The Daily Star, Hammond, La., on pay raises reflecting that state’s priorities
Oct. 13: The Daily Star, Hammond, La., on pay raises reflecting that state’s priorities
The state has laid off nearly 8,000 employees as a result of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration reducing budgets and privatizing state hospitals and agencies. About 41,800 classified, rank-and-file employees remain on the state payroll. Now, after six very tough years, announcements of pay raises are coming out of Baton Rouge.
About 1,200 LSU non-academic classified workers at the main campus recently got a 4 percent raise. Also, LSU faculty and staff at the main campus got raises in July. About 1,100 employees in the Division of Administration and 331 employees at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness have recently received raises. Likewise, pay hikes have been announced for employees in the state Department of Transportation and Development, the Department of Children and Family Services, the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
No one should begrudge raises going to state employees who have had to take on more work for the same amount of money, but what about the employees of the University of Louisiana institutions, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the state corrections department, the Office of Elderly Affairs, the Office of Juvenile Justice and many other departments and offices? Because of the layoffs and privatizing, they too have had to take on extra workloads while steadily losing buying power. And while their top administrators have earned handsome salaries for managing to get shrinking staffs to do more with less, they would be hard pressed to squeeze pay raises out of emaciated and still shaky budgets.
It’s not fair, but it’s an indication of priorities.