AFSCME Council 18

AFSCME Blog

AFSCME received communication regarding back pay checks from the state today (10/21) In an effort to keep members in the loop we've attached the entire letter below.

[Today's Santa Fe New Mexican - "Official: Over 5K state workers wait for back pay" The state blows back pay big time - now they're blaming hired contractor taking their own sweet time. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/official-over-k-state-workers-wait-for-back-pay/article_1b29a756-861f-5977-a1b1-6738b42ee9b4.html]

Connie Derr, Executive Director of Council 18 would like to preface this letter from State Personnel by informing members that SPO legal counsel is mistaken in their recollection that AFSCME refused to help distribute the checks. Quite the opposite, in a Spring 2014 meeting, AFSCME offered to distribute the checks to CURRENT State Employees, that offer was turned down.

During a late 2014 summer meeting, the State asked if AFSCME would distribute only the RETIREE back pay checks. The state does not currently share retiree mailing address information with AFSCME, and so, we were unable to accept that offer.
___________________

Here is the complete letter received today from State Personnel Legal Counsel:

All:

We were not able to run a special payroll last week. The pending uploads involve more complex calculations, which has required more time for calculation and validation. We are continuing to work closely with the independent contractor to put together a schedule for special payrolls based upon the contractor’s ability to complete the remaining calculations. As soon as I have updated information about the schedule, I will provide it to you and post it to the SPO website. We will continue to run special payrolls as we receive completed calculations, subject to the regular payroll constraints.

To date, approximately 4,200 checks have been processed. All processed checks that were pending distribution were mailed via certified mail the week before last. We do not have a list of these employees; however, we will ask our independent contractor if obtaining such a list is possible. The State has offered to provide the checks to the unions’ counsel for distribution to union members; however, these offers were refused. If the unions had allowed every member to obtain their checks directly from you, check distribution could have been simplified, and you could have distributed them however you saw fit. We are renewing our offer to provide the remaining checks to you for distribution. Please let us know whether you would like to distribute the remaining checks and we will make necessary arrangements.

I’ve attached the check distribution protocols, pursuant to Miles’ request. Future protocols will allow the agencies to hold the checks for longer than two days, unless you decide to distribute the checks.

Sincerely,

General Counsel
State Personnel Office

__________________________

Here is the communication from SPO to HR bureaus regarding distribution of checks: NOTE page one where the state says the special payrolls ending Oct 7 would effect over 10,000 current and former state employees. https://www.scribd.com/doc/243907988/Back-Pay-Update-October-21-2014

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Mayor Berry Likely to Take Back 3% Raise in Retaliation


Following four years of fruitless negotiations costing taxpayers big money in litigation and the hiring of private consultants, Judge Malott has ordered the City of Albuquerque into a 90-day mediation with AFSCME where an agreement must be hammered out.  

In granting AFSCME's injunction, the city is prevented from imposing unfavorable terms and conditions contained in their final offer, imposed September 14, 2014.

Connie Derr, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 18 said, “this is an unprecedented action for the courts to have to take, it shows that the city’s labor management relations ordinance (LMRO) is truly broken, and must be fixed.”

Even though the administration has a number of legal mechanisms that could allow them to maintain union members' long overdue raises, the administration indicated their desire take away 3% in pay from City Employees within minutes of the Court's order.

“We view Mayor Berry’s intent to take away the raise as not only mean spirited, but clearly politically motivated,” said Casey Padilla, President AFSCME Local 624, blue collar and transit union.

Reacting to the administration’s intention to immediately take away the raise, Deb Rainaldi, President of AFSCME Local 2962, clerical and technical union said, "I guess when you've been on the low road so long, it's difficult for the administration to see themselves climbing back onto the high road and showing some respect. This is their choice, it isn't what the Union fought for. The administration is retaliating for today's loss in Court."

Today's ORDER from NM Second Judicial Court - Judge Malott

and

CLICK HERE for the background and to read the entire TRO 

Show up October 20 at the ABQ City Council meeting, support AFSCME’s efforts to amend the LMRO to include mandatory arbitration during contract impasse disputes.

 

We've recently launched the #TurnOutForWhat campaign on Twitter and Tumblr. People across the country are sharing why they're turning out to the polls on Nov. 4.


 

Engineered Chaos or Epic Incompetence?

State Fabricates Excuse, Throws USPS Under the Bus!


This was supposed to be THE WEEK when everyone finally got paid! That is what the state said, and asked AFSCME to tell its members.

So, what happened to all those checks and the $30 Million owed to NM State Employees?

Why did the state remain silent and allow hopeful Union members to panic and become furious this week?

The State seemingly had no intention to share ANY information!

Thanks to Union member action, we have an explanation, and it sucks.

The State claims that the post office will allow them to mail 200 certified mail pieces a day. AFSCME called the USPS and three mail houses and nobody had ever heard of that rule before. Seems like the State made it up.

Richard "Smiley" Martinez, Statewide President of National Association of Letter Carriers, said, "the United States Postal Service is capable of mailing all the checks out at once. The State is having the USPS clerks fill out all the forms one at a time, instead of using their own postage machines."

Susie Romero, New Mexico Congressional District Liaison for the National Association of Letter Carriers said, "I'm shocked, if the State wanted to place blame for the checks not going out, they should've picked someone that the Union couldn't have gotten hold of, ISIS maybe. We'll deliver a coconut if it has a stamp on it."

Moments ago we received word from the state that the 2nd (and expectedly FINAL) special payroll was derailed by regular payroll.

The state offers little explanation for what went wrong, and why the second batch of checks didn't include everyone. SPO now says that additional special payrolls will be necessary to complete delivery of back pay to every employee owed.


Here is what we received from the state personnel this morning:

"...The second special payroll was successful; however, we were cut off by regular payroll, so there will have to be additional special payrolls. We will let you know as soon as the next special payroll is scheduled.

There are approximately 1600 warrants that are in the process of being mailed. The post office will only allow the state to mail 200 certified pieces of mail per day.

Central payroll issued uniform guidance to the agencies regarding check distribution. Again, agencies are to distribute the warrants as they normally would (via hand-delivery or mail). After two days, the agencies are required to return the warrants to DFA for safekeeping and for mailing via certified mail.

With regard to questions about whether the amounts are correct, as I mentioned in my September 26, 2014, email, the amounts are correct and they have been validated...."
We do not consider a partial second batch a success. And we're not prepared to agree that the calculations came without ANY errors."


The State's answers only raises more questions.

  • Why was the second payroll not final?
  • Why did the State throw the USPS under the bus?
  • Why did the state wait so long to tell everyone that the checks wouldn't be on time?
  • Despite uniform guidance, why are wildly varying distribution plans in place from agency to agency?
  • How long must we expect to wait?

...and the obvious question, does Governor Susana Martinez have any respect for her public employees?

November 4th is the chance
to offer OUR ANSWER! VOTE!

"We're still very much in the fight for a better tomorrow and now is not the time to give up. I want to be able to tell future generations that I did my best to protect their basic right to vote."


 

UPDATE: TRO is scheduled to be heard by Judge Mallott's Second Judicial District Court on Friday, 10/17 at 1:30. 

Address/Location
400 Lomas Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102


On Wednesday, Oct 1, the United States District Court for New Mexico reprimanded Mayor Berry’s Administration for wrongly attempting to delay justice for Albuquerque’s City Workers by removing from state court AFSCME’s petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

AFSCME’s emergency restraining order was filed September 20, 2014 to prevent the Administration from continuing to implement their last contract offer on Albuquerque City Employees.

CLICK HERE for October 6 ACTION flyer 

AFSCME contends that the Administration bargained in bad faith to impasse, that the contract they’ve imposed causes irreparable harm to workers, and that the Administration lacks the legal right under Albuquerque’s Labor Management Relations Ordinance (LMRO) to implement such changes to the contract.

The Federal Court ordered the case back to New Mexico’s Second Judicial District Court and placed sanctions on the City for “ignorance of New Mexico law,” meaning, Albuquerque taxpayers will pay for the Administration’s sloppy legal activity by covering AFSCME’s attorney fees.  

