PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — City workers in Petersburg will see a dip in their paychecks in just a couple of weeks. On Monday, the city voted to reduce full-time salaries by 10 percent to help with a multi-million dollar deficit the city is facing, cutting the initial 20 percent figure that was proposed in half.
Right now, the cuts are set to go into effect July 23rd. Over the next six months, that should garner a savings of only about $1.5 million, according to the latest figures.
Needless to say, some city workers aren’t exactly thrilled.
“I think it’s a very bad decision, you know. we’re sitting here, we work and we didn’t have anything to do with the deficit but it seems like we have to pay for it,” city worker Timothy Moore told 8News reporter Candice Cole.
According to Petersburg City Manager Dironna Moore Belton, cutting salaries by 10 percent temporarily was one of the safest ways to save without laying off workers.
“This reduction is allowing the city to work within our cash flow on a bi-weekly and monthly basis,” Belton said.
Those cuts were set to impact all city workers across the board, though a last-minute motion by councilman Brian Moore passed to exclude the city’s four executive appointees — for now.
T. Moore says that’s not fair.
“If one person’s going to take a hit, everybody should take a hit, including the people on top,” he said.
“If one person’s going to take a hit, everybody should take a hit, including the people on top.” — City worker Timothy Moore
Councilman Moore says cuts to those salaries will be considered when the council enters into a closed session for appointees.
City officials say the cuts buy time to implement other options, like a tiered annual salary reduction or shaving 20 percent from top earners on down to fill the deficit.
Still, for some council members, learning that Petersburg is so far in the hole came as a surprise.
“That was news,” councilman Moore said. “That’s the first time I’d heard the 17 million dollar figure, so we use that as our new point and keep on moving forward.”
“A lot of times people say what can Petersburg do for me, and now the tides have turned to say what can we do for Petersburg,” Belton added.
The cuts start July 23rd and will impact checks from August 12th on.