Shreveport City Council votes on funding 13% pay raise for municipal workers

Some Shreveport municipal workers stand at the back of the City Council chambers Jan. 11, 2022,...
Some Shreveport municipal workers stand at the back of the City Council chambers Jan. 11, 2022, as they wait to speak to council members about a proposed 13% pay raise for city employees.(Source: Chandler Watkins/KSLA News 12)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:04 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 5:12 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - It’s been a hot topic for a couple of months — a pay raise for Shreveport city workers.

The City Council voted 5-2 on several budget amendments to fund the raise during its meeting the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 11.

“We have heard your cries. “We have heard your pleas,” Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor said. “We have a commitment to you, the same commitment that you have given to us. Thank you. Yes, it is a day for you to celebrate because you earned it, because you are the leaders and we are the servants.”

City workers will now see a 13% pay increase that would go into effect in February. Workers will notice the pay surge on their Feb. 15 paychecks.

Michael Blow is one of the many employees who has been requesting a pay increase over the past few weeks. After working for the city for more than 30 years, he still makes just more than $13 an hour.

“My reaction today is happy,” Blow said. “I’m just glad everything was good and all the chairmen did what they said they were going to do.

“It feels wonderful because I did stand up. Someone pulled me up and said we need to do this,” he continued. “We’ve been asking since 2010 for a raise. We’ve been far behind and it’s time. I feel good that God showed the way for us to get this done.”

According to the mayor’s office, funding for the pay boost will come from American Rescue Plan funds and increased sales tax revenue. However, one of the major questions is whether the pay bump is sustainable in the long term.

Councilmen John Nickelson and Grayson Boucher were the only two to vote down the ordinances amending the budget to allocate for the pay raises; they question how long the city can sustain the pay increases.

“We know that our sales tax will continue to grow; we hope that anyway,” Councilman Jerry Bowman said. “But we are going to find ways to make sure this is sustainable and continue to move our city forward.”

In December, the City Council voted down raising pay exclusively for first responders after employees from other departments argued that they, too, are deserving of a raise.

RELATED STORIES

KSLA News 12 will provide complete coverage during today’s City Council meeting and will provide updates when available.

Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.