AFSCME Council 18


 Message From Connie Derr, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 18

Today, City of Albuquerque Mayor Berry showed his contempt for city employees by imposing the city’s last, best contract offer. While the city’s last offer includes AFSCME’s hard-fought 3% increase for city employees in AFSCME locals 624 blue collar and transit, 2962 clerical and 1888 security, it eliminates many fundamental worker rights.

KOB Coverage: Union representatives: Raise long-overdue, process may have been illegal

ABQ Journal: Mayor announces raises after years long impasse

The primary attacks on workers’ rights --

1.) the city can now fill a vacancy by an outside applicant over a city employee;

2.) The language allows the city to bring discipline against an employee regardless of when the alleged activity occurred;

3.) The city no longer will have to inform an employee when he/she is placed under investigation – is extremely dangerous for all city workers. The administration is now able to target any employee and build a case for termination, regardless of when the act occurs. The city’s language disregards the value that city of Albuquerque employees bring to their job day in and day out.

To now give outside applicants the same preference as a city employee is a disservice to the taxpayers, the public services we provide and most certainly, to city employees.

By taking the action to impose their last, best offer, the Mayor, CAO Perry and the over-paid management consultant, John Martinez, have buried their head in the sand to the time-honored practice of contract dispute resolution: arbitration.

Arbitration allows a neutral, third party to decide contract disputes. The city’s action of unilateral imposition of a contract is NOT collective bargaining. Clearly, the administration must realize that if they agreed to arbitration, their contract could not be justified and therefore took the position of a bully and imposed the contracts on our three unions.

Brothers and Sisters – let’s appear en masse at Monday’s City Council meeting, at 5:00pm, to let our elected officials see and hear us. Let’s tell them that we deserve our wage increase, but do not deserve having our workplace rights stripped from us.

We must ask them to support contract impasse arbitration now!! And also call KOAT-TV 7, KRQE-TV 13, and KOB-TV 4. Whether you are a city worker or not, tell them that you support the 3% wage increase, but do not support Mayor Berry stripping public employee workers of their deserved rights.

Together we must STAND UP for workers’ rights!! We will not be bullied by Mayor Berry, Rob Perry or this administration.

Enough is enough!

In solidarity, Connie Derr, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 18


Read more >>>

When I heard about the death of Maria Fernandes, an exhausted worker who died while napping in her car between two of her four jobs, I felt an immense sadness that quickly turned to anger.


Jayne Brown is AFSCME NM Volunteer Member Organizer of the Month!

Talking "union" is a skill that every AFSCME steward and activist must possess to build strength for their Local by educating membership on our issues. We wish there had been a microphone recording AFSCME Sister Jayne Brown for the past month, because she is on a roll. In the past month, Jayne, a Financial Analyst for NM Human Services, has signed up a dozen new AFSCME members for her Santa Fe Regional State Local 477.

We asked for her secrets of organizing success.

"I have two more signing up this week, said Brown. "I go speak with the workers whenever I have time. I introduce myself as their steward and talk with them about how, working together, we can help make the workplace better. I make sure to tell them about the events we hold. Being active in the union isn't only about facing the battles for workplace justice, we have fun when we celebrate as a community."

"I make sure new members understand our history of representation and political victories, and how we act as a union to stand with our brothers and sisters in other Locals, other unions, and the community," says Brown.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to Organizer of the Month, Union Sister Jayne Brown for taking ACTION, and building AFSCME Stronger!


We will never forget.


 Good Day Local Union Presidents, Chapter Presidents, Stewards, Union Members, Friends and Allies,

As all AFSCME members are aware, AFSCME Council 18 has kept the pressure on the State to finalize the back pay calculations and give us a hard date for issuing out the back pay (retro) checks. According to the State Personnel Office, the checks will be paid out by the end of this month, September 30. The SPO Interim Director, Justin Najaka, re-confirmed the date to the State Personnel Board on Friday, August 29, at their meeting in Santa Fe.

We would like to believe that the State will live up to its latest promise to send out the checks by the September 30 date, but will not hesitate to take action should they delay (again).

To no one's surprise, it has been extremely frustrating dealing with the State to resolve this matter. The State has tried every and all means to obfuscate and delay the process, but AFSCME remained professional and hard nosed in its commitment to see the implementation of the arbitration award carried out.

There remains, however, another issue to be resolved which may affect a small number of employees, primarily corrections officers at the Penitentiary of New Mexico, in Santa Fe. The issue concerns whether a temporary retention differential and temporary recruitment differential should be separate from an employee's base pay in determining their compa ratio standing. AFSCME's position is that it should not (SPO Rule and the State believes it should. AFSCME, CWA and the State will be meeting within the next two weeks to settle the matter. It has been AFSCME's position NOT to hold up the payment of the back pay checks while this issue gets resolved.

