Richmond City employees, mayor and city council members celebrate historic contracts for workers’ rights

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City employees joined Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond City Councilwoman Ann-Frances Lambert and Councilwoman Reva Trammell to celebrate a historic contract for workers’ rights and protections.

According to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), city workers gathered Monday, July 2, at City Hall to celebrate the historic contract, which aims to provide new protections and benefits for city employees.

“Today I want to say thank you to SEIU (Virginia 512) for representing the best workers
in the Commonwealth of Virginia, said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. Today marks the end of begging for City of Richmond employees. We are the city we are today because we recognize that investing in the city’s employees is the best way to do business in the city. I am grateful that we have a partnership that is written in black and white, but I realize that we all have to live up to the words on this paper.”

SEIU Virginia 512, City of Richmond Workers and Leaders at City Hall Building (Courtesy of SEIU)

“When we fight, we win! Congratulations again to all the great members of SEIU
Virginia 512 who have fought hard to win this moment, said LaNoral Thomas, president of
SEIU Virginia 512.

The contract is said to include benefits that improve the work environment for city employees through the creation of labor management committees, improvements to grievance processes, increased transparency in the promotion process, improved training processes and guaranteed raises for workers over the next three years.

“We are here today because we decided that we all need to have a say in the decisions that affect us
every day,” said Cathy Bruce, secretary of the Richmond City Chapter of SEIU Virginia 512. “We’re here because we know the city can’t function without our work and our expertise. The citizens of the city deserve the best service. But city employees deserve to work in an environment where our work is valued, and we can go home without feeling defeated, stressed and exhausted. Today begins a new day for the city of Richmond!”

According to SEIU, the unionized city employees hope that other cities and counties in Virginia and eventually the nation will implement contracts that ensure workers are respected, protected and paid.

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