AFSCME Council 18


In this update:

  • KRQE's Larry Barker Blows Lid off NMCD's Staffing Shortages
  • 2017 AFSCME Public Safety Blue Breakfast is Strongest Gathering Yet
  • New Mexico Legislature Passes "Corrections and Detention Officer Day at Capitol
  • San Miguel County Detention Center Lieutenants Fight to Join AFSCME


Larry Barker Interviews AFSCME Members: Exposes Dangerous Vacancy Levels at NMCD Facilities


watch KRQE piece

KRQE's Larry Barker showed up for the 8th Annual AFSCME Public Safety Blue Breakfast and spoke with AFSCME Corrections Officers about the dangerous conditions they face everyday

For years, it has been a central focus of AFSCME Council 18 to pressure Governor Martinez's administration to address unsafe vacancy levels inside our state prisons. Working with our legislative allies, we succeeded in raising the pay for the newer recruits in July 2016, but the experienced career officers continue to be underpaid and overworked. This has led to high turnover and continuous high vacancy levels.

On March 20, KRQE aired a "Larry Barker Investigates" piece on the crisis at the state prisons. The public airing on Governor Martinez's neglect of the system puts more pressure on her administration to find solutions.

The Heart Behind the Badge

2017 AFSCME Public Safety Blue Breakfast is Biggest and Best Yet

Around 100 AFSCME members from across New Mexico attended AFSCME Council 18's Eighth Annual Public Safety Blue Breakfast in Santa Fe, at Garrett's Desert Inn, on February 23, 2017.

Opening Ceremony at AFSCME Council 18's 2017 Public Safety Blue Breakfast. CLICK HERE to see photos from this year's event

AFSCME corrections and detention officers, emergency medical professionals, security officers, police officers, sheriff's deputies, 911 dispatchers, and probation and parole officers met to celebrate their rewarding and difficult careers, learn from one another's experiences, hear the latest information on AFSCME's battles for safety, and take political action on issues affecting public safety jobs.

"We gather here every year to build power and demand a higher level of respect for public safety careers from our Governors and legislators," said Connie Derr, Council 18 Executive Director (pictured). "Life has been tough under the Martinez administration, as well as numerous anti-worker counties throughout the state. We will continuing to organize new members into our union and deliver strong representation. If we are to keep New Mexico communities, families, and ourselves safe, then we have no other choice but to keep up the struggle."

Read more >>>

There is a dangerous resolution that jeopardizes everything from our right to organize to Medicare and Social Security that has made a last-minute push through the Senate.  We have to stop Senate Joint Resolution 12, which calls for a national constitutional convention, and we need calls and emails now.  

CLICK TO Send an Email!

Ask them to "Please oppose S.J.R. 12"

The idea of having President Trump, U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell re-writing our Constitution is beyond scary.  

Republicans are itching for a national constitutional convention, and it has to be stopped.  We don't want New Mexico to be one of the 34 states needed to convene a convention.

Please call and email Speaker Brian Egolf at 505-986-4782 and House Judiciary Chair Gail Chasey at 505-986-4411and say Please oppose S.J.R. 12.  

You can also email them and the House Judiciary Committee Dems

In Solidarity

Republican State Representative Larry Larranaga has tried for years to hand over public services to private, for-profit companies.  If he succeeds, virtually every city, county, university, and state employee in New Mexico could lose your retirement, health care, and take a big pay cut.

Make Phone Calls and Write Emails NOW! (see below for committee targets)

This year, Rep. Larranaga's bill is House Bill 275, and it's being heard in the House Transportation Committee tomorrow, Thursday, February 16.  He has all the Republican votes locked down, and since it's a 5-5 committee, that means that we need all 5 Democrats to be present and to vote "NO" on House Bill 275.

Don't let the big corporations take away your health care, retirement, and pay, just to fatten their profits.  Make the calls NOW, and ask that each of these representatives votes NO on House Bill 275.  Make the calls on your own phone and on your own time (like during lunch or a break), and be kind to the workers answering the phone.  Thanks!

Chair Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos)

Vice Chair Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D-Albuquerque)

Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup)

[NOTE: Rep. Ruiloba and Rep. Garcia have the same phone number--you can leave a message for each on the same call!]

Patricio Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque)

Harry Garcia (D-Grants)

In Solidarity!