Please relay this update to your fellow members. It has been a long-fought issue and we are close to resolution....but until every last check has been cut, AFSCME will remain diligent to ensure FULL implementation!! You can TAKE ACTION! to keep pressure ON!

Connie Derr, Exec Dir
AFSCME Council 18

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, Medicare costs aren’t a budget buster. The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), reported last week that Medicare spending is declining.


Labor 2014 is in full swing in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces! We started our phonebanks in Santa Fe and Las Cruces, and of course Albuquerque is going strong.  We can't do it without you! (Psst...there's always good food and snacks, too!)

We're going to do everything we can to protect that quality of life and to improve it by making sure that Gov. Martinez and her anti-worker allies don't roll back decades of progress for working families.

We HAVE to let other union members know which candidates have been on our side, and which want to end any type of worker rights.

For union members and retirees only, we'll be paying a $12/hour stipend for phonebanking and canvassing in the Labor 2014 member-to-member program starting on Tuesday, September 2nd in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces.

#OurNewMexico #SaveNewMexico #Labor2014
Labor 2014 - Get Out the VOTE!

Here's the schedule below or CLICK HERE to download Flyer [PDF] or [JPG] HERE

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In case you missed it, we put together a very short video of Sen. Mitch McConnell and the secret audio of his remarks to a group of billionaire right-wing donors.



It is time the Governor put her PAY-PLAN Team on mandatory O/T, just as many other state employees are assigned every week. A higher priority is warranted. Checks must be calculated and mailed.

Govenror Martinez broke her long silence on the back pay issue on KOAT news CLICK HERE. Notabley, the Governor says, "It's extremely complicated." 

Mandatory overtime and worked weekends are becoming the norm due in many sectors of state government due to high vacancies and huge workloads. AFSCME sees no reason that the Governor should not call on the skilled pay-plan team at SPO, DFA, and DoIT to increase its hours on the project.

Higher urgency is warranted to pay off the substantial balance owed to New Mexico's career public servants.

The Union Members of AFSCME have won in NM’s highest court. Over 10,000 of New Mexico’s finest public servants and / or their families, must be paid back now.


CLICK HERE! Send the letter below to the Governor.



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On Labor Day weekend, millions of Americans will enjoy the final stretch of summer.


New Mexico Taxpayers are picking up the bill for politicians across New Mexico who opt to hire for-profit consultants to negotiate labor agreements in place of human resource departments who are traditionally tasked with the job.

Public human resource bureaus and in-house legal teams have an incentive to reach collective bargaining agreements with unions; getting employees back to work with the knowledge of their terms, conditions, and benefits of employment.
The for-profit consultants now in vogue all the way from Taos to Hidalgo County have no motivation to conclude negotiations. While State, city and county management, and school boards argue that taxpayers are getting a good value for their money, the facts fail to back it up. 

“The longer negotiations drag out, the higher their billable hours stack up,” said Miles Conway, AFSCME NM Communications at last nights Albuquerque City Council meeting. “That is a disincentive to reach agreement.”

Management Associates Inc., by far the most popular labor relations company operating in New Mexico, has contracts for labor management relations with State, County, and Municipal Governments and School Boards across New Mexico.

City of Albuquerque

100 AFSCME Union Members showed up to last night’s Albuquerque City Council meeting to demonstrate their frustration with Management Associates’ and the Berry Administration’s handling of the collective bargaining agreements. 

City Council has approved a total of 6% in wage increases...

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It is way past time Congress understood that women's issues are not an afterthought but are of critical importance to the economic health and well-being of our nation.


We asked AFSCME members to share their talent on stage at the 41st International Convention and the results were amazing.


This November, AFSCME will work overtime to support candidates who will protect collective bargaining rights, preserve retirement security, and ensure that every American has decent health care coverage.


Read between the lines, because Charles Koch's toxic vision for our country is still evident.


Local 624: Standing Up For ABQ's Working Class

This August, AFSCME Local 624 Celebrates 44 Years of Justice, 44 Years of Balancing the POWER between management and frontline workers, 44 Years of building a CONTRACT that protects the dignity of a career with the City of Albuquerque.

It's a tradition under attack, and we need every AFSCME Sister and Brother to TAKE ACTION!

