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Council approves pay increase for firefighters as part of union contract


The Las Cruces City Council approved a three-year contract with a union representing local firefighters that guarantees the department a 22 percent increase in pay.

The new three-year contract increases firefighters' pay by 22 percent and benefits. According to city Human Resources Director Jo Richards, the contract also puts the Las Cruces Fire Department pay scales above those of their counterparts in Albuquerque, Alamogordo, and Santa Fe.

 “We’re seeing increases for public safety in general,” Richards said, referring to the growing cost of police and fire departments for local government.

The specific benefit changes include better coverage for bereavement leave, funeral expenses, and parental leave.

Richards said the new contract changed 37 articles of the collective bargaining agreement and added four new articles.

Richards said that negotiations for the new contract began in November 2023 and concluded in April 2024.

The vote carried 6-0. District 3 Councilor Becki Graham recused herself from the vote because her spouse is a firefighter.  

firefighters, union contract