ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Seeking to address “staffing challenges,” Bernalillo County has agreed to boost pay for a series of jobs at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Starting in August, the county jail will give a 13% raise to most corrections officers, including those with two years of service all the way up through lieutenants.

Pay increases will hit employees checks on August 5, 2022. Along with the raises at the jail, the county will offer “shift differential” pay packages, offering more pay per hour for employees working various weekend, graveyard or swing shifts.

MDC has been under pressure for months due to large staffing shortages. In early June, the facility declared a “state of emergency” after it reached a 51% vacancy rate among staff. County leaders are hoping the new pay hikes will help bring on new employees.

“The increase is well deserved,” stated Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca in a news release. “Increased retention and successful recruitment efforts will result in more boots on the ground and less demand for overtime.”

The pay increases were also endorsed and signed by the union representing MDC corrections officers. President of the MDC Officers Union, Council 18, Local 2499, Joseph Trujeque said, in part, “Hopefully the things we’ve done in the MOU will help us to get some new people in the door and relieve our officers from the overtime and the workloads that they’ve been under. Hopefully this will also get us some more staff so we can get the inmates out of their cells more often.”

Earlier this month, MDC announced the appointment of a new Interim Chief of MDC, Roseanne Otero Gonzales, who previously served as MDC’s Director of Administrative Services. An outside firm, the Whalls Group, has been tasked with searching for a permanent replacement after prior MDC Chief Greg Richardson resigned on June 30, 2022.

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Here’s a complete look at the raises under the new MDC employment agreement: