AFSCME Council 18

NM Corrections Lieutenants WIN Union Recognition / PELRB Decision

 New Mexico Corrections Lieutenants have a union! 

Council 18 welcomes New Mexico Corrections Department Lieutenants to the AFSCME family. Lieutenants join over 1,500 AFSCME Public Safety Union Members in New Mexico, bargaining collectively over wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment.

In a January 23rd 2013 signed order, the Public Employee Labor Relations Board, adopted hearing officer Thomas Griego's findings of fact and conclusions of law refuting New Mexico Corrections Department's arguement that Lieutenants were supervisors and ineligible for coverage under the state's public employee bargaining act.

From the order -

"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Lieutenants employed by the Department do not meet the statutory definition of supervisors under PEBA, and are therefore not excluded from PEBA's coverage. Furthermore, the Union has shown at least 30% interest among the Lieutenants for representation. Accordingly, the Lieutenants may be appropriately accreted into the existing barganing unit and the Union's Petition shall be and is hereby GRANTED."

Union counsel successfully defended four points before the board upon NMCD's appeal of the hearing officers findings and made the case that Lieutenants should be considered front line employees in the eyes of the law and not management:

  1. Lieutenants do not devote a majority of work time to supervisory duties
  2. Because Warden's Post Orders are comprehensive in nature, Lieutenants do not utilize independent discretion to customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more people, even during their rounds
  3. Lieutenants do not have authority to hire, promote or discipline other employees or effectively recommend such actions
  4. