AFSCME Council 18

PUBLIC SAFETY 2016 Legislative Wrap-Up

March 2016 Public Safety News

In this update:

  • Corrections wins funding for competitive pay at legislature
  • HB43 PASSES! NM Corrections, Detention, and Law Enforcement Officers will now continue to accrue PERA credit when injured on job 
  • Local 601 Belen PD engages with city leaders, Chief resigns
  • Doña Ana County votes for legal defense plan

NMCD: TAKING ACTION Makes the Difference in Disastrous Budget Year

Help is on the way for NM Corrections and CYFD. AFSCME Public Safety members can take heart today as Governor Martinez 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, and culminating with the 1st Annual Red & Green Lobby Day, AFSCME public safety members made their voices heard this legislative session.

AFSCME Public Safety members called attention to major safety concerns by delivering to legislators nearly 1,000 petition signatures and 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.  

See the Save New Mexico Corrections Petitions that helped win July 2016 Raises, CLICK HERE

Listen to Dateline New Mexico radio segment - AFSCME Public Safety PressConference, 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.

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. We were proud to partner with CYFD's 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 Department, AFSCME Local 601 Calls on City Council to Address Issues, Chief Resigns

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 felt that they weren't getting satisfactory response 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 our 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 our 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. 

The Local looks forward to working more closely with the next Chief to improve policy and the effectiveness of law enforcement in Belen.

Doña Ana County Detention Officers Vote to Join Legal Defense Fund

Detention Officers at Doña Ana County voted 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.

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