The TRO could be heard in state court as early as Thursday, 10/2/14.


Read on for Excerpts from Federal Court Order today and the complete Order....

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AFSCME is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund n its Union Scholars Program to provide educational opportunities and scholarships to talented students of color from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other colleges and universities.


 

On Friday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and permanent injunction in response to the City unilaterally imposing their last contract offer on three AFSCME Locals.

“By imposing the city’s last contract offer the City stands to inflict irreparable harm onto Blue Collar, Transit, Clerical, and City Security employees by robbing them of several basic workplace rights. ABQ Mayor Berry, CAO Perry, and the management consultant, John Martinez, have buried their head in the sand to the time-honored practice of contract dispute resolution: arbitration,” said Connie Derr, AFSCME NM Executive Director.

On Monday, the City claimed that AFSCME’s TRO petition has raised a federal question and moved the case to U.S. District Court. Union attorneys strongly claim there is no federal question, and the City’s move is only an attempt to delay and obfuscate the matter.

“There is no federal question,” says AFSCME chief counsel Shane Youtz. AFSCME will file today to have the case remanded to state court.

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Senator Warren has a message for AFSCME members. While Senator Warren is not on a ballot this November, she reminds us why it’s so important that we get out to vote this fall.


 

 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

 

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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 1.7.4.13) 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.


 

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.

DON'T DELAY, PUT YOUR TEAM ON O/T TODAY!

 

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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.


 

For over half a decade, AFSCME has continued to wage the battle for New Mexico State Employees to receive justice and be awarded back pay promised in their union contract.

For four years, Governor Martinez has spent massive amounts of taxpayer money fighting against, appealing, and delaying that justice.

By refusing to communicate openly on the back pay award, and what delays state employees could expect, Susana Martinez has shown her disrespect toward the workers who provide the public services taxpayers expect and deserve.

AFSCME is pleased to share with you this statement from our endorsed candidate for Governor, Attorney General Gary King. Attorney General King follows the progress of Labor in New Mexico closely. He understands our issues and makes a pledge to stand with us, as we stand with him, to be New Mexico's next Governor.

Read his message to AFSCME members, then click on the link below and find out how you can help Gary King, Deb Haaland, and Labor's 'Warriors for the Working Class' win their elections and take OUR New Mexico forward! 


- August 15, 2014

"I know how hard you work for our state, the dedication you show every day to deliver public services and keep our state running, especially during tough times when resources are scarce. 

I also understand the frustration every public employee feels at having a Governor who won't communicate with you and won't demonstrate the level of respect you deserve for your chosen career in public service.

That is why, as your Governor, it will be my priority on day one to settle the back pay issue and get public employees the money they're legally owed.

Just as important, unlike Governor Susana Martinez, I'll communicate with public employees, so you'll know what progress is being made.

I pledge to sit down anew with the unions representing state employees, find common ground, and negotiate contracts in good faith.

There is too much uncertainty in New Mexico these days. With my leadership, you can be certain to have a governor that respects what you do, and understands the true value and power of team work."

Sincerely,        

Attorney General Gary King
Candidate for New Mexico Governor


Click Here (PDF) for info on Labor 2014 and make your pledge to help elect candidates who understand and support Labor! 

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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

CLICK for FLYER (PDF 114K)

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.


 

AFSCME New Mexico Builds Power in the South

On July 23, AFSCME New Mexico roared into the south by winning two union elections, one in Grant County and one in Roswell, NM.

The first election, conducted by the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) via a mail in ballot, saw Corre Camino, the Grant County Public Transit drivers voting to form their union by a wide margin of victory.

Second, in a private sector victory, Roswell Superior Ambulance EMS workers voted UNANIMOUSLY to join AFSCME and begin to negotiate their union contract. The National Labor Relations Board conducted the two day election.

AFSCME Council 18 organizers were joined by national organizing staff, Iva Jo Peters who worked with the EMS crew to form a strong internal organizing committee.

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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.


 

2014 marks 30 years since Taos County took over the regions EMS services. AFSCME Local 1193 has 13 full-time EMS professionals who, along with support staff and other EMS part time crew members, remain on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There are certain things that an emergency medical technician (EMT) cannot be trained to learn. Some skills you’re born with. The ability to walk into chaotic situations where people’s lives are on the line while remaining cool and collected, that is one.

The Taos County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers walk into these situations everyday. AFSCME Council 18 was invited along for a ride-along earlier in 2014 when EMTs Dewey Shields and David Varela entered a house full of family members shouting information, three or four dogs as nervous as the family members, and of course the patient, an elderly family matron who needed to get to a hospital immediately.

AFSCME Taos County Local 1193 EMT’s Varela and Shields have 34 years of experience between them. They quickly stabilized and began communicating with the patient to get....read more

AFSCME New Mexico Roaring Ahead in 2014

Yesterday, on a gorgeous northern New Mexico day, the blue and white collar employees in the Town of Taos voted to organize with AFSCME Council 18. The election, conducted by New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) Executive Director, Thomas Griego, concluded at 1:00pm on July 10, with over 80% of the eligible employees voting. By 2:00pm, the Town of Taos employees had a union when AFSCME was declared the winner.

Barring any challenges, which are not expected due to a high voter turnout and wide margin of victory, the new union of Town of Taos employees will be certified by the PELRB on August 5.

The town employees had a strong organizing committee. Elias Padilla, an electrician with the town and a key member of the committee, said, “We’re feeling good about winning the election to form our union with AFSCME. A lot of people wanted the union. There are benefits we have now that should be written into a contract, and some benefits we’ve lost over the years that we can work toward reclaiming through the union.”

Council 18 Staff Representative Chris Armijo led the campaign and was elated with the results. "With a few minor exceptions, this was a very positive campaign, which bodes well for the collective bargaining relationship this new AFSCME local union will have with the new town administration."

The organizing committee was supported by AFSCME’s Taos-area activists including Taos County Local 1193 President Rebecca Parraz and members David Martinez and Rachel Romero, Erica Parraz, and Northern State Employees Local 2890 President Tony Barajas.

Council 18 President Patrick Gutierrez, who served as AFSCME’s election observer, noted, “you could see the excitement and pride as workers came in to vote. This is an exciting day for Taos working families.”

"The workers' victory today comes on the heels of Santa Fe County Detention Officers' voting overwhelmingly to join AFSCME (on June 12)," said Council 18 Executive Director Connie Derr. "By organizing with AFSCME, the working conditions and benefits for

Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Advise from Management Consultant 

For more than three years, San Miguel County scheduled its officers at the County Detention Center to regular rotations of on-call duty, but without pay.  On July 9, the practice, which violates the Fair Labor Standards Act, cost the county -- and its taxpayers -- close to $70,000.

AFSCME Council 18, which represent San Miguel County Public Safety, including the officers at the facility, objected to the practice and requested to negotiate a policy that would be in compliance with the FLSA.  Dina Holcomb, a principle partner in Management Associates, served as the county's lead contract negotiator and refused to bargain on the issue, insisting the county was not obligated to pay the employees for an on-call assignment.  On-call is a practice where an employee is required to be available to return to work as needed on their time off.   

Last Year, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of

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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.


 

Detention Center is 3rd Santa Fe County Group to Choose AFSCME

In a testament to the adage that workers in a tough job need a tough union, the 100+ corrections employees at the Santa Fe County Detention Facility voted to organize with AFSCME Council 18. The two-day election concluded at 7:00pm on June 12 and by 8:00pm, AFSCME was declared the winner.

The new unit joins SF Co Detention Medical Support Staff, who voted to join AFSCME earlier in the year.

The unit, consisting of detention officers in the adult and juvenile facilities, corporals, sergeants, booking clerks, teachers, therapists, case managers, electronic monitoring officers, and life skills workers, had been represented by the New Mexico Coalition of Public Safety Officers, a small independent association with a handful of public safety bargaining units. The workers sought AFSCME representation after the association repeatedly made decisions affecting the employees but without their knowledge or input.

“The management of the detention center were very 'hands-on' in this election,” said Connie Derr, executive director of AFSCME Council 18, “which is a clear violation of the Public Employee Bargaining Act. We raised our concerns on several occasions with the county administration, but they made no attempt to rectify the matter. Instead of filing formal labor board charges, AFSCME and the organizing committee knew there was enough support to win the election outright. And that is exactly how it turned out.”

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The attached document was presented by AFSCME to the Albuquerque City Council's Guidelines Committe on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

It demonstrates the challenges that AFSCME Union Members have encountered in efforts to reach new collective bargaining agreements with the Berry Administration.   

The presentation also details options to move forward, reach new collective bargaining agreements, and rebuild a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between labor and management.

  CABQ Afscme-council 18 Negotiations

New Mexico State Personnel Office (SPO) has launched a page of resources on their website for state employees to determine their eligibility for the back pay. Here is some of the latest news:

1. The Hourly adjustments due to appear on June 27 paycheck have NOT been frozen. Phase one implementation is on track.

2. Department of Finance Adminstration (DFA) is in the process of choosing an AUGUST date for an OFF-CYCLE payroll to issue the lump sum checks. DFA expects the checks will be direct deposited or issued via paper checks just like employees would normally expect. DFA has pledged to TELL US when the August date is picked.

DFA reports that the delay from the previously expected July date is due to close out work of FY14 which necessitated pushing the date back slightly.

3. Reports of employees NOT receiving any hourly pay adjustments and/or miscalculations are pouring in. (Please review the State Personnel Website HERE for latest)

The state has mapped out an appeal process to address issues where employees received ZERO pay adjustment, but not a process when calculation mistakes occur.

AFSCME continues to work with SPO on how those calculation appeals should take place. For now, AFSCME encourages members to work with their HR bureaus, obtain their payroll history reports, and communicate with State Personnel by email. Phone calls are unlikely to be returned.

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You might be surprised.


 

UPDATE (6/21/14): State has posted FAQ page to SPO Website:


While most NM State Employees are spotting their raises in SHARE, the implementation is also promising to generate quite a few headaches as the state and AFSCME struggle to make sure everything goes according to plan.

The fight for AFSCME members to receive the CORRECT amounts in back pay will continue. Beginning on June 7, State of New Mexico AFSCME represented employees who worked for the state, and were off probation, in or prior to fiscal year 2009 should have begun earning a higher hourly rate of pay. This is to comply with the Supreme Court ruling confirming NM State Personnel had underpaid the union raise in that year. The new hourly rate will show up on the June 27 paychecks.

After waffling over the ruling for months, Governor Martinez put her pay plan team together and it seemed things were moving along smoothly. The state even spent millions hiring one of the country's largest east coast accounting firms, BDO, to handle to overwhelmingly complex calculations.

Now, a few days into the new pay period, state employees are able to log into the SHARE system and view their new hourly pay rates. For most the news is good and, as expected, hourly rates have gone up between .13 and .50 cents an hour.

However, for many, the pay hasn't risen at all, or has gone up by a pittance of one or two cents an hour. AFSCME and state employees identified the trouble a mile away, when members supposed to receive back pay were not appearing on a preliminary list of eligibles.

AFSCME is doing a huge amount of the state's work for them by explaining the back pay process to employees. AFSCME staff are literally taking thousands of phone calls from union and non union workers to go through a list of questions and determine if a state employee is eligible for the back pay. AFSCME is only able to "ball park" what percentage they might expect their hourly pay to go up by..

Often, after going through the list of frequently asked questions, the employee needs more information to determine why they are not on the list for back pay. This is where things really come off the rails. READ more...

Read more >>>

Women who belong to a union earn, on average, 11 percent more than non-union workers.


 

In the Public Interest study shows disproportionate impact of outsourcing on women and African Americans.


 

Milan Simonich | Santa Fe New Mexican

What if you spent at least $125 an hour for a labor negotiator who billed you for two years but never settled any contract disputes?

You would be a New Mexico taxpayer.

Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration hired an Albuquerque company, Management Associates Inc., to head the state’s negotiating team in contract talks with employee unions.

No mention of Management Associates’ contract exists on the state’s Sunshine Portal, even though the website is supposed to contain public documents. But an open-records request turned up 75 pages of the company’s invoices. The total charges to taxpayers were more than $166,000, the records showed. The company’s payments were capped at $125,000 a year.

READ the enitre articel HERE, at Santa Fe New Mexican

Unions Work Logo

Unions are one of our only counterbalances to big corporations and the super rich who tilt the playing field in their favor so that they can hoard more and more of our nation's wealth.

If you believe unions are important for a fair economy then please go to www.unionswork.us


 

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


 

As the media directs public attention to the high profile battles at city hall, the real struggles of Albuquerque’s working men and women continue to be ignored. The majority of City workers have not seen a raise in over four years and it is possible that newly budgeted raises will fail to make it to their paychecks.

While news coverage heralds another year of raises for City employees, the untold story is that the Berry Administration could, once again, block raises for a majority of workers unless the union caves in and agrees to wholesale destruction of workplace rights.  

The mayor has proposed a 1% increase in wages, and city council recently approved a 3% increase across the board. AFSCME staff representative and lead negotiator for ABQ city unions, Rocky Gutierrez says, “The way we see it, it threatens to be more of the same. They [Berry Administration] will aim to loc raises up in negotiations unless we give up the farm.” 

The administration hasn’t stopped there. Even though Albuquerque’s budget picture has improved since the onset of the recession, the administration continues to turn the screw by imposing unnecessary and vindictive furlough days on lower paid city workers. 

Read more >>>

 On April 25, Council 18 filed yet another Prohibited Practices Complaint (PPC) against the State of New Mexico. This PPC is a result of the State’s recent refusal to provide to AFSCME the necessary information regarding our represented members.
For decades, the State of New Mexico complied with its statutory duty to provide the bargaining unit information to Council 18 so it can discharge their duty of fair representation.

The information includes names, positions, tool numbers, pay scale, home address, and worksite data, including all basic information for the union to be able to monitor its bargaining unit.

Now, the State decided to quit providing the information. “This is just another petty, mean-spirited action by the State,” said Connie Derr, executive director of AFSCME Council 18. “The State Personnel Office....

Read more >>>

PayWatch Raises Awareness about Income Inequality Read more >>>

NM State Employees Expect Hourly Salary Adjustments June 7 Pay Period -

Lump Sum Back Pay Checks will Follow

Monday afternoon a crowd of AFSCME members and their families rallied through a light spring rain as the Governor's pay-plan team met with AFSCME leadership inside the Joseph Montoya Building in Santa Fe.

AFSCME local members had travelled from across the state to hear first hand how the state's "pay-plan team" was proposing to return tens of millions in back wages.

While AFSCME leadership met with the state, members marched outside with signs saying, “RESPECT”, “2106 Days - Back Pay”, and “Governor Martinez, STOP fighting Workers, Fight FOR Jobs.”

AFSCME's team emerged from the meeting as the rain cleared and made the welcome announcement that the Governor's team had concluded its work and, with the help of BDO USA, LLP, would execute ‘phase one’ of the back pay plan and increase current employees’ wages during the pay period beginning June 7. That means thousands of union state employees will see a bigger pay check on June 20, 2014.

Read more >>>

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

Why They Fought -
Today's Labor Movement
MUST NOT Let Our Elders Down

An AFSCME, United Steelworkers, and IATSE led commemoration for the 60th Anniversary of Salt of the Earth [film] and 1952 victorious Empire Zinc Strike took place 3/15 in Grant County, New Mexico. While we have come far in the struggle for equality and workplace justice since the 1950's, the work is never done.

This wasn't your modern day informational picket line. This was a blood and guts struggle for basic rights and respect.

Mrs. Sierra fought to protect her people from tear gassing, shootings, and company sponsored violence. Ms Valencia was run down, literally, by a scab car on the day the company tried to break the women's picket line. Mr Flores worked in the mines and was a key activist in the struggle.

