HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The City of Hattiesburg has expanded on an agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University that offers discounted tuition to police and fire employees.
One councilperson doesn’t think the agreement is inclusive enough.
Councilwoman Deborah Delgado doesn’t believe the current agreement is fair to other employees of the city.
“I am seriously concerned that we make opportunities available to your average employee who may want to improve themselves through education,” said Delgado. “If we’re making it available to one or two departments, why not expand it to others, particularly when you consider the low pay that our employees receive.”
Delgado adds that educating the workforce would be beneficial to the city.
“A better educated set of employees is going to provide better services to our community,” Delgado said.
Delgado also believes it is another incentive for employees to stay with the city.
“It promotes hope and the idea that you’re not stuck in a low paying position, for example, and that here your city is being progressive enough to give you the opportunity to better yourself and to better your family,” Delgado said.
Currently, the city pays for three credit hours and the universities pick up the cost for another three credit hours per semester.
The agreement with William Carey does include that if the program is successful, it could be offered to more City of Hattiesburg employees at a later date.