AFSCME holds hiring event to ‘Staff the Front Lines’ in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Monday, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees held its “Staff the Front Lines” hiring event, along with the City of Albuquerque and the state. 

It’s part of a nationwide effort from the union to connect workers with public service positions. 

“When we talk about the front lines, we’re talking about public service. We’re talking about our roads, our hospitals, social services, public safety, schools, and all the other places where communities rely on public service workers to be there,” said Connie Duran, executive director of AFSCME Union. 

Mayor Tim Keller says the city has plenty of openings for city positions. 

“We have to cut bus routes because we literally don’t have enough drivers. Yet here are these jobs that are available in some cases 30% vacancy, and they’re excellent jobs, they come with training, they come with benefits, they come with growth opportunities,” said Keller. 

He also says there are not enough solid waste drivers, and the city has had to use forced overtime to cover both shortages. 

Luis Demella came to the job fair for the open CABQ bus driver positions. He says the hiring fair made it easy with several departments and offices altogether. 

“It’s wonderful to see everyone from the airports, to PD and fire, to again your transit workers – all here trying to tell them, ‘We need you here, come work for the city,’”  said Demella. 

Keller says he hopes the competitive pay will attract new employees. 

“The City of Albuquerque has a $15 minimum wage, we’ve given 13% pay raises in aggregate over the last several years,” Keller said.

City bus drivers could really use some help. KOB 4 learned some of them have been working 70 hours a week. 

An upcoming CYFD event will be rapid hire style. The department is looking to fill over 300 positions. 

APD is also looking to hire 23 transit safety officers. It’s part of a new division for the department, aimed at stopping crime on city buses and at bus stations.  Those who are interested can apply online