ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — The Alexandria City Council passed an ordinance expanding rights to city workers on Saturday.

It’s a historic ordinance, the first the Commonwealth has seen in over 40 years. The mandate was created to promote orderly relationships between the city and its employees.

It permits workers to bargain over work-related issues. The intent is that city employees will be able to enter into a collective bargaining contract with a union.

City workers spoke at the council meeting, saying that the ordinance is just the first step towards creating better employee conditions.

“True collective bargaining gives employees and administration the opportunity to collaborate on workplace issues on safety, fair policies including promotion opportunities for all grievance and disciplinary process,” said Felicia Tucker, a city employee.

Council members made revisions to the original proposal presented on February 9 of this year.