Opinion: Commentary: Hazard Pay in Honor of Frontline Workers in Fairfax County

Opinion: Commentary: Hazard Pay in Honor of Frontline Workers in Fairfax County

We are putting our lives on the line; Hazard pay honors our sacrifices.


Kimberly Adams


Sean Corcoran


Ron Kuley


Tina Williams


Tammie Wondong

As frontline workers and as rank-and-file labor leaders representing Fairfax County firefighters, law enforcement officers, educators, nurses, social workers, trash collectors, and other hard-working county employees, we are proud of the work that our members do every day to keep Fairfax County running.

We keep families safe, care for and educate children, keep our public spaces clean, take care of people who are sick and need support, maintain our community’s infrastructure, help people get where they need to go – and more.

We are Black, White, Latino, Asian, and many of us are immigrants. We are every religion and every kind of family.

Right now, we are responding to the biggest crisis we have seen in our lifetimes. In the midst of this global pandemic, we continue to keep Fairfax County moving forward.

We are picking up trash, putting out fires, protecting the community, delivering health care and mental health services, educating children, cleaning and maintaining public spaces – and so many other things that may be invisible to the community because they happen without people thinking about them.

We’re also reaching out to our neighbors, raising money for nonprofits, donating food, and supporting those hit hardest by the virus and closures.

We are proud to continue serving our community during this crisis. To do so however, we are risking our health and well-being, and the health and well-being of our loved ones.

In recognition of this reality, neighboring jurisdictions, including Arlington, Alexandria, Washington, D.C. and the State of Maryland, have all begun offering hazard pay to their workforce.

Hazard pay honors the commitment and sacrifices that frontline workers make every day as we risk exposure to perform essential services.

Before coronavirus, when we left the house each day, many of us feared that we might not return to our families. Now, we fear that we might bring this virus home to our families.

Hazard pay offers frontline workers an extra measure of financial security to stay focused on our critical work.

We have been offering ideas, and will continue to work with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to pass a county budget that invests in good jobs, quality health care, affordable housing, public education, PPE, and services and supports for every family in Fairfax County.

We believe that budgets are moral documents that must reflect the values of our community, putting people before profits.

Fairfax County has long been a wonderful place to live, work and play. We stand united with elected officials and community leaders who are fighting to support working people throughout our county. Together, we can keep our community safe, healthy, and thriving for years to come.

Kimberly Adams is President of the Fairfax Education Association. Sean Corcoran is President of FCOP Local 5000. Ron Kuley is President of IAFF Local 2068. Tina Williams is President of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers. Tammie Wondong is President of the FCGEU - SEIU Virginia 512. United together, we advocate for good jobs and quality public services for all people in Fairfax County.