Police Jury approves raises

In an effort to keep up with the cost of living and to create a system that is competitive to other parishes, the Vermilion Parish Police Jury voted at a special meeting Monday night to raise all parish employees salaries.

Nearly a month ago it was decided that the salary compensation for CDL drivers was not competitive enough to entice local people to work for the parish government system instead of private enterprise. At that time a decision was made to research and adjust CDL salaries for employees of the solid waste facility and road crews with the expectation that higher wages would mean more applicants for the positions.

A committee of jurors, some of the administrative staff and supervisors met on several occasions to iron out the details.

The result was not only a raise for CDL drivers, but for all parish employees.

The increase to the parish to pay out additional wages will total approximately $329,000 which will be taken out of either the ‘76, ‘78 or ‘94 sales tax and will begin with the next pay period.

Juror Mark Poche and Jury President Gerald Butaud assured the rest of the jurors that there was ample funds to cover the increases.

Since it had been previously decided by the jury that day CDL drivers at solid waste would make $11 an hour, night CDL drivers, $12 an hour and road crew CDL drivers $10.25 an hour, the rest of the raises had to reflect an amount comparable to those positions. This posed a challenge as there exist at least ten different pay scale grades, depending upon the amount of time employed with the parish and what position is considered.

Using models and wage data from other parishes and organizations, the committee was able to come up with a plan that would guarantee all workers would receive a raise that was equal to what everyone else will get. It was also the first time in recent jury business that the corresponding supervisors were invited to have input about their workers’ salaries.

“We went over every job description and every employee with the supervisors in order to make this fair,” Poche stated.

While looking into each job, it was discovered that a few positions had been overlooked for step increases when the jury voted last year to get rid of the lowest pay step. With the new plan in place, each job has been detailed and will fall in line with the pay increases.

The jury voted unanimously to increase the wages and mentioned addressing another form of raise system in the future, citing the possibility of merit increases.

The Vermilion Parish Police Jury will meet this afternoon at 5:30 p.m at the Vermilion Parish Courthouse for the regular committee meetings.

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