Shreveport city workers to get one-time payment

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — City workers in northwest Louisiana will be getting a one-time payout, although the city says it doesn’t have enough money for a permanent pay raise.

The Shreveport City Council on Friday voted 6-1 to approve a payment of $1,000 for every full-time employee and $500 for every part-time employee. Workers will get the money by Christmas, the Times of Shreveport reports.

Shreveport City Council member James Flurry said the payment is hazard pay for workers during the coronavirus pandemic, not a bonus, taken from more than $2 million in excess of sales tax revenue.

City Council member John Nickelson said he voted against the move because the state constitution bars the city from paying a bonus to city employees. He also said the federal CARES Act barred bonsues other than hazard pay or overtime. The plan originally called for taking the money from federal coronavirus relief funds, but was amended to take the money from the city’s general fund.

“I wish we could pay everybody more but we have to do it within constraints of our authority,” Nickelson told KTBS-TV.

The city approved a permanent 4% raise for police and fire employees on Dec. 8