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BernCo Approves Minimum Wage Increase

10/11/2017

The Bernalillo County Commission approved the minimum wage cost of living increase from $8.70 to $8.85 per hour during its Oct. 10 meeting. This wage increase affects employees who work within the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County, outside of the city limits.

Commissioners Debbie O’Malley, Maggie Hart Stebbins and Steven Michael Quezada voted yes. Commissioners Wayne Johnson and Lonnie Talbert voted no.

The increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

“Bernalillo County families work hard and they deserve a raise,” Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley says. “I acknowledge this is far from a living wage, but this is a good start.”

The Bernalillo County Minimum Wage Ordinance, which took effect July 1, 2013, addressed a lacking cost of living adjustment compared to other local minimum wage rates. Initially, the county ordinance implemented two increases of .50 cent increments.

  • In July 2013 the minimum wage increased from $7.50 to $8.00
  • In January 2014, the minimum wage was increased from $8.00 to $8.50
  • In January 2015, the minimum wage had a cost of living adjustment and was increased to $8.65
  • In January 2017, the minimum wage had a cost of living adjustment and was increased to $8.70

The vote also means a raise for 26 Bernalillo County employees, including custodians, clerks and recreation specialists.

On an annual basis, the ordinance requires that the County Commission vote on whether to implement a cost of living increase that becomes effective on Jan. 1 of the successive year. The increased amount is calculated using a consumer price index formula published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The calculated cost of living increase for the 12-month period of September 2016 to August 2017 is $0.1392. The ordinance calls for the increase to be rounded to the nearest multiple of $0.05.

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