Women took over the picket line when Empire Zinc got a court injunction preventing the men from picketing. The women did not falter, eventually winning the two year strike.

Every union member should honor the sacrifice of those who came before us and dig deeper, find greater strength to be vocal and involved in today's battles.

Many Unions, the New Mexico Federation of Labor, and participating civic organizations took part on the 15th and paid tribute to the elders who are still with us and remained lifelong activists.

We honored the memory of miners passed, women, and families who stood up for equality and justice in, then segregated, Grant County NM.

Read more >>>

Yesterday, two families lost their sons, and AFSCME lost two members from our Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility family in a vehicle rollover.

The young men were in the prime of there lives, and every AFSCME member sends out our hearts to the family and friends.

R.I.P. Noel Reyes and Jesus Felix.

Jesus Felix:

Visitation: 4-9 p.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014
Vigil at 7:00 p.m. at Sunset Funeral Home-Americas (El Paso, Tx
Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 17, 2014 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, El Paso, Tx. (Approx 1 hr drive from Las Cruces) Interment: Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Home Americas.

Noel Reyes-Mendez:

Visitation & Vigil: 7:00 p.m. Sunday March 16, 2014 at Perches 'West' Funeral Home,6111 S. Desert Blvd, El Paso, Texas

Funeral : 9:00 a.m., Monday, March 17, 2014
Primera Bautista,
6809 Third Street, Canutillo, TX

Interment: 11:30 AM @ Memory Gardens .

Services entrusted to Perches 'West' Funeral Home

New Mexico Department of Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel immediately sent in counselors to help shocked co-workers deal with the tragic news.

Send messages of support and condolences to the co-workers and families through Local 3422 President Patricia Martinez. patriciaf.martinez@state.nm.us

Please be safe out there Brothers and Sisters.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Thousands of state workers have said the state still owes them back pay -- as much as $50 million worth.

When the economy tanked in 2008, state salaries of more than 10,000 people were frozen and stayed that way for years. Those workers said they were promised that money and had the contracts to back up that sentiment.

Those workers fought the state in court, and won.

But they still haven’t seen any of the cash.

Click to READ more, Including VIDEO of KOAT broadcast


 

Read more >>>

Problems at CYFD are Nowhere Near as Simple
as Martinez Administration Tries to Make it Sound.

CYFD and HSD workers deal with some of the worst things society has to offer. Call after call, you may see children and adults who are living in very poor conditions, parents who are unable to provide affection and care for those children, drugs tearing families apart, children who have been hurt so badly that they will contend with lifelong emotional issues.

Deaths, shakings, abandonment, broken families, children crying, you name it, CYFD Investigators and support staff are facing it on a daily basis.


Lack of Appropriate Training

CYFD workers have their education, some social work experience, and then about 2-3 months of training. Most CYFD Investigators receive assignments before training has ended. The training itself covers little of the reality faced. Most workers come in with minimal real-world interviewing skills.

Children are not easy to interview. Neither are adults, especially when...

Read more >>>

 Pay Plan Update 3/4/2014

Will it Be March? Maybe.

When will we get our back raises and retroactive pay? That is the question on everyone’s mind. Until recently, when retirees or former state employees called the State Personnel Office to ask about a time frame for pay back, SPO was giving out the cell phone number for AFSCME Communications.

Nothing would please AFSCME more than to have those answers.

Time is Flying By Governor!

On our last update, we reported that the ball was in AFSCME’s court, as Mike Messina, our Int'l Labor Economist, dissected the state’s math formula to see if all the right people were going to receive the correct amount of money.

Messina found some errors. After talking through the changes with staff of SPO and NM Department of Information Technology, the state has rewritten the computer code to correct the errors.

The State Pay-Pan Team will now retest the revised code, requiring several phases. Anyone familiar with the SHARE system won’t be surprised to hear that several glitches were encountered during the first round of testing.

AFSCME was told last in early February that additional staff have been assigned to work on the pay plan and that testing would be complete within a few weeks. As of 3/4/14, AFSCME has received no word from the pay-plan team 

The ball is in the state’s court. As reported in the previous update....

At the recent Auto Workers’ legislative conference in DC, the Vice President said unions are the only gate-keepers protecting workers’ voices on the job. 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

Read more >>>

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. 

Read more >>>

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

Youth Care Specialists and Direct Service Employees in Protective Services First to See a Bump in Pay

It took over two years of constantly sounding the alarm, and in the end, a terrible tragedy thrust AFSCME Members' struggle into the public's eye.

CYFD investigators had been appearing before the State Personnel Board and passionately warning the Governor that CYFD investigators were understaffed, over-stressed, and drowning under huge numbers of caseloads.

In January 2013, AFSCME members brought a petition calling upon State Personnel and the Governor to address wage disparity, retention, and recruitment issues creating serious staffing, morale, and public safety concerns.

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 >>>

Every hour, every day, AFSCME members are making American happen. We’ve photographed public workers in action, from coast to coast, from morning ‘til night and all the way until dawn. Read more >>>

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!
RSVP at FACEBOOK Event Page

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 >>>

Last week, AFSCME celebrated the 50th anniversary of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of the “War on Poverty” that inspired the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), subsidized child care, Head Start, housing assistance, and many other programs that continue to help America’s seniors and low-income families. Read more >>>

Town Hall Meetings on Status of Back Pay Coming January 2014


On Wednesday, AFSCME attended a presentation by the State Personnel Office (SPO) and Department of Information Technology (DoIT) staff detailing their two (2) PHASE plan to settle the back pay lawsuit.

As of October, the state has dedicated sufficient professional staff to research and carry out necessary computer programming to calculate the back pay, adjust the raises, and resolve the issue.

PHASE 1 - "Stop the Bleeding" - adjust salaries moving forward

SPO / DoIT presented their logic [formula] to pull lists of AFSCME members who will be eligible to receive the salary adjustment

SPO / DoIT presented their logic [formula] to calculate the percentage of underpayment for each bargaining unit member who will receive a salary adjustment

AFSCME Economist Mike Messina travelled from D.C. to review the state's methodology. Brother Messina has begun his review of the state's formulas and will be in direct contact, not with SPO lawyers, but compensation personnel and DoIT programmers to expedite improvements and changes to the state's methodology. Once satisfied, the unions will sign off on the state's plan.

SPO has proposed to the Department of Finance Administration their methodology for the salary adjustments, and is waiting to hear back from DFA if all effected agencies have sufficient budget surplus to increase wages per the settlement. (Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey reported at the 12/12 meeting that their research has determined that agencies have sufficient funds top cover the settlement)

SPO Legal Counsel reported that once DFA signs off on the budget issue and AFSCME approves the methodology, that the permanent wage increases (NOT lump sum retroactive payments) could go into effect in a matter of weeks.

Read more >>>

 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 www.afscme18.org 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.

Read more >>>

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.

“STAND TOGETHER FOR A WAGE INCREASE! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

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)

*STRENGTH IS IN NUMBERS. STRENGTHEN OUR UNION.
*If you have any question please feel free to contact Kalo Lopez @ 884-7713/ (619)781-7151*

Read more >>>

Congratulations to the Santa Fe County Detention Centers Medical Support Staff who voted to join AFSCME on Friday, November 22. The vote was overwhelmingly for AFSCME. Every vote cast FOR Union was a vote for AFSCME, with ZERO votes cast for a competing association, and only one vote for no union representation.

Medical support staff braved icy roads and a big New Mexico snowstorm (even on their day off) to cast their ballots Friday.

The LPNs, RNs, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants, and Pharmacy Techs were led in their efforts by an incredible, strong internal organizing committee.

“We are excited,” said organizing committee member, Jessica Narvaiz, RN. “We need strong representation and AFSCME is the union for the job. The entire campaign was quick and smooth, AFSCME was there for us when we had no place else to turn.”

