AFSCME Council 18

AFSCME Council 18 Public Safety

Here in New Mexico AFSCME Council 18 has a long, and successful record of going to bat for public safety officers. AFSCME, and AFSCME alone, passed a bill to allow Corrections Officers and local Juvenile Corrections Officers to receive a 20 year, 10 month retirement. Over the last six years, AFSCME has blocked legislative proposals to strip public safety and other members of their excellent pension rights.

We've also had an excellent track record of improving pay. Not only did we get close to 5% raises each year when the state had a balanced budget, but some of our public safety officers, including Corrections, negotiated and won supplemental pay raises at the legislature. Even in these tough economic years, many of our public safety officers have been spared furloughs, we've had no layoffs, and we've been able to ensure that the pension swap/pay cut is temporary (Governor Martinez tried to make public employees pay an extra $90 million a year permanently and we defeated her).

But it's not just in the areas of pensions and paychecks where our public safety officers benefit from being part of AFSCME. We've also negotiated safer working conditions. Corrections officers now receive stab-proof vests and won the right to use force necessary to defend themselves. State Corrections Officers are also allowed to carry OC spray (similar to tear gas)—something they were prohibited from doing until AFSCME stepped in and fought for it.

Other Wins Include:

  • Legislation that allows arbitrators to have a final say in disciplinary actions (instead of a governor-appointed board).
  • The right to drive state cars to meetings with management.
  • A real voice in shift bids.

And this is just the beginning. As we grow our numbers and strength we'll continue to have more victories to ensure that our public safety members are fairly compensated, have good health and retirement benefits, and have fair and safe working conditions every day.

 

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