SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Mayor Adrian Perkins is giving the Shreveport City Council two weeks to come up with an agreement on how to fund an equal pay raise for all city employees after the council failed to pass a pay raise for the city’s police and firefighters Tuesday.
The vote on the proposed 13 percent pay raise for police and firefighters failed on a 3-3 tie vote.
Council members LeVette Fuller (Dist. B), Grayson Boucher (Dist. D), and John Nickelson (Dist. C) voted for the pay hike. Council members Tabatha Taylor (Dist. A), Jerry Bowman (Dist. G), and James Green (Dist. F) voted against.
Before the vote, residents along with Shreveport police and fire officials said during public comment that they need more money to attract and retain officers.
“The facts are, we are 124 officers short,” said Shreveport Police Department Public Information Officer Chris Bordelon. “The facts are, over the past year, the number of officers we have leaving has more than doubled per month. There is no help in sight if we do not change this right now it will not get better if the pay raise is not passed.”
But some council members rejected the raise for police and firefighters because they want to raise the minimum wage for all city workers to $15 per hour and create a bigger pay hike than 2.75 percent, especially after hearing from some of them during Tuesday’s meeting.
“I do not think that they are wrong for asking for that,” Taylor said. “So if you put the bulk in my court, this is what I say: I don’t have a problem with giving you 13 percent but I want to make sure all the city employees that I know that bust their tails for you all to be able to do what you get what they deserve.”
Mayor Perkins on Wednesday afternoon said he has given the council two weeks to figure out a way to make that happen.
“The council members, though, did not like the disparity of a 2.75 for everybody else, and a 13 percent for first responders. And that’s what they’re going to be bringing up, adjusting, and agreeing to over the next couple of days. We have a couple of different crises that we need to address quickly, so I’m urging the council to act fast on this one.”