SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and City Council Council Chairwoman Tabatha Taylor say a plan will be presented to the council on December 28 to raise pay for all full-time city employees by 13 percent.
“This is one of the happiest days of my tenure as Mayor of the City of Shreveport, Perkins said in a news conference early Friday afternoon after making the announcement.
Perkins said funding for the pay raises for more than 2,000 city employees will come from the city’s general fund surplus, increased sales tax revenue, and American Rescue Plan dollars, “as necessary,” if approved by the council.
Perkins said the White House confirmed in a call Tuesday that although the ARP funds are not recurring dollars, they can be used for this purpose.
“But a part of the calculation where we are counting reoccurring dollars is sales tax revenue that has been considered. The American Rescue Plan dollars, those give us a strong enough foundation to where this is sustainable for at least a few years out.”
Noting that city employees have not had a raise in more than ten years, Perkins said the raises are long overdue and well-deserved.
“Each and every one of them are essential to the operations of our city. They are the backbone of Shreveport, and that couldn’t be more apparent than during our most tumultuous times. You deliver city services that the public depends on daily while facing unknown threats and public health crises, and emergencies,” including the COVID-19 pandemic and winter storms.
Perkins said the plan does not increase the proportion the city pays into employee pensions, but the city will be paying more because salaries are going up.
The announcement comes days after the council failed to pass a pay raise for the city’s first responders because some members wanted to raise the minimum wage for all city workers to $15 per hour, rather than raising pay to that level for police and firefighters while only giving the rest of the city’s employees a 2.75 percent bump in pay.
On Wednesday, Perkins gave the council two weeks to come up with a plan to make that happen. Taylor, who was among those who rejected the pay raise for first responders Tuesday, took on the lead on that challenge.
“This is truly a historic day for the City of Shreveport,” Taylor said. “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I am to be able to work with this administration along with my colleagues to come to a workable resolve. They worked tirelessly. I fussed, I cussed just a little bit, just to make sure that you all know how much you are valued by the City of Shreveport.”
The council is expected to vote on the plan during their January council meeting.