Read more >>>

It’s good news for NM State Employees. State personnel office spokesperson Enrique Knell confirmed in today’s ABQ Journal front page story that the state is not waiting on a court enforcement order to begin issuing back pay checks.

Instead, Knell confirms that the delay is due to “time-consuming calculations necessary to determine the appropriate pay for each of the estimated 10,000 employees who qualify for a repayment.”

AFSCME members, please talk to your colleagues TODAY and make sure they are full union members. Your non-union member co-workers need to understand just how hard AFSCME fights to support them everyday and over the long haul.

CLICK HERE to download the membership application (PDF 126K). Sign on as a full AFSCME member to ensure you have a VOICE with all the rights and benefits that come with union membership.

The State has not committed to a specific timeframe for issuing the back-pay checks, but we’re encouraged that MATH is the sole remaining hurdle.

Read the entire Journal Story HERE.

Read more >>>

***UPDATE 11-20-2013***

The Sheriff and Local President have met and agreed on the following language below as a binding agreement.

1. BCSO will not privatize any of the Court Security Staff positions during the term of the current CBA;
2. The sheriff will restore full deputy commissions to the CSS members;
3. The sheriff will meet with Richard Sawin within a week to negotiate in good faith towards a MOU or other agreement regarding continued temporary use of deputies on sheriff’s overtime and methods for filling vacant CSS positions.
4. AFSCME will dismiss its complaint filed October 28, 2013 without prejudice.

Richard Sawin, Local President and the sheriff have met and reached agreement on continued use of sheriff's deputies to fill shifts temporarily. AFSCME has withrawn the court injunction.


Original Story: 

AFSCME Council 18 has filed for a permanent injunction to prevent the Bernalillo County Sheriff from outsourcing the jobs of sworn NM State Certified Deputies to the world’s largest and most notorious private security firms.

In violation of New Mexico law requiring Court Security Officers to be sworn deputies, and rules in the union collective bargaining agreement, Sheriff Dan Houston had moved ahead with plans to privatize the court security specialist jobs at the County District Court and Juvenile Detention Center.

“The Sheriff cannot, on his own, decide to skimp on the safety of citizens, employees, and judges who use the County Courthouse,” says Rob Trombley AFSCME Staff Representative. “There is a very good reason why the NM statute reads like it does. Our union members are required to receive the same training and maintain the same certification that New Mexico requires of it’s sworn peace officers. The public deserves no less!” 

Read more >>>

On Monday, October 28, AFSCME Members from Department of Transportation (Dist. 6) attended the State Personnel Board meeting to raise the alarm that submarket pay and wage disparity issues are resulting in low morale and costly disruptions to DOT operations across the state.

It’s a familiar story at many state agencies. While state personnel aggressively promotes higher recruitment salaries to attract new and younger workers, they’re being trained and mentored by career employees who are often paid lower hourly wages.

In the face of fewer experienced and trained personnel, management rushes to put newer recruits into rotation and, at times, onto job assignments they’re not prepared to handle unsupervised. This has resulted in unexpected costs to the department as mistakes become more common.

AFSCME Representative Joel Villareal appealed to the board to use every mechanism at their disposal to address gross wage disparity. “When you start paying new people more than the one’s who have been there through thick and thin, it starts causing serious problems.”

Read more >>>

AFSCME City Employees Cannot Be Denied Rights to Representation

The City of Albuquerque’s long standing efforts to deny AFSCME members the right to representation during investigative interviews has hit a wall in Judge Malott’s Second Judicial Court. A clear message has also been sent to Governor Martinez who has been fighting to deny this foundational union right since taking office.

Weingarten Rights, as held by the U.S. Supreme Court, say it is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act for an employer to deny an employee’s request that a union representative be present at an “investigatory interview.”

In the opinion and order, AFSCME v. City of Albuquerque Parks, Judge Malott writes that New Mexico’s Public Employee Bargaining Act [PEBA] language is derived from the National Labor Relations Act [NLRA] and, “absent cogent reasons to the contrary”, well-settled, long-standing interpretations on Weingarten Rights in the NLRA should apply to PEBA.

Its TIME to stop crying over spilt milk. The Union Members of AFSCME have won in NM’s highest court. 15,000 of New Mexico’s finest public servants must be paid back. It is time to end 5 years of wage theft, pay the fine, and write the checks.

The calculations are many, but the math is simple. AFSCME Member respectfully request you state publicly when the checks will begin to be written and mailed.

DON’T DELAY, PAY US TODAY CLICK to Edit and Send Letter
 

 As Citizens Speak Out with ‘Claims of Safety’ Berry Administration ?Shows Little Sign They’re Taking Driver Grievances Seriously

Facebook "10/6 SUNDAY PICKET" Event

CLICK for FLYER

October 1 saw yet another incident involving an inebriated and aggressive passenger aboard an ABQ Ride bus. This time, passengers and the driver were fortunate that ABQ Ride Transit Security Officers were close by and able to intervene.

With transit security officers cut by 50% in recent years and the Albuquerque Police Department also dangerously understaffed, drivers report response times during an emergency can take 20 minutes or more.

“Confrontations involving passengers can escalate to violence in a matter of minutes.” Said Phillip Torres, AFSCME Local 624 transit safety committee (ATSC) member.

A policy preventing drivers from leaving their seat to confront violent passengers has left many of them in a pickle. Drivers are supposed to be primarily concerned with the dangers outside the bus (traffic and distracted drivers) however, they take the safety of their passengers seriously. When an aggressive person boards a bus and accosts passengers, drivers are forced to choose between following policy or protecting a passenger.

Read more >>>

AFSCME Community Team (ACT) volunteer for the mobile food pantry drive for unemployed and underemployed union members, Friday, Sept. 27. We will be doing this every 4th Friday of the month through the end of this year. While there is an income guideline for this service, we encourage all of our brothers and sisters in need to come.

By Lindsey Bright
SUN Staff Writer


Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:05 AM MDT

The life of teenagers in Española Valley is spent in large part inside the walls of middle school and high school. What happens inside those walls is known mostly only to the teenagers, teachers and administrators.

There is one other person, though, who is called whenever there is a need beyond what the school can handle administratively. This is the school resource officer for the Española Police Department, Michelle Talache.

“I love my job,” Talache said. “I love going to work in the morning, and I love the kids. Most of the kids are great kids, it’s just that handful, and it’s just their behavior.” 

READ the whole story: CLICK HERE

Citizens Speak Out with ‘Claims of Safety’ as City and Labor Plan to Sit Down and Address Rise in Violent incidents directed at Bus Drivers


Invitation for PUBLIC Transit Passengers to TAKE ACTION (PDF 1MB), 
ABQ Ride should be SAFE! 

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, Mayor Richard J. Berry announced an annual transit operational cost savings of about $180,000 to taxpayers. The press release says a drop of transit related calls to the 311 Citizen Call Center through the use a next generation technologies is responsible for the cost cutting.

The 24 hours following that announcement saw a passenger stabbed aboard an ABQ Ride bus, and a spontaneous informational picket by drivers calling to “alleviate the tension between passengers and drivers,” according to Will Gutierrez, ABQ Ride Motor Coach Operator (MCO).

"Today (9/20/13) an AFSCME driver called dispatch requesting APD or Tranist Security remove an aggressive and threatening passenger from their bus." reported Elizabeth Maestes, ABQ Ride MCO, and Chair Designee of AFSCME Transit Safety Committee. Dispatch flat old told our operator, 'We cannot do that at this time'. That's a violation of our standard operating procedure and a huge safety risk." 

 Please READ ON, Click Here!

AFSCME State Union Members Closer to Receiving Back Pay

Following a meeting on August 14 with the general counsels from Governor Martinez' office as well as the StatePersonnel Office, Council 18 is "cautiously optimistic" that the reimbursement of AFSCME union members underpayment is on track.

In the meeting with Countil 18 attorney Shane Youtz, Council 18 President Patrick Gutierrez and Council 18 Executive Director Connie Derr, the State assured AFSCME (and CWA) that it had begun the complicated calculations to figure out the back pay for approximately 13,000 state employees. as well as the impact to PERA rates, and pay rates going forward.

