Gov. Martinez gave her state of the state address today, and while there were some positive general statements, the overall message was a big disappointment.
Let's first find common ground: Gov. Martinez claims she wants to find bipartisan solutions to our budget problems. She also said good things about some of our members--mostly those who work in public safety, including those in CYFD and the Department of Corrections.
Talk is nice, and we agree that those who work for the state, who are already understaffed and underpaid, deserve our respect, thanks, and support. While Gov. Martinez gave respect and thanks, it's on the support issue--changing talk into action--that we need to move her.
She still plans to ask for YOU--everyone reading this who works for the state or for a university, or for public schools, to take a 3.5% pay cut to balance the budget. And nobody else. Her budget has even MORE corporate tax cuts coming next year, and it protects loopholes for Wall Street gamblers and out-of-state corporations.
So while everyone likes a nice compliment, not many of us would take a compliment if it was backed up with "hey, now fork over $2,000--each of you and your families--to pay for Wall Street loopholes."
People who make their money in the stock market pay HALF of what you do in personal income tax. And she's asking you to fork over thousands of dollars? Every year? That's not just wrong, it's hypocritical for someone who says she cares about our public safety and other workers.
The good news is that your union is already at the Roundhouse talking to both Democrats and Republicans...
Newsmakers with Lee Saunders [CLICK for Video] American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President Lee Saunders talked about workforce and labor issues in the incoming Trump administration and the nomination of fast-food restaurant executive Andrew Puzder to be labor secretary.
Issues included minimum wage, overtime rules, Republican efforts to reduce the influence of unions across the U.S., and Mr. Saunders' support for Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) to be chair of the Democratic National Committee. After the interview the reporters discussed his responses with the host.
After creating a $300 million deficit at a time when other states are running surpluses, Gov. Martinez announced yesterday that she plans to make up the deficit by taking anywhere from $700 to $2,000 from each and every state and university employee in New Mexico.
Call Gov. Martinez' office [505-476-2200] and tell her that public employees should not pay for her deficit. "Please don't balance the budget by using pay cuts of any kind--including pension pay swaps--on public employees"
Show respect to the person answering the phones!
The centerpiece of her proposal to make up her own deficit is to enact a 3.5% pay cut for every state and university employee. She's calling it a "pension pay swap", but all it means is that you take home less and the state keeps all that money--none of it actually stays with the pension funds. It's a pay cut, pure and simple.
Here's what the Martinez cuts mean for you:
The worst part is that there are so many easier, fairer fixes that are better for our economy than picking the pockets of hard-working families. She could close the Wall....
This weekend, January 6,7, AFSCME members from the South stepped into the ring and completed the intro ELITE Academy Steward class at the Las Cruces Union Hall. Workplace stewards are the cornerstones of our union, able to jump in at a moments notice, and begin addressing grievances on the shop floor.
1/28 WORKSHOP TEACHES LOCAL COMMUNICATION and POLITICAL ACTION!
On Saturday, January 28, AFSCME Council 18 will hold it's annual "Powerful Communication = Political Power" ELITE Level II Workshop. Members are encouraged to contact Local leaders and GET SIGNED UP for this tactics and strategy based training. You'll learn the skills needed to help your Local win issues by engaging with city councils, county commissions, and the NM State legislature.
*It is not necessary to have taken ELITE Level I training in order to attend this political / communications, ELITE Level II, Part I workshop
See complete list of Spring 2017 ELITE Academy Leadership Trainings below.
AFSCME Local Members dig in and take the first step. Training to defending workplace rights by properly wielding the mighty union contract. Las Cruces AFSCME Hall Saturday. (L to R, Jose Garcia - Local 2094, Thad Brown - Local 3320, Rebecca Najera - Local 2094, Jacob Villegas - Local 2516, Lucio Caballero - Local 2061)
8th Annual Public Safety Blue Breakfast Save The Date
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The 8th annual AFSCME New Mexico Public Safety Blue Breakfast and Lobby Day brings together our brothers and sisters from public safety to share, hear from one another and national experts on our career issues, and take action at the legislature to improve our careers.
This year's theme, "The Heart Behind the Shield"
Call Garrett's Desert Inn to reserve rooms using the AFSCME Blue Breakfast block: 505-982-1851
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
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.