First Phases of Budget Cuts Announced
Letter to City Employees
See the July 1, 2010, letter regarding salary adjustments for City of Albuquerque employees >>
On the first day of the new fiscal year, Mayor Richard J. Berry took action to implement the $8 million budget cuts that were outlined by City Council despite not having reached an agreement with any of the city's unions.
Mayor Berry announced Thursday that he is implementing a 2.47 percent salary reduction for the Albuquerque fire union and a salary reduction scale for the 900 city employees who are not represented by a labor union. Under the scale, the city's highest paid employees will see a 3.5 percent salary cut. Employees who make less than $30,000 a year will see a 0.5 percent pay cut. This scale reflects the scale that was outlined in the budget approved from the City Council and signed by the mayor.
Mayor Berry implemented the reductions on Thursday after city negotiators reached a stalemate with the International Association of Firefighters Local 244. Negotiations are continuing with the other six city unions.
"This was a difficult decision, but based on that fact that the budget cuts must be implemented I have made the decision to impose an across the board pay cut for the fire union and a sliding scale for our non-union employees," Mayor Berry said. "As I have stated from the beginning of the budget process, I want to do all we can to keep people employed during these tough economic times and I also want to keep services as intact as possible for the citizens of Albuquerque. To reach these two goals we need to make the difficult decisions required to reduce our labor and benefit costs."
"We need to live by the budget that was approved," Mayor Berry said. "We simply can't spend what we don't have."
Additionally, the fire union and non-union employees will now start paying 20 percent of their health insurance instead of 17 percent. These changes will be implemented during the first full pay period of this year and will be reflected on the July 23 paychecks.
Mayor Berry was in his office through the last hour of the fiscal year working with his negotiating, budget, and administrative teams to reach a resolution with the City's seven labor unions.
As of today the Berry Administration was engaged in or was entering into federal mediation with five of the city unions including the Albuquerque Police Officers' Association, and four of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (Clerical, Security, Blue Collar, and Transit). The City is still in the negotiation process with the AFSME-Management union.
"We will continue to work towards a resolution with these collective bargaining units and will have further details as the process moves forward," Mayor Berry said. "Albuquerque like the rest of the country is facing difficult economic times. Families all over are making sacrifices. It would have been nice to reach an agreement however it appears that union bosses are having a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that the private sector alone can not shoulder the complete burden of this recession."
"We did our level best to reach an agreement and now I am doing what I have to do on behalf of the citizens of Albuquerque."
Salary Adjustment Scale
The following is the scale for non-union employees:
|$0 to $ 30,000||0.5 percent|
|$30,001 to $60,000||2.45 percent|
|$60,001 to $90,000||3.0 percent|
|$90,001 and above||3.5 percent|
|Mayor & City Councilors||5.0 percent|