Updates: 2009 Back Pay Award and Rio Arriba Detention Will Receives Comp Time Payout in time for Christmas

In this Update:

  • State Pushes Back on Assisting Inquiry on back-pay still owed to hundreds of employees
  • AFSCME intervenes to secure compensation time payout for Rio Arriba Detention Officers

Many State Employees Still Owed Money from AFSCME-won 2009 Arbitration Award

The buck seems to stop...nowhere. Governor Martinez and the state agencies responsible for paying back state employees owed money from a 2009 arbitration award seem to be on track to drag out the issue for the entire eight years of the Martinez’ administration.

For the 10,000-plus current and former AFSCME members who have already received their checks, the money is spent and long forgotten. But for the hundreds of employees who have yet to see a check, the process has been agonizing. AFSCME went looking for answers, again!

Background: AFSCME Council 18 won a 2013 New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that the State of New Mexico had violated the union contract between AFSCME and the State of New Mexico by underpaying the negotiated wage increase of more than $30 million.   The ruling by the Court upheld two previous court decisions and an arbitration finding.

Early in the process, the Martinez Administration entered into a $2.3 million contract with the out-of-state accounting firm BDO USA, LLP, to complete the calculations needed to pay back approximately 10,400 state employees.

On numerous occasions since the victory for its members, AFSCME Council 18 requested updates from the State Personnel Office (SPO) on the check calculations and distribution and again on December 4, 2017. READ our request here.

SPO’s response was, again, less than respectful to state employees. SPO admitted they do not have all the information compiled. They also referred  AFSCME to an outdated SPO website, and suggested the union just call the 10,000-plus employees to verify whether the employee received their check and its accuracy. AFSCME will be requesting the legislature demand from SPO a comprehensive accounting of the back pay.

Make no mistake: AFSCME will continue to enforce the back pay award!

Rio Arriba Detention Officers Continue Fighting for their Contract - AFSCME Intervenes to secure Holiday Comp Time Payout

Rio Arriba County, First Judicial Courthouse, Tierra Amarilla, NM

The men and women who run one of New Mexico's worst managed detention facilities WILL receive their Holiday Comp-time payout, in line with a years-long past practice at the facility.

In 2016, the Rio Arriba Detention Center (RADC) administrator delayed paying out the comp time until after the new year. It was only after AFSCME intervened that payroll cut checks for the substantial amount of overtime pay which officers had accrued.

This year, AFSCME Local 1792 wasn't taking any chances. AFSCME Council 18 Staff representative Chris Armijo contacted a Rio Arriba County management representative and emphatically stated that another delay in payment would not be tolerated. The county’s representative confirmed that officers would be receiving their comp time payout on December 21, 2017.

Critical safety issues, understaffing, and uncompetitive pay have caused RADC to be operating in a consistent state-of-emergency. AFSCME Local 1792 and the County of Rio Arriba have yet to reach an agreement on a first contract. AFSCME’s priority for the dedicated officers include enforceable safety policies, appropriate staffing and improvement in the conditions at the facility in the effort to reduce turnover and improve recruitment. Currently, officers have had to work unacceptably long, 24-hour shifts.