City of Roanoke cuts jobs, shuffles others ahead of projected budget shortfall

Two new positions come with significant pay cuts

ROANOKE, Va. - The city of Roanoke reorganized one of its departments, which involved shuffling employees and eliminating a position in another department this week in response to a projected budget shortfall.

Twenty-two positions within the city were unfunded, while the Clerk of the Circuit Court had one position eliminated completely, according to city spokeswoman Melinda Mayo.

All city departments, including Clerk of the Circuit Court, Treasurer's Office, Finance, Management and Budget, Human and Social Services, Police, Fire-Emergency Medical Services and Commonwealth's Attorney, were required to submit budgets at a reduced level based on a projected loss of revenue in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, Mayo said.

The strategy for how to reduce the budget was left at the discretion of each department manager. Some managers made cuts through unfunded positions, and some cut operation costs or did a combination of both, Mayo said.   

The clerk's office reassigned one employee. The affected employee was offered a different position, Mayo said, but with a 39 percent reduction in pay. 

Only one of the eight departments, the Department of Social Services, eliminated a position entirely.

The department reached out to the state for guidance and was ultimately reorganized based on a Virginia Department of Social Services recommendation, Mayo said. The state agency uses a new tool to track data workload and the tool indicated some areas within the Roanoke department were under-staffed while others were over-staffed, based on the demand for services.

It was reorganized to "better serve the actual work coming in," Mayo explained.

Nineteen of the 22 unfunded positions throughout the city departments were vacant. Social services took the biggest hit with 15 positions affected as part of its reorganization. 

Employees holding the three filled positions were transferred to other positions, Mayo said. One social services employees received a 15 percent pay cut as a result of being transferred to a position within a different pay grade.

Unfunded positions still exist, there is simply no money in the budget for it. In the event the budget changes, the position could later be filled without having to be created. 

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