AFSCME New Mexico WORKS - Newsletter Oct 2014

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Here is the AFSCME New Mexico Newsletter for October 2014 Inside: * The Battle For 
New Mexico’s Future We’re not backing down this election * ATTACKING LABOR IS BIG BUSINESS IN NEW MEXICO * Grant County: AFSCME Local 2516: 
On the Move! * BACK PAY ! * AFSCME STRONGER in 2014! ORGANIZING Victories * VOTER Guide
  NEW MEXICO WORKS  AFSCME Council 18  THE BATTLE FOR NEW MEXICO’S FUTURE  WE’RE NOT BACKING DOWN THIS ELECTION Standing for workers’ rights, job safety, fair wages, benefits, dignity, and respect,  Labor’s opposition call this “political games” - So AFSCME better play for keeps!  The 2014 election is just around the corner and we have many crucial seats at stake. Not only do we have AFSCME-endorsed Gary King up against Susana Martinez but we also have the entire state house, five statewide seats, including Attorney General and Secretary of State, United States Senate, Congressional Districts 1, 2, and 3, and many county offices up for grabs. This election is not just about the candidates. This election is about collective bargaining and having fair contracts that include decent wages, benefits, and working conditions. This election is about our families’ healthcare plans and making sure we get the coverage we need at an affordable price.  This election is about retirement security ensuring every one of us can retire with dignity and not worry about paying the bills. Take a look at the City of Albuquerque. Mayor Berry has imposed a contract on Locals 624, 1888, and 2962. John Martinez, who many of you know, has dragged out negotiations for 4 years  while receiving more than $400,000 in contracts from the city. By imposing this agreement, city employees have lost union time to handle employee / employer disputes, city employees have lost promotion rights, and the city is now able to discipline at any time for any reason, even if it is months or years after an incident.  As tough as this sounds, we are not backing down this election. We are calling members every night Monday –  Thursday from 4pm – 8pm and we are knocking on doors every Saturday and Sunday. A $12/hr stipend is available for members to go volunteer at one of three LABOR 2014 offices. **SEE PAGE 3 New Mexico taxpayers pick up the bill  when public employers opt to hire for-profit consultants to negotiate labor agreements instead of utilizing their human resource departments traditionally tasked with the job, and cost is no object.HR departments have an incentive to reach collective bargaining agreements  with unions; getting employees back to  work happy, with the knowledge of their terms, conditions, and benefits of employment.For-profit consultants, now in vogue from  Taos to Hidalgo County, have no motivation to conclude negotiations.  While politicians and top level management argue taxpayers are getting a good value for their money, the facts don’t back it up. The longer negotiations drag out, the higher consultant billable hours stack up.  That is a disincentive to reach agreement.Management Associates Inc., by far the most popular management consultant firm operating in New Mexico, has contracts for labor management work  with state, counties, municipal governments and school boards across the State. AFSCME members have been attending  Albuquerque City Council meetings to demonstrate their frustration with Management Associates’ and the  Administration’s handling of the collective bargaining process.  The City Council passed a no-confidence  vote with Management Associates Inc. 6-3 at their September 3 meeting.  ATTACKING LABOR IS BIG BUSINESS IN NEW    MEXICO  AFSCME Members are turning the tide, working to end the waste of tax dollars  and the infringement on workers’  rights! Recently, AFSCME ABQ locals won a City Council vote of NO CONFIDENCE on the high-paid, for- profit mangement consultants,  Management Associates Inc. cont. pg 4  Representing the Grant County Sheriff's Department, Detention Center, blue and  white collar county employees, and   most recently, the Regional Dispatch Authority, Local 2516 members have waged and won battles for raises, back pay, and representation rights this year.County employees have secured their negotiated raises and cost of living increases thanks to persistent work by membership and a supportive county commission. Earlier in 2013, county commissioners approved a negotiated agreement that included a 2014 cost of living adjustment of 1% for most county employees. The contract also included earlier raises of 2.5% for county workers.Sheriff’s office employees received an additional .5% cost of living increase over the same period. Even though extra money didn’t seem to be there for blue and white collar employees during negotiations, Local 2516 leadership never gave up and continued to work with the county commissioners to secure an extra .5% cost of living raise to make overall raises comparable with those negotiated for sheriff’s office employees.County commissioners, at their August 14, 2014 meeting, funded an additional .5% cost of living wage increase for county employees moving forward.Even as Local 2516 was filing grievances and prohibited practice complaints, they maintained a healthy dialogue with allies on the county commission. The result; management felt the pressure politically  AND legally, and members saw a speedy resolution to the disputes. PAY BACK! Nearly six years later, AFSCME continues to fight for straight answers from the state who seemingly is doing everything they can to make the back pay process as difficult as possible. Back-pay checks are being delivered to hard  working NM State Employees who stuck it out and kept public services running through these difficult  years. Pictured below is Brenda  Watson, recording secretary for Local 477 from Dept. of Cultural  Affairs. Sister Watson was one of many activists who dogged former State Personnel Director Gene Moser all over the state, from legislative finance meetings to state personnel board meetings, and kept the state's feet to the fire so that THIS day could come!Checks will continue to be distributed through October via mail and hand delivery to current and former NM State  AFSCME Union Employees. Please work with your agency HR if you have questions on delivery or accuracy of your checks. AFSCME continues its  vigilance and legal action to make sure every current and former state employee receives the exact amount in back wages that they are due.  