READ Background info on Pay Plan Case HERE.

Read more >>>

 AFSCME New Mexico-Led Labor Alliance Calls on Mayor Richard J Berry to Rescind CABQ Request for Proposals to Outsource Good Family Jobs to the Lowest Payer

Mayor Berry's Administration should immediately move to rescind the Request for Proposals (RFP) to take over Land and Hardscape Maintenance of Albuquerque's International Sunport and Double Eagle Airports.

Albuquerque's City Parks and Recreation Department Aviation Division has been escalating the beauty and elegance of the Sunport Landscaping since 1983. As the gateway to our Duke City, the highly licensed, certified, career employees who maintain the landscape features cannot be replaced by Albuquerque CAO Perry's vision for a small number of minimum wage employees.

Current City Aviation Div Parks Employees maintain Federal Background Check Security Credentials. They're licensed by New Mexico's regulatory bodies to apply insecticide, safely handle fertilizer, ensure OSHA compliance on the job, and maintain federally regulated standards on Storm Water Pollution.

These are NOT the employees to replace with temporary minimum wage employees

Read more >>>

 Berry Administration Seeks Right to Decimate Collective Bargaining Rights For AFSCME Council 18 Founding Local

AFSCME members are encouraged to attend this Supreme Court Hearing on August 12, 2013.
Court begins at 9:00 a.m. (Arrive by 8 ensure you get a seat)

On one hand, Berry administration officials want to ensure that there will be NO evergreen clause in our contracts to protect employee rights when contracts expire and negotiations go long. On the other hand, the administration also fights against any push towards impasse arbitration where an impartial third party could rule on contract negotiation issues when two side struggle to reach agreement.

It's a perfect storm, putting Albuquerque's Public Servants between a rock and hard place. The Mayor seeks to extinguish fair and equitable collective bargaining by unilaterally imposing his version of the contract without any recourse from the union.

"The result of this case will ripple out and effect public employees across New Mexico and the Nation. As Public Employees, we don't have the right to strike. The Evergreen Clause and Final Binding Arbitration are powerful tools for our union that balance the power between Labor and Management. Without them, Berry will reopen a dark chapter in the fight for workers' rights," said Casey Padilla, President Local 624.

Read more >>>

Lowest Paid County Workers in NM Resort to Public Assistance to Make Ends Meat While Delivering Substantial Project Savings

When Valencia County Commissioners identified Palomas Road and Avenida Valencia for improvement, the costs to complete the work through county contractors Albuquerque Asphalt ran into the hundreds of thousands. Public works director Kelly Bouska had a better idea; Valencia County’s own blue collar employees had the skills and equipment to do the job themselves, and at a significant savings for taxpayers.

“This was an opportunity to showcase our road crew’s skills, the men and women of Valencia County public works have the expertise to do the work,” said Bouska, “and I knew we could save the county money by completing the job in house.”

Read more >>>

[UPDATE 7/16/2013]

The Court of Appeals today remanded the pay plan decision back to Judge Mallott in the State District Court. This action officially allows us the opportunity to make application to the District Court for both an enforcement order and an application for attorneys’ fees on behalf of the Union. Our counsel is already working on the applications and we will let you know when the Court takes action.

New Mexico’s Supreme Court previously ruled through an Order of Affirmance that the State Personnel Board breached the union contract by inappropriately distributing legislative appropriated funds resulting in thousands of state employees being shorted on a July 2009 negotiated wage increase. The incredibly speedy decision comes only two weeks after hearing arguments from union and state attorneys and sets the stage for union employees to receive back pay in amounts ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Read more >>>

 Two-term Governor Dave Cargo passed away earlier this week at age 84. He was a champion of workers, unions, and the little guy, and until his last years continued to be one of the best Republicans in the history of our state for standing up for workers.

He will be deeply missed by all of us. If you can, please try to attend his viewing from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Roundhouse on Thursday, July 11, and/or the funeral service at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 12.

Read More about Gov Cargo Here: Huffington Post  

 President Lee Saunders Calls On New Mexico to engage: “We’ve got to take it to the streets and embrace the old ways with more militant action”

Election of New Executive Board, Rally at Civic Plaza, ?State and National Leaders all Highlight Three Day Event 


11 year old Khrissy Reeves couldn’t imagine she would ever see a trash truck dance, but that was exactly what she and New Mexico members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees were treated to Saturday night. Khrissy is daughter of Roswell Corrections Officer Sean Reeves, a Chaplain, AFSCME steward, and newly elected executive board member of AFSCME Council 18. Earlier in the day, Khrissy led 200+ AFSCME members in the pledge of allegiance as the 2013 AFSCME-New Mexico Biennial Convention convened.

Lots of GREAT Convention Photos on FLICKR (click)

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Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, Hakim Bellamy addresses an enthralled crowd of AFSCME Union members during the Biennial Convention on June 21st at the Hotel Albuquerque

Court Prevents Martinez Administration from Sacrificing Public Safety for Minimal Budget Savings

The State of New Mexico First Judicial Court has ruled for the Union and against the Martinez Administration’s decision to remove security guards from six Human Services Department (HSD) field offices. (Read the Order Here) The Court found substantial evidence supporting a previous order of the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Board (PELRB) that security guards must be reinstated.

In 1996 an HSD income support specialist was attacked and stabbed repeatedly by a client who believed she was to blame for reducing his food stamp allotment. In response to the attack, security guards were put in place and had remained on the job at all field offices until the May 2011 move by the Martinez administration to eliminate the security at an approximate $157K annual savings.

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AFSCME is the fastest growing union in the country for a reason, results! Fighting tirelessly to protect our defined benefit pensions during legislative sessions, winning funding for raises at the roundhouse, and waging the marathon battles to protect public employee rights and benefits through grievances, court battles, and direct action.

Sign the "I'll Be There 6/21 for ABQ City Employees" form HERE

Get involved! Commit to being a troublemaker for the power merchants who can't be troubled to treat hard working New Mexicans fairly!

Download the RALLY flyer, SHARE, print it, post it!

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New Mexico’s public employment numbers and services have suffered alongside other sectors of our economy. Combining other factors, including ten years of regressive tax policy, below national average school testing results, some of the lowest graduation rates in the nation, diminished federal funding, and a drastically cut state budget, NM’s table is hardly set for an economic recovery. Read more >>>

Not an Illusion: $20 Million Dollars / 10,000 NM State Employees

Attorney Youtz laid out a simple and elegant position for the Justices and the 100+ AFSCME members crammed into a capacity NM Supreme Court Building. “Is the State bound by a legal agreement when the legislature appropriates enough money [for the raise] and breeches the contract by using that money elsewhere? For example, if the state enters into a contract to purchase, at a specific price, CAT tractors, and later decides to pay less, CAT has a legal right to hold the State to that agreement and be paid.” Read more >>>

New Mexico’s public employment numbers and services have suffered alongside other sectors of our economy. Combining other factors, including ten years of regressive tax policy, below national average school testing results, some of the lowest graduation rates in the nation, diminished federal funding, and a drastically cut state budget, NM’s table is hardly set for an economic recovery.

NM Voices for Children, Report

State of New Mexico

Negotiations with the State of New Mexico and Council 18 on a successor agreement continue to drag. The stretched-out negotiations are directly attributable to the state’s insistence on eliminating fundamental worker rights’ and ignoring years’ of fine-tuned language which benefit the state and provide a fair working environment.

The Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico is scheduled to hear oral argument in the State employee pay plan litigation on May 15, at 9:00am.  AFSCME members are encouraged to attend the one-hour hearing to listen to the State argue against employees' contractual pay increase and for the Justices to see the faces of the affected workers.

