AFSCME Council 18


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 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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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


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


PayWatch Raises Awareness about Income Inequality Read more >>>

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.



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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

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 A few minutes ago the House Appropriations and Finance Committee voted 11-6 to table the last surviving double dipping bill on the House side this session. Your calls and emails made a big difference in protecting our pension plans from upper management raiding PERA for their own gain.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Senate voted on almost a pure party line vote to allow New Mexican voters to decide whether we should raise the minimum wage and to protect the minimum wage in the constitution (Senate Joint Resolution 13). Only Sen. John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) joined the Republicans in opposing the minimum wage, so your calls to Sen. Papen, Sen. Munoz, and Sen. Griego paid off.

This weekend's action is to call and email two representatives and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Joint Resolution 13:

Dona Irwin (D-Deming) 505-986-4234

Sandra Jeff (D-Crownpoint) 505-986-4243

And please continue your prayers and thoughts for Representatives Ernie Chavez (D-Albuquerque) and Philip Archuleta (D-Las Cruces) as they try to recover in time to make critical votes affecting hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans.

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. 

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

by Olivia Sandbothe

Low-wage workers in certain federally funded jobs will see a much-needed pay increase, thanks to President Obama.

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Today, AFSCME members from all over New Mexico came to the Roundhouse to make our case: after years of sacrifice, hard-working public employees deserve a real raise!

LINK to Today's Photos - [Flickr] AFSCME New Mexico Lobby Day

We were joined in the Roundhouse Rotunda by State Senators Michael Padilla, Tim Keller, and Howie Morales as well as AFSCME's endorsed candidate for mayor of Santa Fe, Javier Gonzales.

Council 18 President Patrick Gutierrez and Executive Director Connie Derr gave rousing speeches.

Afterwards our members split into four packs to cover each and every one of the 112 legislators' offices in the Roundhouse and Annex, led by our lobby team of Patrick Gutierrez, Casey Padilla, Linda Garcia, Adam Chavarria, Barb Pardo, Eric Simon, and Benito Lujan (Mark Flournoy has also been doing great work on our lobby team but had to be out of the Roundhouse today).

The message was simple: when times were tough, we all took across-the-board cuts to balance the state budget. Now that we've had back-to-back years of major general fund revenue growth, it's time to start making up for some of those sacrifices. Governor Martinez has offered a ZERO percent across-the-board raise. Nothing. Legislators, many of whom are being told that any real raise will be vetoed, have only come forward with a 1.5% raise proposal. It's up to all of us to let them know that anything less than 3% just puts us further behind.

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We knew it was coming, it's just hard to believe it when it actually happens. Gov. Martinez is moving full steam ahead with her plan to freeze state employee pay with 2 exceptions: a small number of job titles (mostly limited to only some public safety) and small increases to be given out on the basis of who political appointees like best.

THIS IS WRONG! When state and university employees were asked to sacrifice over the last five years to balance the budget, the cuts were across-the-board. When inflation goes up at about 2% per year, the cuts to real take home pay are across-the-board. 

TAKE ACTION: Send 3 Letters 


AFSCME Lobby Day is January 28th

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!

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

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Go direct to your Legislators with the Issues Affecting REAL New Mexicans!

AFSCME green shirts will dominate the Roundhouse on Tuesday, January 28, at 9:30 a.m. in the Rotunda of the Roundhouse.  Be there to hear inspiring words from our legislative allies and make your voice heard as you and your sisters and brothers talk to legislators about the issues that are important to us!

Here is our Legislative Priority List:








READ more details here [click]


Happy New Year! We hope you had a great holiday season with your families and are rested and ready to take on the challenges of 2014.

From governor to state legislators to city and county elections to federal races, there will be plenty on our plate this year. And that's to say nothing of the legislative battles we'll face at the Roundhouse and in city council and county commission chambers all over the state.

The first big races of the year will be our municipal races (other than Albuquerque, which just finished in November). AFSCME Local 3999's PEOPLE Committee has made endorsements for the 2014 Santa Fe City Council and Mayoral races, and they are as follows:

Mayor: Javier Gonzales

District 1: Signe Lindell

District 2: Dual endorsement: Mary Louise Bonney and Rad Acton

District 3: Carmichael Dominguez

District 4: Ron Trujillo


We are in the process of setting up a member-to-member campaign, some of which will be in conjunction with the Northern New Mexico Central Labor Council. While that structure is being established, our members and retirees are still free to volunteer (no stipend available due to campaign finance laws) for Javier Gonzales' campaign for mayor:

WHAT: Kickoff canvass for Javier Gonzales for Santa Fe Mayor

WHERE: Gonzales for Mayor HQ, Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd. (across from the Indian School)

DATE: Saturday, January 4th

TIME: 10:00 a.m.

RSVP: If you know you'll make it, please RSVP to Sarah Aagard at If you decide to join us at the last minute, you're still welcome! Either way, let them know you're an AFSCME member or retiree or family member. Thanks!

 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 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.

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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.


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)

*If you have any question please feel free to contact Kalo Lopez @ 884-7713/ (619)781-7151*

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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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