AFSCME Council 18

Alamogordo Daily News covers AFSCME members pay raise

City's union members receive 3 percent pay hike
Alamogordo Daily News

By John Bear, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/29/2012 09:25:33 PM MDT

Members of a union that represents local, county and state employees will receive a 3 percent pay hike in the coming fiscal year.

 The Alamogordo City Commission voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to approve a collective bargaining agreement extension with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3818. 

The agreement gives union members a 3 percent pay boost for the coming fiscal year and the ability to use certain city recreational facilities at no cost or at a reduced price.

The pay increase becomes effective Sunday, according to city attorney Stephen Thies. The 2012-2013 fiscal year also begins Sunday.

 According to an agenda report prepared by Thies, membership in AFSCME largely consists of public works, public utilities, community services and Alamogordo Department of Public Safety dispatch employees. 

"Since the economic downturn of 2008, the city and AFSCME have entered into one-year agreements," Thies wrote in city documents. "Both parties are waiting for some trend to develop which would raise the comfort level necessary to enter into an agreement with a term extending beyond one year." 

Thies wrote that AFSCME agreed to a pay increase of one half of one percent for the fiscal year that ends June 30. Its members received no pay increase the year before and are set to get a 3 percent pay increase for the coming year.

As a means of providing additional compensation at no cost to the city, union and city representatives are proposing no-cost and reduced cost access to certain city recreational facilities or events, according to Thies. 

"For the most part, the costs associated with operating the recreation center remain constant regardless of the number of users," Thies wrote. "Consequently, the city incurs no additional costs by allowing an AFSCME member to use the facilities." 

The agreement will allow union members to use things like the Family Recreation Center and the city-owned Desert Lakes Golf Course at no cost or for a reduced fee. 

"It's a win-win situation for the city and for the employee," Thies said. 

The city has budgeted slightly more than $136,000 for the collective bargaining extension that will be pulled from various funds. 

AFSCME officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact John Bear at [email protected].

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