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East Baton Rouge Parish council hopes to add across-the-board pay raise for city workers


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council members have been flipping through the mayor's proposed budget that they will vote on next month. But some say the key missing element is an across-the-board pay raise for city workers.

Mayor-President Kip Holden officially unveiled his proposed 2015 budget last week, noting that the budget grew by 2.5 percent. But council members still have to approve the budget, and a few hope to shuffle around money before they vote.

The Advocate reports ( ) city workers already receive 3 percent pay raises on a yearly basis until they max out upon reaching the city's highest pay level for their job category. Once they have worked for the city for 10 years, they also start receiving longevity money on top of their salaries. Holden said at the budget meeting that he was proud to keep supporting those raises for next year.

But the city's lowest-paid employees in the Department of Public Works have been campaigning for higher across-the-board pay raises for years, as have firefighters and police officers.

William Daniel, the mayor's chief administrative officer, released a pay plan proposal a few weeks ago that would bump up city workers' salaries across the board by 2 percent.

However, money for the raises isn't included in the 2015 budget. Daniel has said he intends to offer a budget supplement early next year for the 2 percent raises.

Councilman Buddy Amoroso said he has joined forces with other council members to try to find the $5.6 million in the $830 million budget to squeeze those raises into the 2015 budget.

"If we can take money from other areas without hurting the city, then I would be in favor of employee raises," Amoroso said.

Information from: The Advocate,

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