AFSCME Virginia City of Norfolk Fund the Front-Line Committee wins Thank You Bonus for Norfolk City Employees

AFSCME Virginia supporters were able to secure a $2,000 bonus for the city of Norfolk employees on October 2nd, 2020. The group of Norfolk city employees who formed a Fund the Frontlines Committee with AFSCME VA were initially advocating for hazard pay for all front-line workers that were keeping the city operating during the global pandemic. The city of Norfolk instead promised a $2,000 “Thank You” bonus for its employees. Members of the AFSCME VA FTFL committee are ready to continue pushing the city to recognize the essential nature of their work, reclassify them, and award them hazard pay. No matter how you classify us, Public Employees matter! Our Fund the Frontlines Committee with AFSCME VA made sure that the city council heard us loud and clear! We were able to fight and win the “Thank You” bonus despite a budget shortfall. We know that not all frontline workers received this bonus. Now, more than ever it is time for us to win collective bargaining so that we have a say in how we are classified!” - Jennifer Webb (City of Norfolk Engineering Technician I).

The committee is also advocating for PPE, notification of exposure, and fair hazard pay while joining the 1.3 million AFSCME members across the country that are calling on the legislature to pass relief for local city and state governments. Committee leaders will also work with the city of Norfolk urging them to adopt an ordinance that would recognize its employees' right to Collective Bargaining, giving workers an opportunity to negotiate a union contract.  “We show up for our communities every day; ensuring our water systems run properly. A fact that our Fund the Frontlines Committee with AFSCME VA reminded the City Council about. As a result, we were able to win the $2,000 “Thank you” bonus for most staff. We know that this is not enough. That’s why we are taking the next step to have a collective bargaining agreement so that we have a say in our pay, benefits, and working conditions!” - Charles Davis (City of Norfolk Utilities General Maintenance Supervisor).