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UNMH employees ‘extremely happy’ about new contract

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — University of New Mexico Hospital workers this week ratified a revision to their contract that they are calling the best compensation package employees have seen since before the Great Recession.

The new provisions include boosting the UNMH minimum wage to $10 an hour. At present, some workers earn just over $9 an hour.

“We’re extremely happy,” Lorie MacIver, a nurse and president of District 1199 NM of the National Union of Nurses and Hospital Employees, said Thursday, one day after the ratification. “It’s a nice step after a long dry spell. We’re especially happy for the employees on the lower edge of the pay scale.”

MacIver praised the hospital administration for taking a lead in addressing compensation, which was the only issue on the table.

“This is a significant pay increase for the more than 3,500 employees of the two bargaining units we represent at UNMH,” MacIver said. “We were also pleased that UNMH sent a team ready to seriously address compensation issues that have been generally set aside most of the past several years due to the economy and other situations. UNMH stepped up, and we are thankful for their willingness to do the right thing.”

In addition to an overall 2 percent increase in base salaries, employees will also get a 2.7 percent raise when they get a favorable annual review.

The initial increases will start showing up on paychecks later this month.