AFSCME Members, Grant County community, and labor activists from across the country gathered at the 1950‘s Empire Mine Strike Site in March ’14 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the seminal labor film Salt of the Earth . On hand were Rachel  Valencia, a striking women who was run down by a scab vehicle; Juana Moreno Sierra, who stood up to the Sheriff in 1950, and Guillermo ‘Willie’ Andazola, who threw rocks at the scabs during the strike (with mother’s permission)  AFSCME STRONGER in 2014! Organizing Victories include the Santa Fe County Detention Facility (Officers, Medical, and Support Staff), Corre Camino, Grant County Regional Transit Services, the Town of  Taos blue and white collar employees, and emergency medical services workers, including Gila Regional EMS and Superior Ambulance.  AFSCME New Mexico members are first on the scene  when you need them and serving the public trust. Grant County:  AFSCME Local 2516: On the Move!  NM State House by District (D):    Vote Tuesday Nov 4 // Polls open 7am-7pmEarly VOTE Begins October 18 State  Attorney General  - Hector Balderas Secretary of State  - Maggie Toulouse Oliver Treasurer  - Tim Eichenberg  Auditor  - Tim Keller  Land Commissioner  - Ray Powell   VOTER GUIDE  take into voting booth  Federal  U.S. Senate  - Tom Udall Congressional District 1  (ABQ area)Michelle Lujan Grisham Congressional District 2  (Southern) Roxanne “Rocky” Lara Congressional District 3  (Northern) Ben Ray Lujan County  Bernalillo Co. Commission D1  - Debbie O’Malley  Bernalillo Co. Sheriff   - Manny Gonzales  Dona Ana Co. Commission D1  - Billy Garrett  Dona Ana Co. Commission D3  - Beth Bardwell  Dona Ana Co. Sheriff   - Kiki Vigil  District Judge  - Joshua Sanchez ! Gary King for Governor & Debra Haaland for Lt. Governor   ! D4: Harrison Todacheene  ! D15: Emily Kane ! D25: Christine Trujillo  ! D38: Terry Fortenberry ! D5: Doreen Wonda Johnson  ! D16: Moe Maestas  ! D26: Georgene Louis  ! D39: Rudy Martinez ! D7:   Teresa Smith de Cherif   ! D20: Josh Anderson  ! D30: Bob Coffey  ! D40: Nick Salazar ! D8: Frank Otero  ! D22: John Wallace  ! D33: Bill McCamley  ! D43: Stephanie Garcia Richard ! D10: Andres Romero  ! D23: Catherine Begaye  ! D36: Phillip Archuleta  ! D50: Matthew McQueen ! D14: Miguel Garcia  ! D24 Liz Thomson  ! D37: Joanne Ferrary  ! D53: MariaElena Johnson   Right-to-Work for LessFewer Jobs & Lower WagesOutsourced JobsAt-Will EmploymentBonuses for CroniesAttacks on RetirementPublic Employee Bargaining ActRetirement Security Health Benefits Just Cause Protections Job Security Workplace Justice! Let your voice be heard!    VOTE    Tuesday, NOVEMBER 4 for your endorsed candidates. Otherwise, imagine what New Mexico could look like if our House of Re   presentatives is taken over by anti-worker legislators?   Although the city council appropriated 6% in wage increases over the past four years, many employees have not seen those raises. For raises to go into effect, a contract agreement must be reached. Each year, negotiations between  AFSCME locals and the city have ended in impasse. Typically, when impasse is reached because the parties are unable to reach agreement, an arbitrator is brought in to settle the contract. Once rare, impasse arbitration is more common where employers hire Management Associates.In four years, City of Albuquerque has refused to take the contract impasse to arbitration. Instead, the city has chosen to start negotiations from scratch each year.  That has left employees without raises, previous year’s labor issues unresolved, and the city racking up more than $420,000 in consultation fees.  The city’s idea of bargaining from a blank sheet of paper disregards decades worth of good language benefitting the employer, citizens, and the employees.Over this period, AFSCME has won over a dozen arbitrations resulting from the city’s misapplication of labor law and collective bargaining rights. “Factoring in cost of litigation and arbitrations resulting from unprecedented  years of impasse and attacks on labor, it has been more costly for the city to fight  with their working class employees than it  would have been to reach a compromise,” said Rocky Gutierrez, AFSCME staff representative and lead negotiator for the  AFSCME city unions. “By targeting so many of the workers’ fundamental rights that we’ve fought to maintain for 44 years, Management Associates is backing employees up against a wall, and then saying, ‘meet us halfway.’”  AFSCME is asking the Albuquerque City Council to end the lucrative stalemate and compel the Berry administration to move into the arbitration phase by changing the city’s labor-management relations ordinance to mandate binding arbitration. Across the state, the narrative reads the same; Management Associates sits down  with unions only to proposes contract language that unions find unacceptable and irreparably harms workers. Management Associates rarely backs off of their srcinal contract proposals and, as a result, negotiations fail to progress.Using for-profit consultants is fruitless by design for every party other than the consultants and politicians opposed to labor. The consultants enrich themselves and politicians advance an anti-worker ideology. It’s all on the taxpayer’s dime.  The collateral damage is working-class New Mexicans suffer by seeing workplace rights diminish as paychecks shrink.  THE BIG BUSINESS OF ATTACKING LABOR BIG BUSINESS AFSCME 18 - Web ACTIVE!  Visit the WEBPAGE to read about recent news and upcoming events. EMAIL:   to make certain you are on the email lists to receive important action items. Join the conversation on social media @AFSCME18 cont. from pg 1 NEW MEXICO WORKS AFSCME Council 18 New Mexico 1202 Pennsylvania St NE Albuquerque NM 87110505-266-2505505-266-2404 fax
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