OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) – Opelousas municipal workers may get an increase in their pay, but the only issue is where they will get the money.
Tuesday’s city budget meeting consisted of city council and community members discussing how to keep workers from leaving the Opelousas. Two suggestions were proposed: raise every municipal worker’s hourly pay to either $10 an hour or a 50 cent pay raise. Mayor Pro Tempore Charles Cummings says this is a necessity with the increasing price of everything and wants everybody to benefit.
“We can’t keep employees because our starting pay is low. We can’t keep employees because they are finding better jobs. We need to do something with our employees because these people are hurting,” says Cummings.
There are currently over 120 municipal workers in Opelousas, not including the police or the fire department. Multiple municipal workers are currently making under $10 an hour. This is something Aldermen at Large Marvin Richard says is not fair. “We are not out there with the shovels in our hand, but we expect them to do it. Our job is to have their back.”
Alderman Cummings is proposing an increase in millage taxes to help bring the money into the city for the workers to get the pay increases they are looking for. “If we don’t do something about it soon then it’s not going to get better,” Cummings said. “This city will never progress unless we raise that millage. We need the funds to do it.”
The council ensures they are doing everything they can to find the funds they need to give the city’s municipal workers the money they need. More discussions will be had at the next budget meeting.