Parish drainage workers status changed, pay cutNov 29th, 2010 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: news
A dozen drainage department employees sat quietly at the Nov. 11 council meeting as the parish council and administration discussed their reduction in pay.
Until Nov. 8, the drainage employees had been on standby mode, rain or shine, meaning they were being paid 24 hours/365 days a year to be available and close to work during those same hours.
Now they have been reduced to on-call status. This frees up their time, but decreases their pay.
“They were cut out by the administration last Monday (Nov. 8),” said a drainage operator, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid backlash for speaking out.
“They stopped standby altogether,” he continued. “The pump operators are waiting to meet with (Parish President Billy) Nungesser. Right now they’re subject to a 24-hour call out.”
“We don’t have the money to continue to the end of the year,” Nungesser said at the council meeting. “I don’t know why. We can divide them and pay some on a part-time basis.”
“How could there be such a shortfall?” asked Jay Friedman, Councilman District 7.
Friedman pointed out an ordinance passed on June 24 appropriating $250,000 from the General Fund, 2010 Operating Budget for standby pay.
$250,000 may seem modest considering all full-time drainage workers, which includes 16 pump station operators and upper management, were on standby, even when there was no forecast of rain.