 "Right to Work" in the news lately. Turn down big$ corporate background noise, here's what the debate is really about…less freedom for workers, not more


RTW laws make it easier:

-for Corp CEO's to avoid paying benefits
-for Corps to engage in downsizing, constantly reminding those who stay that "they're lucky to have a job."
-treat the workers who make CEO success possible like numbers who are easily replaced
-destroy unions as we know them, tip the balance more in corporate favor at expense of middle class

Read more >>>

Following years of unaddressed grievances and safety concerns, City of Albuquerque Transit Officers will hold a press conference Monday describing issues leading to a unanimous vote of no confidence (VNC) against Superintendent Clarence E Decker and Lt. John F. Baker.

Transit Officers are a component of Albuquerque’s public safety system. Officers do not carry firearms, but are called upon to engage and intervene in violent confrontations on City Buses. “The work is very dangerous and stressful, but we’re part of the safety net for Albuquerque citizens,” said AFSMCE Local 1888 President and Transit Officer Judy Garcia. “Management’s flippant disregard for officer safety and refusal to run our division professionally is extremely frustrating.”

Transit Officers will hold the press conference on April 1, 2013, at 4:30 pm, directly outside Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers, basement level of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center, One Civic Plaza.

AFSCME 18 RADIO Interview w/ Local 1888 President Judy Garcia

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Hidalgo County Public Safety Employees have voted unanimously to form a union. AFSCME becomes the exclusive bargaining representative for Hidalgo County Public Safety Personnel. The March 21 secret ballot election, held at the Ena Mitchell Senior Citizen Center in Lordsburg, was run by the State of New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board.Employees gathered 90% of their co-worker’s signatures on a petition triggering the election. Local Union leaders will next request dates to sit down with County management and bargain a contract spelling out terms and conditions of employment for employees.

County Sheriff’s Deputies, Dispatchers, Detention Officers, and Corporal Detention Officers who are NOT probationary, managerial, confidential, or supervisory will be protected by that contract once it is ratified by members and adopted by the county commission.


 

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For the second time in three months, AFSCME members appeared before the State Personnel Board meeting and asked that urgent wage disparity and vacancy issues be addressed.

Following the January meeting, SPO Director Gene Moser and Labor Relations Sandy Martinez spoke amicably with AFSCME membership and set a date to meet over the issues, brainstorm solutions, and share information.

Sadly, just 48 hours before the meeting, SPO contacted AFSCME Council 18 to say the meeting was "OFF" and would not take place under any circumstances.

Reasons for calling off the meeting varied depending on what questions were posed to Mr. Moser. Reasons he echoed at today's Personnel Board Meeting; discussions of wage parity must take place at bargaining, our grievances can only be handled legislatively, or finally, there is no money in the budget to give career employees the raises that would result in pay equity with the very new hires they're training.

"SPO has never put the pay classification topic on the table during bargaining and to say otherwise, is untruthful.

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

You hear it too often in Washington, and we’re just plain sick of it.

“We have to cut programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the federal deficit.”

The truth is, our tax system is rigged with wasteful tax giveaways that benefit the richest Americans and big corporations handouts that are subsidized by cutting back on vital programs that most Americans rely on.



Sign the Petition

 


 

Thomas Griego, Hearing Officer for the Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB), writing in his recommended decision (PPC case 124-12 AFSCME v. RLD) seems to have lost patience with the Regulations and Licensing Department's "unreasonable persistence in punishing union officials" trying to do their job.

The 19 page recommended decision orders RLD to recognize AFSCME Union Steward and RLD Field Inspector, Jason Davis. The decision follows a long pattern of anti-worker conduct and bullying behavior at the department.

Listen to Interview with Jason Davis, AFSCME Steward and Electrical Inspector for New Mexico’s Regulation and Licensing Department [this month's Union Made Member Profile]


 

Read more >>>

        APD career employee and AFSCME Council 18 Executive Board Member, Patricia French has been voted the new Chair of the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) Board. Ms. French earned the trust of other PERA board members who voted she lead PERA through some of the most difficult changes in its history.

        Ms. French, on the PERA board since 2005, begins her one year term as the legislature takes up bills aimed at putting the PERA fund on track to 100% solvency by 2041. PERA board members have spent over two years working on a plan to protect the fund following a number of devastating market years which saw PERA retirement plan's unfunded liability grow significantly.

        "The plan we've sent up to the Roundhouse has been carefully thought out," said French, "the decisions we made will strengthen the fund for everyone, current and future retirees, for many years to come. You can't make eveyone happy, but this plan puts us on track to achieve sovency by 2041, protecting one of the top ten public pension systems in the country."

        PERA's plan to shore up the fund (viewed HERE) calls on all stakeholders to share in the sacrifice and protect the retirement for all.

        AFSCME Council 18 Board has endorsed the PERA Solvency Plan.

Read more >>>

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was deeply committed to community service, gave his life in service, and urged all of us to serve our communities. He said “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”

CLICK! Events commemorating Dr Martin Luther King Jr in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces.

As you all know, Dr King was assassinated while helping AFSCME Local 1733 in a struggle for basic workers rights.

AFSCME Members are called out, come and show solidarity for Dr. King's lasting legacy. 

Heavy Lifting for CYFD Investigators as SPO Contiunes to Drop Ball

AFSCME Local leaders representing Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) delivered over 100 petition signatures to the January State Personnel Board meeting. The petition called upon State Personnel to address wage disparity, retention, and recruitment issues creating serious staffing, morale, and safety concerns across state government.

CYFD Child Protective Service workers (CPS), staff at JPPO, and JPTC mentor confined and at-risk youth, find placements, and conduct home checks for high-needs children. “Staff at these sites are 100%  dedicated  and committed to assisting NM youth feel safe and valued. We mentor them in life skills and provide resources and tools necessary to steer themselves towards productive futures,” says Corina Barron-Sifuentes, President Local 3320. ?

Read more >>>

Press Release

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

“We have been in full contract negotiations with the hospital since May and it is unclear why a not for profit hospital that is financially doing well, who’s unrestricted net assets DOUBLED between the end of FY 2006 and the end of FY 2011, has 66+ days cash on hand, and plans to build a $146 million new hospital utilizing “internal resources” would not budget for a wage increase for its employees?” stated Nicola Trevisan, a social worker, and staff representative of1199NM, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, to the Board Of Regents of the University of New Mexico.

Read more >>>

 A Weekend for Union Member / Working Americans to Enjoy



In this Update:

You did it! We did it.

America re-elected President Obama and Vice President Biden—giving them added strength in the fight to create jobs and opportunity. The voters have given a mandate to protect vital programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, end tax cuts for the wealthy and strengthen the middle class.


 

During Tuesday’s interim legislative committee meeting Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) Executive Director Wayne Propst said, “PERA is a bit like a patient…in critical condition.” The question for Union PERA / ERB (Educational Retirement Board) members is, do we attach the oxygen, stabilize the heart, and get our patient breathing, or, endanger the patient’s life by standing around debating what needs to be done in order to ensure our patient will play pro-football again.

New Mexican women stand in solidarity and demand the resignation of Sheriff Houston for his disparaging remarks and illegal actions against women

      AFSCME Members working under Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston have a list of grievances a mile long. Well aware of a disdain for the labor movement, AFSCME members mount active resistance to his clandestine efforts to diminish worker’s’ rights and voices on the job. It was not a surprise when Albuquerque Journal broke a story October 11, detailing Houston’s disparaging remarks directed at women working in his department.

  The New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a decision in favor of AFSCME and CWA on an important issue affecting wages for both state bargaining units. The decision affirms previous arbitration awards and a State District Court decision in the Unions’ favor requiring the State to issue back pay checks to employees in an unknown amount, but which is estimated to be in the $5 – $10 million range. Depending on where Union employees fall within their pay band, the back pay due could rise into the thousands. Read more >>>

     Dedicated union employees working for Emergency Medical Services, Adult and Juvenile Detention Facilities in Taos County are experiencing what we refer to in the labor movement as a "runaway shop". A runaway shop is characterized as a workplace where quality of management has been corrupted and managers have fallen into a cycle where unwarranted discipline is dispensed rampantly; where management engages in systematic retaliation against employees who are perceived as questioning compromised management style....read on.

