ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Albuquerque police and firefighters unions said Thursdaythey're not sure what else to do after the mayor has rejectedrepeated proposals to save the city millions of dollars in order toprevent the suggested salary decrease for all city workers.
"There's a lot of frustration," said Diego Arencon, head of thefirefighters' union.
Mayor RJ Berry is proposing an across the board 3 percent salarydecrease to fill a $66 million hole in the budget.
Arencon said he gave the mayor several proposals to save thecity money in order to prevent the suggested 3 percent salarydecrease, but Arencon says the mayor rejected them all, includingthe latest one that he said would save the city $6 million bygiving up six paid holidays and delaying pay raises.
The Albuquerque police union began its media campaign withnewspaper ads earlier this month and will soon take its message tobillboards and the airwaves.
The police union unanimously voted to take $20 a month out ofeach officer's paycheck to pay for ads to campaign against themayor's proposed budget cut. The union said its also proposed waysto save the city millions in order to prevent the salary decrease,but they too feel the mayor isn't listening.
Earlier this week the city council began polling city workersabout what they think the city should do to deal with its deficit.
The online survey includes a question about wage cuts andwhether police officers and firefighters should be spared.
The mayor's spokesperson, Chris Ramirez, said that the cityrefuses to comment on contract negotiations and so should unionleaders.
"Going to the media, that is against the law; it's a prohibitedpractice," said Ramirez. "It's a violation of city policy, aviolation of the city charter."
"You're going to lose some of the most experienced firefightersthat we have in this department," said Arencon. "Because if you cutsalaries you're going to cut services.
"It's just going to happen."
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