ATTEND ABQ City Council Meeting
Mon - Aug 18 at 4:15 PM
City Council Chambers @ 1 Civic Plaza


If you cannot make it to next the ABQ City Council Meeting 8/18,
please SEND A MESSAGE of Solidarity!

The stakes could not be higher as the Berry Administration continues to wage all-out war on the rights' of union workers, and the rights' of working class Albuquerque.

It's a distraction.

The attack on Labor is not saving taxpayers a penny. Rather, it has cost tax payers millions, as Berry uses City lawyers to fight no-win situation arbitrations, hires for-profit union busting consultants, and continues to outsource good paying city jobs to the lowest bidders.

Attend the City Council Meeting on August 18th, 4:30 pm. Demonstrate to City Council that our contract matters, our workplace rights matter.

After 4 years of ZERO raises and ZERO respect, the Berry Administration should cease wasting tax payer money on their attacks against labor. Settle the contract, call off the lawyers, and let's get back to the task of healing our city.CLICK HERE for the Flyer

Rep. Paul Ryan keeps trotting out the same old plans to shred the U.S. safety net but calls it something else. His most recent scheme to cut anti-poverty programs comes with buzzwords like “innovation” and “flexibility,” but it’s the same tired ideas.


Opponents of labor unions were rubbing their hands gleefully earlier this summer when the Supreme Court ruled that home care workers didn't have to pay "fair share" fees. But our union is a testament to the power of collective action.


Watch AFSCME member Maricruz Manzanarez's powerful story on why we need immigration reform.


In a rousing keynote address at AFSCME's 41st International Convention in Chicago, Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes told the assembled delegates that unions do make a difference. Click through to watch the video highlights.


We kicked off the 41st International Convention in Chicago with some big news: our union is 92,155 members stronger today than it was just a few months ago. Watch highlights of Pres. Saunders' speech by clicking through.


The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that home care and child care providers members were not required to pay fair share dues.


Home care and child care workers will continue to stand up for quality care in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn.


EMTs and paramedics suffer three times as many workplace injuries as the national average.


PayWatch Raises Awareness about Income Inequality Read more >>>

New AFSCME campaign will grow the union by 50,000 members before the 2014 Convention in July. Read more >>>

AFSCME Member Back on the Job After Huge Arbitration Victory

The American love affair with firearms isn’t something you would naturally expect to play a pivotal role in the protection of union members’ rights. Bernalillo County Court Security Officer Jocelyn Hotle has the science of firearms, the Union Contract, and some hard work by AFSCME Stewards and Staff to thank for the restoration of her job.

“Every Officer believed in Jocelyn, we were outraged when she was fired. Everyone who walks into the Bernalillo County Court Building is safer because she is back at her post!” said Local 1661 President, and Court Security Officer Richard Sawin.

Trained in 2008 with the Albuquerque Police Department, Hotle worked as an officer at APD before joining the Bernalillo County Court Security (CSS) in 2011. In testimony, Hotle was recognized for being a well regarded, solid CSS, who was valued in the position because of her people skills and ability to de-escalate emotional or confrontational situations.

Trouble began

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 A few minutes ago the House Appropriations and Finance Committee voted 11-6 to table the last surviving double dipping bill on the House side this session. Your calls and emails made a big difference in protecting our pension plans from upper management raiding PERA for their own gain.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Senate voted on almost a pure party line vote to allow New Mexican voters to decide whether we should raise the minimum wage and to protect the minimum wage in the constitution (Senate Joint Resolution 13). Only Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) joined the Republicans in opposing the minimum wage, so your calls to Sen. Papen, Sen. Munoz, and Sen. Griego paid off.

This weekend's action is to call and email two representatives and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Joint Resolution 13:

Dona Irwin (D-Deming) 505-986-4234

Sandra Jeff (D-Crownpoint) 505-986-4243

And please continue your prayers and thoughts for Representatives Ernie Chavez (D-Albuquerque) and Philip Archuleta (D-Las Cruces) as they try to recover in time to make critical votes affecting hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans.

The Real Miners of District 12 Invite YOU to Silver City, NM! 3/15/14

Recognition, Celebration, and the Continued Struggle for Justice.

WEBSITE for 60th Salt of the Earth Event

AFSCME, USW, NM Film Workers Unions and a host of other NM and AZ Labor & Civic Organizations Invite YOU to Grant County, NM on March 15th to participate in the Living History that is "Salt Of The Earth."

We will mark the 60th Anniversary of the benchmark movie "Salt of the Earth". In recognition of this important date we invite you to a series of events in the birthplace of the actual incidents which spawned film.

CLICK for the FLYER!

The film's plot centers on the long and difficult 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico.

