Group joins EBR wage fight
BATON ROUGE - The civic group that led the passing of the CATS tax is now backing city-parish workers in the fight for pay raises.
Together Baton Rouge held a meeting with faith and community leaders Friday to present the results of a study that found city-parish workers are underpaid compared to similar cities in the region.
"We looked at the study that was done," said Lee Wesley. "We talked to the mayor and other administrators in his office, and they acknowledged that there are low wages. But there are some challenges in coming up with the money to make those adjustments."
Hubert Wood has worked for the Department of Public Works for the past 8 years, yet is living paycheck-to-paycheck.
"I worry constantly that I'm going to end up as a debtor more than I am now and not be able to make my obligations to the bills I have," he said.
Despite the city saying it doesn't have the money for wage increases, Together Baton Rouge says they won't close the door on it happening.
"I think they're interested in paying their employees a livable wage. We're interested in that. The question is how do we work it out," said Wesley.
Wesley says Together Baton Rouge will discuss the issue and make a presentation to the city on what they think can be done to increase wages for city-parish workers.
News 2 received a draft copy of the pay study done for the city of Baton Rouge. However, EBR Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel said the draft report contained so many inaccuracies that they abandoned it. The city says the official rewritten report will be released next week.