Gov. Martinez gave her state of the state address today, and while there were some positive general statements, the overall message was a big disappointment.  
Let's first find common ground: Gov. Martinez claims she wants to find bipartisan solutions to our budget problems.  She also said good things about some of our members--mostly those who work in public safety, including those in CYFD and the Department of Corrections.
Talk is nice, and we agree that those who work for the state, who are already understaffed and underpaid, deserve our respect, thanks, and support.  While Gov. Martinez gave respect and thanks, it's on the support issue--changing talk into action--that we need to move her.
She still plans to ask for YOU--everyone reading this who works for the state or for a university, or for public schools, to take a 3.5% pay cut to balance the budget.  And nobody else.  Her budget has even MORE corporate tax cuts coming next year, and it protects loopholes for Wall Street gamblers and out-of-state corporations.



So while everyone likes a nice compliment, not many of us would take a compliment if it was backed up with "hey, now fork over $2,000--each of you and your families--to pay for Wall Street loopholes."

People who make their money in the stock market pay HALF of what you do in personal income tax.  And she's asking you to fork over thousands of dollars?  Every year?  That's not just wrong, it's hypocritical for someone who says she cares about our public safety and other workers.
The good news is that your union is already at the Roundhouse talking to both Democrats and Republicans...
Read more >>>

8th Annual Public Safety Blue Breakfast
Save The Date
Thursday, February 23, 2017

The 8th annual AFSCME New Mexico Public Safety Blue Breakfast and Lobby Day brings together our brothers and sisters from public safety to share, hear from one another and national experts on our career issues, and take action at the legislature to improve our careers.

This year's theme, "The Heart Behind the Shield"

Call Garrett's Desert Inn to reserve rooms using the AFSCME Blue Breakfast block: 505-982-1851

Message from AFSCME Council 18 Executive Director

Dear AFSCME Sisters and Brothers:

It has been two weeks since the local and national elections. New Mexico citizens voted in and, in many cases, returned strong labor candidates to office. Our state is now in a position to lift itself from the bottom of nearly every significant list.

At the national level, we can only speculate if candidate rhetoric to roll back worker rights, wages, and health and safety, to name but a few promises, will become reality. All of us hope that candidate talk is just talk. We hope leaders will use their election to better the lives of working families, strengthen communities, and value public services and the workers who dedicate their lives to providing those quality services.  However, post-election activity is signaling that this may not be the case.

Regardless how you cast your votes, AFSCME’s resolve to protect America’s workers, America's future, will not change. AFSCME never quits! AFSCME stands up and will get it on!

Council 18 volunteers turned out in record numbers to work this election: phone banking, door knocking, worksite conversations. It is this activism that made a difference in New Mexico's election and it is the same activism that will keep our union strong and our families protected.

Together we will stand up to any attempt to slash government services, de-fund programs for those in need, reverse regulations that protect the lives of workers, destabilize health programs, weaken jobs. Together we will bring more workers into our powerful union. Together we will mobilize more members on workplace issues. Together we will unite with our brothers and sisters in other unions, community organizations, faith communities, advocacy groups and others to win on the issues that impact us day in and day out. Together we will reverse the negative tone that has compromised our country and bring back civility and respect for one another.

We must not be content to just speak out on facebook, email, and other social media. We must connect face to face with our co-workers, participate in our local union, stand up for what is right, help build the fire lines that we will need to keep New Mexico and our country moving forward. And it is so important that we Involve our families because what affects us, impacts them.

Council 18 will be setting up regional town hall meetings to discuss the national implications and how we, together, will move forward with strength, pride and an unwavering commitment for our union, our voice.  We will succeed on moving our agenda forward for working families.

Are you in?

Email [] and we will contact you soon with dates for the town hall meetings, as well as the date, time and location of your local union meetings.

We are in this together, sisters and brothers. This is our future. This is our time to write the history on how we stood tall and fought for our rights.

In solidarity,

Connie Derr
Executive Director, AFSCME Council 18
AFSCME International Vice President

Keeping our children safe is job #1. Your free child ID kit should help your peace of mind.

We know that the road has been long, that change has come too slow, and that Income Support Division (ISD) staff are under unacceptable pressures to do their jobs in the face of systematic ambush.

AFSCME has send this letter to the USDA requesting they investigate the systemic failures that have gone unaddressed by the Martinez administration for too long.


CLICK here to READ about the April 28 Court case where New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty is requesting a Federal Monitor to oversee ISD. AFSCME members and ISD staff are under federal subpeona to reveal the truth of what is happening within the system.

Watch this page for updates following the Federal Court hearing.

Read more >>>

AFSCME Council 18 represents more than 15,000 public employees across New Mexico. We perform many of the state's most important jobs—from childcare providers to corrections officers—and work to make sure our rights, our families and our communities are protected. To learn more about our union and meet our members, please take a moment to watch the following video. 

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