City council chairman rescinds staffer pay raises
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport City Council Chairman James Green held a news conference Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 15) to address recent raises given to council staff members that were reportedly not authorized by the council.
During the conference, Green announced he’s rescinding the pay raises. Green said he meant no harm in approving the raises. He said he checked to see if the money was available in the budget, and assumed it was okay. The councilman apologized for embarrassing his employees.
According to an inter-office memo from Green to human resources, the raises began back in June. The memo is dated June 27 and was signed by Green. The memo reads: “The City Council Staff raises were initiated and approved by the Chairman of the Council because of increased demands and expectations of the staff by the current members of the City Council.”
A special meeting of the city council has also been called for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. The purpose of the meeting is as follows:
- To introduce and consider legislation to rescind the unauthorized salary increases of the council employees, to fix the salaries to the amount immediately preceding the increases, and to require reimbursement of all money allocated to the employees as a result of the unauthorized increases.
- To introduce and consider legislation to launch an investigation regarding the receipt of documentary evidence of unauthorized salary increases to Council employees.
On Monday, Aug. 14, Councilwoman Ursula Bowman, who represents District G, released a statement about the salary increases.
“I was totally unaware of the recent salary increases unilaterally given to members of the city council staff,” Bowman said in the statement.
The statement continues:
“After reading Section 4.12 of the city charter, it appears the council, as opposed to an individual council member, has the sole authority to fix or increase the salaries of the city council staff. Since the council, as a whole, never authorized the salary increases, I feel strongly the salary increases are improper and violate Section 4.12 of the city charter.
“Therefore, I feel compelled to vote to rescind the improper salary increases and seek reimbursement of any salary increases received by members of the council staff.”
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