SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Officials in northwest Louisiana’s largest city are now proposing 13% raises for all city employees.
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins announced the proposal Friday after City Council members on Tuesday rejected a plan to give 13% raises to only police and fire workers on a 3-3 split.
Local news outlets report Perkins and council member Tabatha Taylor said they would present the plan at a Dec. 28 council meeting, aiming for a vote in January.
Employees of other departments had protested that it is unfair for only police officers and firefighters to get a big raise under the earlier plan, proposed by three council members, while other city workers would get only a 2.75% raise.
Council members who proposed the raise cited departures of police officers and firefighters. Those who opposed it complained they were not consulted about the plan.
Perkins said federal officials told him that federal coronavirus relief money, which has swelled city coffers, can be used for raises. After that money runs out, Perkins said the city would use its general fund surplus and increasing sales tax revenue to support the spending on its more than 2,000 employees.
The mayor told reporters that city employees haven’t received a significant raise in 10 years. He said they deserve a pay bump, citing work during the COVID-19 pandemic and a winter storm earlier this year.
““Each and every one of them are essential to the operations of our city,” Perkins said. “They are the backbone of Shreveport, and that couldn’t be more apparent than during our most tumultuous times.”
Taylor stood with Michael Blow, an employee who told council members Tuesday that he only made $13.71 an hour after decades.
“I’ve been here 30 years and I haven’t seen much of a difference,” Blow told the City Council last week. “I moved from the Street and Drainage Department to the Water Department and that’s how I got a raise, but it’s been hard. We need money too.”