Newly passed Albuquerque budget calls for city employee pay raises

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- The City Council Wednesday night, approved a budget which provides enough money to give police, firefighters and most other city employees a bump in pay.

Mayor Berry is calling it a compromise and an example of what bipartisanship looks like.

The half-billion dollar budget includes a 2.5% increase for firefighters to be implemented over the next year, a 4% increase for bus drivers and security officers, and a 1% increase for blue collar and clerical employees.

When it comes to police, there’s $1.8 million that could be used to continue incentive pay for senior officers who choose to delay retirement. The other option would be giving all officers in the department a 2.3% increase.

But officials from the Mayor’s office say the incentive pay option makes more sense.

“It’s important for us to maintain some of the stability as it relates to those most seasoned officers that have been on the streets for the longest and that can teach and mentor those officers as they are coming up the ranks”, said Albuquerque Chief of Staff Gilbert Montano.

The unions would have to approve the proposed pay hikes. As some may know, the unions and the city haven’t always seen eye to eye in these negotiations. When Mayor Berry took office, pay raises promised by the prior administration were cut because of a budget crisis. The unions took the city to court over it.

The mayor is expected to sign the budget within the next seven to ten days.

The unions say they’ll comment once their negotiations are complete.