 

 "Those are the lessons we learn from labor, when there's someone in need, we step forward." Congressman Lujan shared these words while accepting an award on behalf of his father, Speaker Lujan, for his lifetime of work fighting for working people.

from the United Way of Central New Mexico September 2012 Newsletter

     The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 18 represents city, county and state workers throughout the state. In the metro area they represent the City of Albuquerque, City of Rio Rancho and Bernalillo County.

 PROJECT: The AFSCME Community Team (ACT) needs 15 volunteers to assist with serving dinner at the Albuquerque Rescue Mission.

     “Valencia County Manager Bruce Swingle is a tactical man, but he is fair and bargained with us in good faith.” Andres Nevarez, Valencia County Detention Center Officer and negotiator with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2745, share these words following ratification of their first union contract. Read more >>>

by Miles Conway, Communications Specialist for AFSCME Council 18

You would think a 77-year-old taking care of 54 million souls would show signs of weakening or slowing down. Quite the contrary, the Social Security Act of 1935 is looking strong and fit in spite of constant attacks by privileged elites who’ll never have need of the modest safety net it provides for retired Americans AND their families.

A car show in Taos on Saturday, Aug. 25, promises to be fun for everyone.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a decision Wednesday, Aug. 8, in favor of AFSCME and CWA on an important issue affecting wages for both state bargaining units. The decision affirms previous arbitration awards in the unions’ favor which require the state to issue back pay checks to employees. Read more >>>

Local 1661, which represents the men and women who serve as security specialists in the Bernalillo County Courthouse and the Juvenile Justice Center filed a complaint wth the county's Labor Relations Board, charging Sheriff Dan Houston with delaying negotiations. The Albuquerque Journal covered the complaint in a short story Aug. 4. Read more >>>

The New Mexico Department of Corrections is appealing an arbitrator's ruling to return to his job state prison employee and Local 3422 member Cayetano Trujillo. The Albuquerque Journal North covered the story. Read more >>>

In response to an AFSCME petition, Judge Valerie Huling ordered Gov. Susana Martinez to remove the names of non-exempt state employees from the state's Sunshine Portal.  The Albuquerque Journal covered that decision July 24.. Read more >>>

Fixing a wheelchair ramp, painting a home's interior, cleaning elderly residents' yard, Council 18's first AFSCME Community Team (ACT) project is set for Aug. 18. Read more >>>

The Alamogordo City Commission voted unanimously at its June 26 meeting to approve a collective bargaining agreement extension with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3818.  The extension will include a 3 percent pay hike for the coming fiscal year. Read more >>>

If state appellate judges uphold the rulings of their predecessors in a three-year-old lawsuit, New Mexico may be on the hook to pay millions—if not tens of millions—of dollars to current and former state employees. Read more >>>

2012 Local Union Leadership Training

Thanks to all those who came out to AFSCME Council 18's 2012 Local Union Leadership Training!

The Light of New Mexico recently published an op-ed by AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders that speaks out about the concerns of AFSCME members and working families here in New Mexico and across the country.

Please click the link above for the full text!

Mitt Romney: "I Love Lamp"

Times are tough for working families in New Mexico. That's why AFSCME Council 18 will be gathering school supplies throughout the state in February and March. We will then donate the collected supplies to several areas where school children are in financial need. Read more >>>

New Mexico and AFSCME Remember Dr. King!

Thanks to all those who came out to support the MLK  marches in Las Cruces and Albuquerque!! (Photos by Rob Trombley and Robert Collazo)

The Albuquerque Journal recently published a very important and timely op-ed piece written by AFSCME International Secretary-Treasurer Lee A. Saudenrs. The op-ed, published on Martin Luther King Day, discusses the shared goals and long-standing relationship between the Civil Rights movement and AFSCME here in New Mexico and across the country. Click the link above to read the full text or download a copy of the op-ed

There are two parades honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. scheduled for January 15 -- one in Albuquerque and one in Las Cruces. It is so important for AFSCME members to participate in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Annual Parade events as the civil rights and labor movements are tied together. As you all know, Dr. King was in Memphis, TN, in support of the striking sanitation workers of AFSCME Local 1733 when he was assassinated. Please click the article for all the details and to download copies of the event flyers

KOAT, KOB, KRQE, the Albuquerque Journal, KUNM and the Associated Press ALL covered our "Clean Water Jobs Coalition" press conference on Monday that brought together a wide variety of environmental, labor, and consumer groups, as well as local elected officials, in support of water infrastructure projects here in New Mexico. Click "Read more" to get links to several of the stories. Read more >>>

The Santa Fe Reporter just published another well-written story, this time about the extremely high vacancy rates and culture of employee intimidation at the Department of Health.

The story link is pasted below and you can read the full story inside this post.

Here's the link to that story:

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-6473-department-of-help.html

Read more >>>

The Santa Fe Reporter just published a well-written story that gives an update about AFSCME Council 18's state contract negotiations. The link is pasted below. Please read!

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-6457-tense-talks.html

Read more >>>

A Historic Win for Public Employees and Working Families!

Yesterday was a truly important day for public employees and working families across the country because Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to repeal Senate Bill 5—Gov. John Kasich's attack on middle-class jobs that was designed to destroy collective bargaining rights in Ohio.

For months, AFSCME members and other public employees have been working tirelessly to overturn this anti-worker bill. Our victory sends a clear message and represents a turning point in the collective work to protect good jobs and workplace rights.

We want to congratulate everyone who helped create this historic day and look forward to more victories in the future!

Bargaining unit formed at detention center in LL
Written by Julia M. Dendinger/News-Bulletin
Saturday, 05 November 2011 07:00

A new collective bargaining unit has been formed at the Valencia County Detention Center. After a quiet four-hour election Wednesday evening, the ballots were counted and the vote was unanimous.

Read more >>>

AFSCME Council 18 is speaking out against Governor Martinez's vindictive decision to cut flex time for state employees. Both the Albuquerque Journal and Channel 13 covered the story. To watch the video, click below. To read the Journal story, please click the headline above.

Gov’s Team Demands End to 25 Years of Gains for State Employees!

Don’t Let This Happen to Your Public Workers.

In the first bargaining sessions with the State, its negotiators told New Mexico’s public employee unions— the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)—to rip up all but a couple of the pages in their contracts.

Read more >>>

AFSCME Council 18 will be holding a series of town hall meetings across the state to discuss the status of the state contract negotiations. Please click on the link above to learn more!

AFSCME Council 18's Biennial Convention in Las Cruces was a smashing success! Here are some of the highlights from the event. Enjoy!

AFSCME Council 18's Maxine Velasquez speaks eloquently and forcefully about SPO's poorly-timed decision to illegally layoff 12 workers and union members at EXPO New Mexico.

 

An update from the Legislative Special Session and other news from your union.


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. 

Cayetano Trujillo, an AFSCME Council 18 Correctional Officer, speaks out against the state's attack on public employees in this Op-Ed published in the Albuquerque Journal.

 

Hundreds of community members, union allies and elected officials from across New Mexico attended a vigil in Santa Fe on July 24 in support of their brothers and sisters at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center who are fighting to win a fair contract with the hospital.


1199NM Vigil - Images by Jakob Schiller

A group of AFSMCE members, along with labor and community allies, deliverd more that 500 signatures to Gov. Susana Martinez's office on Tuesday demanding Brother Lee Ortega be reinstated after he was fired by the New Mexico Corrections Department for blowing the whistle on the department's plans to hide a serial sexual harasser.


ORTEGA PETITIONS - Images by Jakob Schiller

AFSCME members from across New Mexico joined their brothers and sisters at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center during a rally on June 24th in Santa Fe.


AFSCME Members Stand in Solidarity With Nurses at St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe - Images by Jakob Schiller

Read more >>>

The AFSCME Blog is your source for news and updates about legislative battles, success stories and struggles, upcoming conferences and conventions, and more from the national union and our members across the country. Read more at http://www.afscme.org/blog

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