AFSCME Council 18

Spring 2016 AFSCME Public Safety News


In this update:

  • Luna County Public Safety Employees ORGANIZING with AFSCME; County violates workers’ rights
  • AFSCME members fight for competitive pay funding during Legislative Session
  • AFSCME fights and wins for New Mexico's corrections, detention, and law enforcement officers to continue PERA accrual credit when injured on job (HB43)
  • Belen Police Officers’ Union Local 601 engages with city leaders, Chief resigns
  • Doña Ana County Detention Officers’ Union Local 1529 adopt Legal Defense Plan

Luna County Public Safety Employees Want to Join AFSCME!

Luna County public safety employees are organizing with AFSCME! Elections will be conducted by the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board in the very near future. Unfortunately, in response to the employees’ effort to have a voice in the workplace, the county is wasting tax-payer dollars to hire help to fight the workers. But, the anti-worker tactics by Luna County administration is having the opposite effect. The employees, who protect the citizens’ of the county day in and day out, are not  caving in to the threatening tactics and are standing tall.  Keep an eye on the  website for updates and what you can do to help.

NMCD: TAKING ACTION Makes the Difference in Disastrous Budget Year

Help is on the way for public safety officers with the NM Corrections and CYFD. On February, 29 2016 the Governor signed the budget containing raises for some of our state's most difficult to recruit and retain jobs, including corrections officers and child welfare inspectors.

A sliding scale wage increase is expected in July.

Beginning with the 7th annual Blue Breakfast and Lobby Day on January 21, and continuing with the 1st Annual Red & Green Lobby Day on February (which brought the two powerful unions of AFSCME and CWA together for one strong voice), and lobbying efforts through the end of the legislative session,  AFSCME public safety members made their voices heard this legislative session!

(pictured right to left,  Local 3422 President Lee Ortega, Local 3422 Secretary-Treasurer Charles Navarro, and Council 18 Executive Director Connie Derr, prior to an AFSCME press conference on
February 10  at the Roundhouse.)

AFSCME Public Safety members called attention to major safety concerns by delivering to legislators nearly 1,000 petition signatures, written testimonials from COs and their families, held press conferences, wrote letters and visited legislators in the effort to galvanize political will for including corrections raises in a stripped down 2017 budget.  

Listen to Dateline New Mexico radio segment - AFSCME Public Safety Press Conference, Click HERE


House Bill 43 (Rep. Rehm, R-Albuquerque) represented quality bipartisan legislating at its best. Our corrections officers, both at the state and county level, as well as AFSCME police members, will be able to continue to accrue PERA service credit and to continue health coverage if injured in the line of duty. AFSCME is proud to have supported this legislation over the last few years, and we look forward to expanding the number of job classifications covered by this law in years ahead.


22 year Albuquerque City Security Officer and Local 1888 Member, Patrick Gutierrez

Another bill, House Bill 142, which was sponsored by AFSCME friend Rep. Doreen Gallegos (D-Las Cruces), would have enhanced penalties for assaulting CYFD employees.  AFSCME vigorously supported CYFD's Department Secretary to push this bill through the House and through all its Senate committees, but it failed to receive an up-or-down vote in classic cross-chamber, cross-party crossfire on the last morning of the session. We intend to work with several departments to bring the bill up in 2017, and will work to include additional job classifications.

Belen Police  Officers’ Union Local 601 Calls on City Council to Address Issues, Chief Resigns

The Belen Police Officers’ Union Local 601 membership, led by President Adam Keck, recently called on Belen City Council and city leaders to create and execute a strategic plan of action to improve conditions within the Belen Police Department. Union members determined that they weren't getting satisfactory responses from the chief and that significant changes were necessary in order to improve quality of life in Belen.

The membership, by a unanimous vote at a March 2016 meeting, chose to send a list of concerns and suggestions for improving conditions at the Belen Police Department (BPD) which would allow officers to better patrol the community of Belen, cause jobs to be safer, and confront the unacceptable, and rising issues of violent crime and drug abuse within the city.

City Council members met Monday to consider the local's call for action. On Monday evening word reached Local 601 leadership that the Chief had resigned.

Local 601 looks forward to working more closely with the next Chief to improve  policies and address deficiencies for more effective law enforcement in Belen.

Doña Ana County Detention Officers ’ Union Local 1529  Vote to Join Legal Defense Fund

Dona Ana County Detention Officers’ Union Local 1529 voted in early February by overwhelming majority to join the PORAC Legal Defense Fund. The program provides legal representation for any civil or criminal charge against a member for an act within their scope of employment, which is defined as anything the officer is hired to do, trained to do, or paid to do. The majority of AFSCME Council 18’s public safety locals already provide this AFSCME members-only benefit.

In Unity!

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