Charlottesville City Council approves Collective Bargaining Ordinance, announces CAT pay raises

Charlottesville City Council to discuss collective bargaining at August 15, 2022 meeting.
Charlottesville City Council to discuss collective bargaining at August 15, 2022 meeting.(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:49 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As part of an update to Charlottesville City Council, Interim Manager Michael Rogers made a big announcement that will affect all Charlottesville Area Transit workers.

“We hope that this pay increase will continue to provide incentive and will draw back the people we need to assure that we have a stable, reliable public transportation system,” Rogers said.

Starting pay for pupil and transit drivers will now be $21 per hour, up from $17-19.77 an hour. Employees who have been working for more than a year will receive a twelve percent pay raise.

“We are able to fund this from CAT’s budget because of the vacancies that we have. However, we are enjoying some success in filling those vacancies. So the extent to which we are truly successful in filling the positions, we will be back for some more money from council,” Rogers said.

City council also voted to approve a collective bargaining ordinance, which has undergone thirty changes since first being heard.

“There was extensive conversation in the revision process, both from the members of the city council, members of the public, the leadership of the two unions who have brought forth proposals,” Venable Advisor Robin Burroughs said.

One major change is that fire, police, and transit employees will not necessarily be the first to get collective bargaining.

“The revised ordinance now has six total units, the three that we previously presented - police, fire, and transit - as well as labor and trade, administrative, and technical and professional. In an effort to build the city’s capacity, we’ve staged the implementation of these units so that the first three would be certified in the initial year of the ordinance. And then the next three each in one year after that,” Burroughs said.

This change comes after there was some backlash from the public about the Charlottesville Police Department being included in the original three.

“We’re no longer prioritizing any particular employee group, but whoever organizes first will be in that first year with the others to follow in subsequent years right after,” Burroughs said.

Council unanimously passed the ordinance which was met with applause.

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