Mayor Berry Pushes Through Pay Increase
Albuquerque- As a former construction worker Mayor Richard J. Berry knows what it's like to wear work boots and a hard hat to work. Today, after four years of the Berry Administration offering raises for employees of the blue collar, transit, clerical and security unions without success, Mayor Berry and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry announced they will be imposing a 3% salary increase for these valuable employees.
“As someone who has made a living by working in construction, I know our blue collar, transit, clerical and security employees have invested a lot of sweat equity in our great City,” said Mayor Berry. “As the mayor I am tired of waiting for the union bosses to come to the table and agree on reasonable contract terms, so I am forging ahead to get this raise into the hands of our employees and their families.”
The pay increase comes on the heels of the City and the four local AFSCME unions reaching contract impasses, primarily centered on taxpayer funded union business, which the Mayor thinks is an undue burden on the citizens of Albuquerque. In a recent court decision, it was determined by a three judge Court of Appeals panel that the expired AFSCME contracts are no longer in effect. Therefore and city is not obligated to continue under those expired contracts.
The city has already successfully reached contract agreements with 66% of the City’s employees, including police and fire unions by using a few hours per year of donated time, per employee to cover the cost of union business. That provision will also be imposed with this pay raise. Employees, on average receive between 100 and 160 hours of leave depending on their years of service. They will be required to donate three hours of leave annually into a pool to cover the cost of union business.
By imposing this raise, the employees will see an approximate average increase of $1,500 per year. Approximately 2,100 employees will be impacted by this hike in pay. Only 800 (39.2%) of these employees are currently union members, however, all 2,100 have been stuck without a raise for four years due to the inability for the unions to come to agreement with the city.
Employees will get this raise starting with paychecks issued on September 26, 2014.