AFSCME Council 18

Interim Update #11 (Sept. 15)

LEGISLATIVE SPECIAL SESSION

It's been a very busy September already: AFSCME is fighting for jobs at the Roundhouse, supporting an in-state preference bill that Governor Martinez vetoed last year. We need to give New Mexicans a chance to work on New Mexico projects, and all our neighboring states give their own companies and workers an in-state preference. Fortunately, it looks like it may get signed if it can get passed, but distractions such as drivers' licenses and other issues may get in the way. We're lobbying to ensure that politics stays out of what should be an easy win for New Mexico workers.

Likewise, we're supporting capital outlay, which was also killed by Governor Martinez and some of her allies who filibustered in the Senate last year. This means thousands of New Mexico jobs, which helps state and local budgets. The more the private sector can get to work, including our sisters and brothers in the building trades, the better off public employees are.

The biggest fight we have at the Roundhouse is Governor Martinez' attempt to steal $130 million from reserves and the general fund to protect a business tax break on unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is a payroll-based fund. Not only did Governor Martinez cut unemployment benefits last year, but she tried to line-item veto the necessary payroll contributions to keep the fund solvent.

Legislators took her to court, but while we wait for a decision, the governor is now trying to raid money that is meant to be used for basic public programs like K-12 education, universities, public safety, and roads, and to give us a cushion in case revenues don't rebound. On top of that, the governor's movida might possibly extend public employee paycuts of 1.75% for yet another year. This is an added insult on top of her attempts in negotiations to strip state employees of almost every gain we've made over the last 20 years (she even wants to prohibit parents using sick leave to care for a sick child--unbelievable, but true). Governor Martinez' raid on reserves and the general fund is fiscally irresponsible, reckless, and an attack on state workers, educational employees, and basic state services that citizens need.

Call Governor Martinez' office and ask her to fund unemployment thorugh payroll, not from reserves and the general fund. Her number is 505-476-2200.

ALBUQUERQUE ELECTIONS

The city council elections are less than a month away. The Central Labor Council, AFSCME, and other unions have endorsed Bill Tallman in district 4. We have a real chance to win this seat, but not unless we get to work soon. We have to get a pro-worker voice in that seat, or our Albuquerque members will continue to take pay cuts and watch as politicians' pet projects get funded instead of core city services.

We will be holding union member-to-member walks out of the AFSCME hall starting this Saturday, the dates are (but not limited to)

Saturday September 17, 10am
Saturday September 24, 10am
Saturday October 1, 10am
Sunday October 2, 3pm

We will have free food and drink and $30 gas stipend for all AFSCME members and immediate family members over the age of 16. For more information, please call Council 18 Political Coordinator Josh Anderson at 505-350-2200.

Please spread the word. See you this Saturday!

SANTA FE RALLY

Fed up with the governor attacking state employees and raiding state funds for political gain? Come to our workers' "Where are the Jobs, Susana" rally at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 17 on the East side of the Roundhouse. The more workers and friends we have, the more the rest of the state will realize how wrong the governor's priorities are.

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