LAFAYETTE, LA — The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved three raises for public sector jobs in Tuesday night’s meeting.
The Lafayette Fire Department is getting a $2.6M raise, the City Marshal office is getting a $137K raise, and all Lafayette Consolidated Government employees who report to the council is set to get a 5% raise pending one more vote.
“Do the right thing. Leave this place better than you found it,” lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit pleaded to the City-Parish Council.
When the police pay plan adjustment went into motion over a month ago, several others followed suit.
“This is really a catch-up. This is not a raise,” Lafayette City Marshal Mike Hill told the council.
Hundreds wrote in their support, and many voiced their opinions on why the three raises were needed.
LCG Accounting Manager Tammy Anderson asked for the 5% raise so more employees would be able to support their families above the poverty line, “While we are not your front line, like our public safety brothers and sisters, we are the back office workers who keep this government running and ensure those on the front line have everything they need to perform their jobs adequately.”
“I have been told without counting votes, that of course, we don’t do, I am the swing vote,” District 6 Councilman Bruce Conque said before the closest for the 5% raise to all LCG employees who report to the council; districts 5, 7, 8 and 9 voted against it.
“It’s a tough pill for me to swallow to know for the last four years, I have voted against pay raises,” District 8 Liz Hebert said. “I don’t want to do that. I want to give everyone pay raises.”
Councilmen Bellard and Theriot voted against every raise which is projected to put the government in debt by 2024 unless the next council finds a sustainable way to pay for it.
“We have to recognize that this will put a strain on our budget, I get it,” Mayor President-Elect Josh Guillory told the council encouraging them to vote in favor of the raises. “We’re going to find ways, every opportunity in the budget where there’s wasteful spending to identify it and eliminate it because that’s what we’re going to have to do.”