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No raises again for UNMH employees

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A majority of University of New Mexico Hospital employees will go a second straight year without pay increases.

Bill Browne, an administrative director for the local affiliate of the National Union Of Hospital And Health Care Employees, said the union does not understand why the hospital, which has large reserves, cannot give employees a raise.

“It’s a burden. I mean, it’s a state institution. … They’re sitting on $200 million in reserves and they don’t realize not only is this hurting the employees, but it’s hurting the city and its economy and the state and its economy,” Browne said.

Negotiations are ongoing for the current fiscal year contract.

The union represents about 4,000 employees who work in support positions such as patient care, housekeeping and food service, he said.

But not even hospital administrators are seeing a raise this year, UNM Health Sciences Center spokesman Billy Sparks said.

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“At this time no raises are scheduled or budgeted. There’s no question we have one of the most dedicated and talented workforces in the state. We are always willing to address compensation and hope to remain competitive,” Sparks said.

But fewer workers want to remain at UNMH because they can earn higher wages in other places, Browne said.

“They’re highly upset and many of them are looking for work elsewhere. Especially considering the New Mexico market, there’s not many places to go work. Many are going over to Presbyterian or some of their offshoots, they’re going up north, down south, leaving the state,” Browne said.

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