Supplemental pay for school employees OK’d

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Calcasieu Parish School Board voted to approve supplemental pay for 4,633 employees at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting.

This payment is an annual sales tax supplement that will be added to employee paychecks on Oct.31. Before taxes, $6,680 will be given to employees tied to the teacher’s salary schedule. All other CPSB employees will, before taxes, receive $4,675.

Last year, teacher’s salary based employees received $5,445, while all other employees received $3,810.

The employee determination date for the sales tax supplement was Oct. 14.

The total cost of the supplemental pay is $35,516,916. $25,811,366 will be utilized for teacher salary based employees, while $9,705,551 will be used for all other employees.

The supplements are taken out of CPSB’s dedicated sales tax funds. The total amount within the dedicated sales tax funds was approximately $57 million. The budget for the sales tax supplemental pay was determined after subtracting $20 million for sales tax funds reserves and 1.49 million for COMPASS stipends.

While it is too late to make major changes to this year’s sales tax supplement, suggestions for future supplement distribution were considered.

Concerns over the disparity between teacher supplements and support staff supplements were brought up at the meeting. Andrea Broussard, CPSB school bus driver, stated that while she is grateful for any amount of salary supplementation, she would like the board to consider giving all employees an equal amount. “Without us… your teachers have nobody to teach,” she said. “We can’t stay at the bottom forever…when we all put in equally, it should all be divided equally.”

The annual timing of the supplements was also discussed. Terry Johnson, member of the Calcasieu Federation of Teachers, expressed the organization’s gratitude for this year’s supplement timing. “They very much appreciate the timeliness, and your guarantee that they’ll have it before Thanksgiving break.”

CPSB Superintendent Dr. Shannon LaFargue confirmed that this topic would be discussed at the next CPSB budget committee meeting. He stated that at this meeting there will also be discussion on approving the supplement payout earlier in the year to ensure CPSB employees have an opportunity to edit their tax information if desired.

The Board also opted to take appropriate action on multiple items on the agenda simultaneously. Items approved are as follows: resolution to hire outside counsel for Sales Tax Department dispute with Allen Refractories, Co., auction of surplus moveable items Oct. 28-Oct. 29, pay supplement for CPSB employees, Master Services Agreement for Bonding District 30 and Facility Usage Agreement with the SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau for the use of Barbe High School baseball field were all approved 13-1.

District 2 Representative Fredman Hardy voted against these approvals.

Bliss Bujard, District 11 Representative, was not present at the meeting.