Congratulations to three new AFSCME Council 18 local unions which have just reached agreements with their respective employers on a first contract!
The three new locals are Sandoval County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1873, Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1272, with Superior Ambulance in Chaves County, and Gila Regional Medical Center Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 360, in Grant County.
“A union contract is a game-changer for workers and their families,” said Connie Derr, AFSCME Council 18 executive director. “Stability for a workforce begins when the workplace is organized, but it takes reaching that agreement for workers to be able to count on job security, benefits, increased safety, and truly having a voice in their future.”
AFSCME is at the bargaining table now on three more first contracts: Rio Arriba County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1792, Luna County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 2061, and Luna County Sheriffs Deputies Union / AFSCME Local 1764.
AFSCME Council 18 is committed to protecting and improving public services and the future for each and every New Mexican worker. Below are a few highlights from the three new contracts.
Superior Ambulance EMS
Superior Ambulance Emergency Medical Services Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1272 members (left to right) Lisa Hill - Paramedic, Miguel Silva - EMT, Brian Milstead - Paramedic, Billy Quiroz - EMT, Collin Prescott - EMT, Kevin "KP" Prescott - Paramedic.
"Nobody in our industry works just for a paycheck. Our mindset is that the community comes first, we're out here to help people. The predictability of a union contract will be better for our families and better for our careers."
Kevin Prescott, Paramedic Superior Ambulance Services AFSCME Local 1272 Organizing and Negotiation Committee Member
Superior Ambulance is the first private sector employer organized by AFSCME Council 18. “The organizing effort, elections, and contract negotiations were governed by the National Labor Relations Act,” said Rocky Gutierrez, Council 18 staff representative who served as chief negotiator. Highlights of the contract include better pay, shift differentials, a solid grievance and disciplinary process which includes arbitration, and health, vision, and dental insurances. The members of AFSCME Local 1272 ratified the contract on December 2.
It has been two weeks since the local and national elections. New Mexico citizens voted in and, in many cases, returned strong labor candidates to office. Our state is now in a position to lift itself from the bottom of nearly every significant list.
At the national level, we can only speculate if candidate rhetoric to roll back worker rights, wages, and health and safety, to name but a few promises, will become reality. All of us hope that candidate talk is just talk. We hope leaders will use their election to better the lives of working families, strengthen communities, and value public services and the workers who dedicate their lives to providing those quality services. However, post-election activity is signaling that this may not be the case.
Regardless how you cast your votes, AFSCME’s resolve to protect America’s workers, America's future, will not change. AFSCME never quits! AFSCME stands up and will get it on!
Council 18 volunteers turned out in record numbers to work this election: phone banking, door knocking, worksite conversations. It is this activism that made a difference in New Mexico's election and it is the same activism that will keep our union strong and our families protected.
Together we will stand up to any attempt to slash government services, de-fund programs for those in need, reverse regulations that protect the lives of workers, destabilize health programs, weaken jobs. Together we will bring more workers into our powerful union. Together we will mobilize more members on workplace issues. Together we will unite with our brothers and sisters in other unions, community organizations, faith communities, advocacy groups and others to win on the issues that impact us day in and day out. Together we will reverse the negative tone that has compromised our country and bring back civility and respect for one another.
We must not be content to just speak out on facebook, email, and other social media. We must connect face to face with our co-workers, participate in our local union, stand up for what is right, help build the fire lines that we will need to keep New Mexico and our country moving forward. And it is so important that we Involve our families because what affects us, impacts them.
Council 18 will be setting up regional town hall meetings to discuss the national implications and how we, together, will move forward with strength, pride and an unwavering commitment for our union, our voice. We will succeed on moving our agenda forward for working families.
Are you in?
Email [info@AFSCME18.org] and we will contact you soon with dates for the town hall meetings, as well as the date, time and location of your local union meetings.
We are in this together, sisters and brothers. This is our future. This is our time to write the history on how we stood tall and fought for our rights.
Connie Derr Executive Director, AFSCME Council 18 AFSCME International Vice President
Please make your plan to be a voter. Our UNION votes can tip the scales and help elect candidates pledged to protect our jobs from outsourcing, our pensions from becoming 401Ks, and our communities from cuts.
If you're not sure where to vote, go to www.voterview.state.nm.us There are some key counties like Bernalillo and Dona Ana where you can vote at any of the Voting Convenience Centers as long as you're registered to vote anywhere in the county.
YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR TWO HOURS OFF IF YOU VOTE ON ELECTION DAY:
Under state statute and most of our contracts, you have the right to take two hours off to vote IF your workday starts before 9:01 a.m. AND ends after 3:59 p.m. Remember, if you qualify for and take the two hours, you must vote ON TUESDAY. If you have questions about the process for requesting your time off, talk to your local president or steward. Here's the state statute:
1-12-42. Conduct of election; employees; time to vote.
A. On election day a voter may absent himself from employment in which he is engaged for two hours for the purpose of voting between the time of opening and the time of closing the polls. The voter shall not be liable to any penalty for such absence; however, the employer may specify the hours during this period in which the voter may be absent.
B. The provisions of Subsection A of this section do not apply to an employee whose work day begins more than two hours subsequent to the time of opening the polls, or ends more than three hours prior to the time of closing the polls.
In some districts, the election can come down to a handful of votes. You have the power to make sure our UNION VOTE MATTERS!
AFSCME members and retirees can make $12/hour volunteering to help elect pro-worker state legislators, a secretary of state, and president.
AFSCME members have the VOTE power needed to shift the NM House of Representatives back into the hands of working family friendly candidates. We all know what that can translate into: properly funded public services, fair raises, protected retirement, safe staffing levels, an education system that works for New Mexicans, and the end to Governor Martinez's free-pass to mismanage our taxpayer dollars.
Everyone is coming out to vote in this election, but we can't win without your help!
AFSCME New Mexico Public Safety members helped to produce this documentary about the true spirit of law enforcement in America.
Local 601 President Adam Keck and Local 923 President Sammy Marquez assisted in production for the New Mexico filming, recruited community members to appear in the filming, and appear in the final production.
Proud To Protect and Serve
AFSCME Law Enforcement Documentary
AFSCME Council 18 is glad to share this film with you today in honor of National Police Week, and in memory of dedicated Peace Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
CLICK here to READ about the April 28 Court casewhere New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty is requesting a Federal Monitor to oversee ISD. AFSCME members and ISD staff are under federal subpeona to reveal the truth of what is happening within the system.
Watch this page for updates following the Federal Court hearing.
AFSCME Council 18 represents more than 15,000 public employees across New Mexico. We perform many of the state's most important jobs—from childcare providers to corrections officers—and work to make sure our rights, our families and our communities are protected. To learn more about our union and meet our members, please take a moment to watch the following video.