The current minimum wage is $7.25 in Louisiana.
According to United Way’s Alice Report, released this week, one living in Lafayette Parish would need to make $10.52 an hour to afford the basic necessities.
For Blair Buckley and Aaron Owens, the financial struggle is real.
“It’s hard I mean I have to live paycheck to paycheck,” said Buckley, Kennel Tech, St. Landry Parish Animal Control.
“Sometimes we come to work and once we get paid we’re broke the next day,” said Owens, Kennel Maintenance, St. Landry Parish Animal Control.
Long hours, large workloads and little pay. This sums up their job descriptions at the St. Landry Parish Animal Control.
“I worked Thanksgiving, New Years, and Christmas,” said Owens.
“There’s a lot of nights where I don’t leave when I should or my kids have to sit at the babysitter a little bit longer,” said Buckley.
Governor John Bel Edwards has identified a modest hike in the minimum wage as one of his priorities for the spring legislative session.
“So far, Arkansas and Florida are the only states in the american south who have done it,” said Dr. Christie Maloyed, UL Political Science Department.
Mayloyed says raising the minimum wage might be easier said than done.
“With a divided government, a democratic government and a republican controlled state legislature, it’s going to be a hard battle,” said Maloyed.
However, both Owens and Buckley agree that their job has rewards that are far greater than money and that is why they stay.
“The animals still need me and I will help them as much as I can. Even if it puts me in a rough spot sometime,” said Buckley.
“If they didn’t have people like me that come here everyday to clean, they would be miserable. I love my job,” said Owens.