AFSCME Council 18

AFSCME Blog

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

 

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 last night. 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 (+/- $50 million) owed to New Mexico's career public servants.

The Union Members of AFSCME have won in NM’s highest court. Over 11,000 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!

 

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


 

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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...

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 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....

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 >>>

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*

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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.

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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

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 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.

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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)

Read more >>>

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.

Read more >>>

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]


 

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        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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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