can afford to live where we work. We know that collective bargaining is the best way to close racial disparities and the pay gap while raising standards for all. Our working conditions are your living conditions, and improving our working conditions is better for all of us.” said Patrice Summers, SEIU Virginia 512 Prince William County Organizing Committee
"Prince William County has the 2nd largest fire department in the Commonwealth but is the lowest paid in the region. Attrition in our fire department is 90% above our trendline, leading to a dangerous number of vacancies. These vacancies are leading to daily overtime use that is unsustainable and unacceptable. We must address the significant shortcomings in total compensation to properly recruit and retain the firefighters our community deserves," said Mitch Nason, Prince William Professional Fire Fighters President.
“The 17.5% pay scale adjustment for the Police Department was necessary. The staffing crisis was so dire it couldn’t be ignored anymore. Earlier intervention would have eliminated the need for such a drastic increase all at once. Please take care of our firefighters, our educators, and our professional staff. We should consider what our skilled employees are worth, and compensate them fairly before staffing becomes a larger problem," said Katie Zaimis, PWCPA President.
“PWCS already has nearly 900 vacancies at present, more than any other neighboring division, and this proposed budget will exacerbate an already devastating staffing crisis. PWC families deserve fully funded and fully staffed schools for our children," said Maggie Hansford, PWEA President.
This is an opinion piece that is sponsored by the Prince William Education Association.
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