Posted at: 04/01/2010 10:56 PM
By: Jeff Maher, Eyewitness News 4; Charlie Pabst, KOB.com
The same day Albuquerque's mayor unveils his proposed budget for next year, unions are already talking about taking the mayor to court.
Berry released the proposal Thursday. It plans to nix promised pay raises for firefighters and police officers, instead making them take a pay cut alongside all other city workers.
Police and fire unions immediately met behind closed doors after the budget was released to discuss their next step.
Joey Sigala, president of the city's police union, told Eyewitness News 4 over the phone that the mayor is violating both police and fire union contracts by not paying out the raises outlined in writing during the Chavez administration.
Sigala says the unions will decide by next week whether to pursue legal action against the mayor. There's a chance the groups may just bite the bullet.
While announcing the new budget, Mayor Berry made it clear that the unions need to cooperate.
Berry said Thursday, "The fact is, if everybody doesn't contribute, then you have to do additional things, so we'll just have to see how the process goes with the city council and with negotiations."
Berry also made it clear that every city employee—including himself—will take a pay cut.
The proposed cuts average out to 3% across the board.
Sigala says the city's unions will be looking at their own budgets to see what they can trim so they don't have to take that 3% cut.
If the pay raises are axed, the city would save nearly $10 million.