The victorious Empire Zinc Strike brought about numerous positive changes for the Grant County Community. Beyond the equitable pay and treatment which Chicano Miners won through the strike, the Women who fought in the strike sparked advances in the movement for gender equality, area schools began hiring Hispanic teachers, a credit union helping miners was born, and the roots of justice were firmly established in Grant County.   

Join the Conversation at the FACEBOOK Event Page

Salt of the Earth was blacklisted for many years as being too inflammatory in exposing issues the Federal Government wanted suppressed.

3/15 Events Include: -Free public viewing of the film - Panel discussion with surviving activists / family members, - Organized labor representatives, public officials, and scholars. - Visual historical exhibit - Reception to honor the remaining pioneers and their families, - Opportunities to TAKE ACTION and support today's workers who continue to face issues of inequality at work. -  Bus tour visiting the Empire Mine site, the current Santa Rita Pit overlook, and the numerous historic murals depicting the struggle located in Silver City and at the Steelworkers' Local 890 Union Hall in Bayard, NM. 

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Last month’s employment figures are in, and things don’t look good. Read more >>>

by Olivia Sandbothe

Low-wage workers in certain federally funded jobs will see a much-needed pay increase, thanks to President Obama.

Read more >>>

Today, AFSCME members from all over New Mexico came to the Roundhouse to make our case: after years of sacrifice, hard-working public employees deserve a real raise!

LINK to Today's Photos - [Flickr] AFSCME New Mexico Lobby Day

We were joined in the Roundhouse Rotunda by State Senators Michael Padilla, Tim Keller, and Howie Morales as well as AFSCME's endorsed candidate for mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzales.

Council 18 President Patrick Gutierrez and Executive Director Connie Derr gave rousing speeches.

Afterwards our members split into four packs to cover each and every one of the 112 legislators' offices in the Roundhouse and Annex, led by our lobby team of Patrick Gutierrez, Casey Padilla, Linda Garcia, Adam Chavarria, Barb Pardo, Eric Simon, and Benito Lujan (Mark Flournoy has also been doing great work on our lobby team but had to be out of the Roundhouse today).

The message was simple: when times were tough, we all took across-the-board cuts to balance the state budget. Now that we've had back-to-back years of major general fund revenue growth, it's time to start making up for some of those sacrifices. Governor Martinez has offered a ZERO percent across-the-board raise. Nothing. Legislators, many of whom are being told that any real raise will be vetoed, have only come forward with a 1.5% raise proposal. It's up to all of us to let them know that anything less than 3% just puts us further behind.

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We knew it was coming, it's just hard to believe it when it actually happens. Gov. Martinez is moving full steam ahead with her plan to freeze state employee pay with 2 exceptions: a small number of job titles (mostly limited to only some public safety) and small increases to be given out on the basis of who political appointees like best.

THIS IS WRONG! When state and university employees were asked to sacrifice over the last five years to balance the budget, the cuts were across-the-board. When inflation goes up at about 2% per year, the cuts to real take home pay are across-the-board. 

TAKE ACTION: Send 3 Letters 


AFSCME Lobby Day is January 28th

What: 30th Commemorative Martin Luther King, Jr., March/Parade
When: Sunday, January 19, 2 p.m., program immediately following
Where: the corner of University and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Albuquerque
Who: New Mexico ARA

Please spread the word and invite your family and friends to celebrate and continue the legacy of peace and progressivism left by Martin Luther King, Jr.

AFSCME Aims to ANSWER Questions: Back Pay, Union Contracts, and Impacts of the Legislative Session

RUMORS. They can buoy or dash our hopes. Left unanswered, rumors and misinformation are tools that some in power count on to confuse and disenfranchise working people.

The FACTS can empower union members to take action and gain confidence. IF YOU WANT THE FACTS and the tools to understand where State Employees stand in the eyes of the Governor and our elected Legislators, then plan to attend one of the AFSCME / CWA Town Hall meetings in January.

First Town Halls are THIS Week!

We'll Inform, Discuss, and Plan Action on the following issues:

  • The $50 Million Back Pay Lawsuit
  • Negotiations of UNION Contract(s) Representing over 15,000 NM State Employees
  • Impact of Legislation (Session begins 1/21/14)

Wed 1/15, 6pm
National Education Assoc. NEA-NM, 2007 Botulph, Santa Fe
Eagles Lodge, 211 S. Grand Ave, Las Vegas

Thurs 1/16, 6pm
AFSCME Hall 138 S. Main, Las Cruces
AFSCME Hall 11786 Hwy 180 E., Silver City

Sat 1/18, 1pm
AFSCME Hall 1202 Pennsylvania Ave, NE. ABQ

Wed 1/22, 6pm
Elks Lodge 1720 N. Montana Ave, Roswell

Wed 1/22, 5:30pm
Gallup Children’s Public Library 200 West Aztec Ave, Gallup

Wed 1/29, 6pm
Farmington Civic Center 200 W. Arrington, Farmington
La Quinta Inn & Suites 4521 N Prince St, Clovis

Read more >>>

Go direct to your Legislators with the Issues Affecting REAL New Mexicans!

