CPSB approves raises for support employees

Published 12:05 am Friday, October 13, 2017

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School Board approved a $500 annual raise for support personnel and an additional $700 for Christmas bonuses for all employees Thursday.

Raymond Riley, president of the board, said he asked salary committee members to find the raises in the budget to show appreciation to current workers and to attract new teachers to the area.

“Our employees deserve more than what they’re getting,” Riley said. “We want them to know we appreciate them.”

Email newsletter signup

Personnel receiving a $500 raise to their base pay includes cafeteria workers, para-professionals, bookkeepers, secretaries, custodians and bus drivers, among other employees.

The $700 addition to the current $550 Christmas bonus, brings the total new bonus to $1,250, and will affect all employees of the school district. The raises will be in place until the 2018-2019 school year.

Employees who qualify for the raise must have been employed by the district prior to Oct. 1, said Superintendent Whest Shirley.

The total cost of this raise to the district is approximately $452,000, assistant Director of Business Administration William Marsalis said.

Though Riley said he appreciated the salary committee’s efforts to find the raises so quickly, he said he hoped for a higher number.

“I’m not happy about that $500,” Riley said. “I thought it’d be at least enough to help somebody pay a bill.”

Riley said he was also afraid the raises would push some employees into a higher tax bracket.

Board member Fred Butcher said he understood Riley’s concerns, but that this was a positive first step forward.

“I think we can look across the board and try to be fair to everybody,” Butcher said. “It’s always more difficult to give people money and then say ‘Look, we’ve got to get it back.’”

Riley agreed that the raise was a positive start, but said he looked forward to further raises when possible.

“Just because we’re approving this tonight does not mean this is the end,” Riley said. “We’re going to do what we can to help these people.”