Shreveport’s City Council next week will conclude its 2022 budget debate, where the question isn’t whether to deplete its reserves, but whether recklessly so in order to raise how many employees’ pay, including boosting minimum wages to over twice the legal limit.
Last week, the four Democrats and two Republicans (the seventh member still as-yet undetermined after a resignation last month) agreed that no city employee should receive less than $13 an hour. This meant hiking the lowest grade’s starting pay by about $1.70 per hour, but then salary compression would set in, meaning other grades would have to see increases as well. The plan eventually adopted would apply to 750 workers and cost just over $1 million a year.
Those funds were worked into the budget. However, that it seems wasn’t enough for some councilors. Councilors Republicans Grayson Boucher and John Nickelson plus Democrat LeVette Fuller wanted a 13 percent pay raise for police and fire employees, whose compensation operates in a different system which Resolution 149 didn’t affect. They tried to insert this into Ordinance 154, the operating budget, as an amendment.