New city budget doesn't include raises, but beefs up police force
BATON ROUGE- The mayor released his proposed budget for the city-parish Wednesday and it did not include a raise for all city workers but promised raises instead.
For years, rank and file workers have asked for an increase. Last year, the city performed a pay study to determine possible raises. In the 2015 budget, Mayor-President Kip Holden said raises are planned but work is not finalized.
Negotiations still need to done with union representatives and others involved in pay increases.
"The Metropolitan Council will also need to approve any new pay plans and changes to the retirement ordinance, personnel rules, and union contracts," the mayor's office wrote in the budget. Since no final decisions have been made, changes are not included in the 2015 budget, Holden wrote.
But, changes could be made as early as April 2015, depending on funding and how quickly all sides can agree on a plan. The mayor's office would amend the budget later in the year to account for the raises.
Overall, the city's spending plan increased by about 2.5 percent and includes a merit raise for eligible employees.
Included in the $830 million budget is money for two police academies in 2015. The classes could educate sixty officers. Fighting street crimes will continue to get priority spending, too: BRAVE support continues and the budget includes initiatives to add additional manpower to downtown in the evening.
There is no money for the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority, which recently lost its highly-paid leader after he suggested the city help sustain the organization with a couple of million dollars from the budget.
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