Our Working Lives


Originally published in the Winter 2022 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 67, printed February 3. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Winter 2022 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

By Kat McNeal

In May 2021, a change to state law came into effect that allows local governments and school boards to bargain collectively with their workers.

Richmond City Council now has two bills to consider on this topic. Both are on the agenda of the Feb. 7 meeting of council’s Organizational Development Committee.

The first bill, proposed by Mayor Levar Stoney’s office, would restrict collective bargaining rights to only certain employees in the Departments of Public Utilities and Public Works. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Jan. 27, Stoney described this measure as a “pilot initiative.”

The second, put forward by council representatives Kristen N. Larson (4th District) and Reva Trammell (8th District), would permit most city workers to bargain.

With collective bargaining a possibility in the near future, the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) Local 512 has launched a campaign to organize public workers in Richmond. Local 512 already represents public workers in Fairfax and Loudon.

Categories: Our Working Lives

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