Willoughby told ABQ Free Press that the pay increase to $28-an-hour was not a raise
BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI
BY ABQ FREE PRESS STAFF
Albuquerque police officers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract with the city that brings the pay of most cops to $28 an hour.
The vote on the new contract was 432 to 75, said Albuquerque Police Officers Association President Shaun Willoughby.
“Today’s vote marks the end of a multi-year, hard-fought battle to reinstate the pay scale that was taken away from us back in 2010,” Willoughby told APOA members in an email announcing the results of the vote. “We hope that it serves as the first step in the right direction in our efforts to have a better compensated police force.”
Willoughby told ABQ Free Press that the pay increase to $28-an-hour was not a raise. It was getting officers to the pay scale that was promised them in a 2008 contract. That contract included three pay raises, with the last one bringing cops to $28-an-hour. But Mayor Richard Berry, who was trying to balance the city budget in the midst of a recession, broke the contract and refused to give cops the final year’s raise. In addition, Berry ordered cops and all other city employees to take a pay cut.
The contract that was approved ends in July, and the APOA and the city are ready to begin negotiations on the next agreement. “I can assure you that we will continue to fight and advocate for you,” Willoughby wrote to union members. “That commitment includes working to get you your first ‘real’ pay increase in years during the upcoming negotiation cycle.”
Dennis Domrzalski is an associate editor at ABQ Free Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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