Employees with Lafayette Consolidated Government will be getting a two-percent cost of living pay raise.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council approved the ordinances to grant those raises to roughly 2,400 LCG employees at a cost of $2.3 million, but it’s unclear when the raises will go into effect.
The raises were welcomed news for most inside city hall, but they come with a condition: The economy has to be doing well for those raises to go into effect.
As for conditions, the raises will only be given when the city’s property and sales taxes increase by two-percent from the year before.
“We don’t want to put the city in a bind, and we don’t want to see the city suffer as a result of some mandated raise, but what we are saying is that when the revenues are up, police pay raises are a priority,” said Police Chief Toby Aguillard.
Lafayette police officers lined the council chambers in uniform as the council unanimously approved a pay increase. Chief Aguillard hopes it will help retain officers.
“We are competing not only with our law enforcement agencies nearby but even in other states, and we have been losing a great deal of officers in recent months. And so, this is a good step forward. This is a good foundation,” said Chief Aguillard.
The raises will affect Lafayette police but also firefighters who aren’t covered by a state-mandated raise each year.
For years, state law requires a cost of living raise for firefighters who have been a firefighter for 3 to 23 years. The ordinance for LCG employee raises covers the firefighters who have 1 to 2 years of experience and beyond 23 years.
Other LCG employees were also granted a raise under the same conditions.
“I present this ordinance on behalf of those laborers who get out and do work by hand in getting to those ditches. We often talk about flood conditions here,” said Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux.
Some council members voted against those raises.
“I separate from what the police do with putting their lives on the line, and don’t get me wrong, I love all our employees, and they do a great job, but I think that should be done on a year-to-year merit, based on what they’re doing, and the supervisors, and the mayor and the whole council at budget time,” said Councilman Jared Bellard. “So, I did not support that ordinance ”
During the upcoming budget hearings, the council and administration will look over the revenues from property and sales tax.
If it follows the conditions, then the raises will go into effect during the next fiscal year.