AFSCME Council 18

Town of Taos Employees VOTE to form Union with AFSCME

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 public employees and health care workers are lifted through aggressive contract bargaining, contract enforcement and workplace and community activism."

Upcoming Organizing Elections

On July 23, in two separate elections, Emergency Medical Services' workers in Roswell and transit drivers in Grant County will be casting their ballots to join AFSCME Council 18. A vote Yes! is a vote for a bright future!

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