AFSCME green shirts will dominate the Roundhouse on Tuesday, January 28, at 9:30 a.m. in the Rotunda of the Roundhouse.  Be there to hear inspiring words from our legislative allies and make your voice heard as you and your sisters and brothers talk to legislators about the issues that are important to us!

Here is our Legislative Priority List:








READ more details here [click]


Happy New Year! We hope you had a great holiday season with your families and are rested and ready to take on the challenges of 2014.

From governor to state legislators to city and county elections to federal races, there will be plenty on our plate this year. And that's to say nothing of the legislative battles we'll face at the Roundhouse and in city council and county commission chambers all over the state.

The first big races of the year will be our municipal races (other than Albuquerque, which just finished in November). AFSCME Local 3999's PEOPLE Committee has made endorsements for the 2014 Santa Fe City Council and Mayoral races, and they are as follows:

Mayor: Javier Gonzales

District 1: Signe Lindell

District 2: Dual endorsement: Mary Louise Bonney and Rad Acton

District 3: Carmichael Dominguez

District 4: Ron Trujillo


We are in the process of setting up a member-to-member campaign, some of which will be in conjunction with the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council. While that structure is being established, our members and retirees are still free to volunteer (no stipend available due to campaign finance laws) for Javier Gonzales' campaign for mayor:

WHAT: Kickoff canvass for Javier Gonzales for Santa Fe Mayor

WHERE: Gonzales for Mayor HQ, Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd. (across from the Indian School)

DATE: Saturday, January 4th

TIME: 10:00 a.m.

RSVP: If you know you'll make it, please RSVP to Sarah Aagard at If you decide to join us at the last minute, you're still welcome! Either way, let them know you're an AFSCME member or retiree or family member. Thanks!

 State Pay Plan Questions --- Partial Answers

Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) members only had to threaten to call security once last night as a huge AFSCME crowd remained mostly quiet, listening respectfully in the face of growing impatience over low pay and the five year old back pay issue.

The Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Santa Fe on December 12 did not result in concrete answers to AFSCME (and CWA) state employees' question: "When will we see our back pay?!" This was through no fault of the legislators. Rather, the State Personnel Office was unable to give specific answers. State Personnel Director Gene Moser testified the back pay liability is between $25-28 million. A task force detailed by the State to work on the calculations will present its report on a phased pay back strategy to AFSCME (and CWA) leaders on Wednesday, December 18. Check our website at for updates.

All in all, and despite Mr. Moser’s ambiguous tone, AFSCME is encouraged that our members WILL at least have a timeframe for back pay by year’s end.

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Calling on Attention All UNMH Employees and Community Supporters :

Just like the University of New Mexico Hospital is in partnership with the State and the County, they are also in partnership with their employees. The union, the employees and the community, are well aware that the hospital, which receives county funds from tax dollars, operates with a surplus at the end of every year. Currently the hospital has over $165 million in surplus monies.

Through their actions and a failure to budget for a wage increase year after year, UNMH shows that it is dedicated only to overall strategic planning of the hospital and not to the employees. District 1199NM believes that partnerships require reciprocity, which the union believes is currently lacking.

Employees continue to deliver quality patient care to the community, more and more often without adequate staffing and resources, but are receiving nothing in return.

Join District 1199NM for an informational rally to fight for a long overdue wage increase for UNMH employees. Coffee and donuts will be provided for all who attend. In order to be successful, community members and UNMH employees must take a stand and come to the streets of LOMAS either before you go to work or when you are off shift.

The union will be presenting a petition demanding a wage increase for UNMH employees at the “Board of Regents” meeting, immediately following the rally. For those who can attend your presence is necessary and appreciated.


When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Where: 2211 Lomas Blvd. NE (In front of the UNMH main shuttle drop off)
Time: 7am – 9am
(At 9am we will proceed to the UNM Board of Regents meeting at the UNM Student Union Building)

*If you have any question please feel free to contact Kalo Lopez @ 884-7713/ (619)781-7151*

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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. 

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