We are writing as employees of the New Mexico Environment Department and Union Stewards in support of a 6% pay raise for all state employees. For eight years under the previous administration, the meager pay raises that were granted to state employees did not even keep up with the rate of inflation or rising health insurance and benefit costs.
We are underpaid, overworked and the agency has serious difficulty recruiting and retaining new staff due to low pay. In fact, there are about 2000 state workers that do not even make $15 an hour, an appalling amount for a family to live on in Santa Fe or anywhere else in the state.
It is our understanding that this administration wants a fully staffed and effective state government, yet our agency has difficulty recruiting qualified candidates, and retaining hardworking and well-trained staff. The national laboratories and private industry offer twice the salary for equivalent administrative, technical, and managerial positions.
We urge all New Mexicans to call their state senators and representatives to support this 6% raise.