The city employees union is claiming victory in settling a dispute with the City of Santa Fe about raising wages.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3999 chapter, which represents about half of Santa Fe’s city employees, issued an announcement Wednesday laying out a long timeline for attempts to have lawmakers consider its Equity Pay.

The plan, according to Local 3999 chief negotiator Tom Diaz, would raise wages of all city employees, focusing on lower-income employees.

“The attention of this plan is focused on people far down the salary scale,” Diaz tells SFR.
City Council is set to consider the plan during its April 24 meeting. But that only came after the union filed a grievance over officials refusing to vote on the idea when it was first presented last spring. On Tuesday, Diaz says, a settlement in the grievance led City Manager Erik Litzenberg to make a commitment to the negotiating team. 

The plan is not a renegotiation of the union's current three-year contract, but rather a proposal for the details on part of the deal that set aside $409,000 for targeted pay raises.  The two sides do not agree on how to allocate the cash.

"That's what's on the table," union local President Michelle Gutierrez tells SFR, adding that nothing is set in stone and negotiations are still taking place. She adds that more information will become available as the council vote approaches.

While the money is already part of the city's budget and won't initially raise expenditures, Diaz notes, it would have to be funded in future years.

“The union looks forward to a fair hearing and decision by the City Council,” according to a press release issued by the AFSCME.

Litzenberg did not return an inquiry by publication time.