AFSCME Council 18

Albuquerque Transit Security Go Public with Vote of No Confidence

Following years of unaddressed grievances and safety concerns, City of Albuquerque Transit Officers will hold a press conference Monday describing issues leading to a unanimous vote of no confidence (VNC) against Superintendent Clarence E Decker and Lt. John F. Baker.

Transit Officers are a component of Albuquerque’s public safety system. Officers do not carry firearms, but are called upon to engage and intervene in violent confrontations on City Buses. “The work is very dangerous and stressful, but we’re part of the safety net for Albuquerque citizens,” said AFSMCE Local 1888 President and Transit Officer Judy Garcia. “Management’s flippant disregard for officer safety and refusal to run our division professionally is extremely frustrating.”

AFSCME 18 RADIO Interview w/ Local 1888 President Judy Garcia

AFSCME Local 1888 Transit Officers unanimously voted no confidence in June ’12 but had reached out to management and requested improvements in operations one last time before going public with the vote of no confidence.

“We’re asking the City Council to form an investigatory committee with subpoena power, review recorded video testimony from previous investigations and all financials of the transit security division,” said AFSCME Staff Representative Rocky Gutierrez. “The City needs to perform a new round of interviews. Following that, we’re confidant the evidence will compel the City to replace current management and develop much needed policies.”
Management was given copies of the VNC, but waited over six months before responding in writing with follow-up questions failing to address more serious allegations.

“Sadly, Lt. Baker and Superintendent Decker chose to double down following the employees motion,” said Garcia. “We’re contending with systematic retaliation against career employees for speaking out, they’ve deliberately made matters worse in a number of ways. Over half of the Officers were placed on malicious ‘performance improvement plans‘ immediately following the vote of no confidence. This has forced the union’s hand, we’re in battle to protect Officer’s basic rights and dignity.”

The VNC calls out Lt Baker and Superintendent Decker for harassment, abuse of power, demeaning conduct and unprofessional behavior towards their employees, disregard for public safety, and punitive violations of the collective bargaining agreement. Officers allege misappropriation of public funds at the hands of Baker and Decker. The motion goes further and demands Officers are transferred out of the division should issues continue unaddressed.

“Taking a step of this magnitude is not something a work group takes lightly,” adds AFSCME Staff Representative Rocky Gutierrez. “The level to which management has failed their employees and the public is so great that we have real concern officers could be seriously injured or worse.”

Transit Officers will hold the press conference on April 1, 2013, at 4:30 pm, directly outside Vincent E. Griego Council Chambers, basement level of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center, One Civic Plaza.

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