Rapides Police Jury mulls employee pay raise, pushes it to 2020

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish Police Jury discussed a motion on Monday at their regular meeting to give all parish employees a five percent raise this year. Instead, they decided to pushback any raises for 2020.

Photo Source: KALB

Jurors Richard Billings and Bubba Moreau put the motion for a five percent increase on the agenda. However, Juror Craig Smith made a substitute motion to create a committee with the civil service director for "compensation redesign" for 2020.

The jury voted seven to two in favor of that substitute motion to push back any raises. Some jurors are concerned about the nearly $1 million deficit they were grappling with last year in the general fund. Parish Treasurer Bruce Kelly also said there's no reserve money in the general fund.

Both sides agreeing though that the parish is having a hard time keeping employees because of compensation.

However, Juror Billings who proposed the immediate five percent bump for the around 100 parish employees said the money is there.

"Every department in the parish has the money to give a pay raise except general fund,” said Billings. “I do think there can be some squeaking done to where that could be available. Our people need a raise."

"As you know, the general fund has a very tight budget so just to go up and give five percent pay raise when we don't know if it's in our budget or not, I would rather see a study done and a proposal made so that we can work some pay scales for our employees so we can work into our 2020 budget," said Smith.

The five percent increase would've cost the parish $167,797.98 for the year, with $36,638.36 of that from the general fund.

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