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Fri March 7, 2014
Governor Won't Veto Raises For State Workers
Governor Susana Martinez is not going to block an overall 3 percent pay increase for state employees, including teachers. She told New Mexico Watchdog she would not line-item veto that part of the budget.
Martinez had originally proposed some merit-based pay increases in education.
Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation said the raise will be a step in the right direction, but that it will not change teachers' standard of living.
"I think it's a great start," Bernstein said, "but it's not everything we need to do to make sure we can attract and retain teachers in the state."
Bernstein says a 3 percent pay raise for teachers means that they'll be pocketing a little over $1,000 a year in take home pay.
Last year state employees got a 1 percent pay raise, but Bernstein added, "that money was eaten up by insurance and retirement increases."
Two pay raises for educators are still on the Governor's chopping block. A 6 percent pay raise for educational assistants and a $1,000 increase in entry level minimum pay for teachers could be struck from the budget. Educational assistants have an average salary of $12,000 a year.
The Governor must make her decision on budget item by March 12, 2014.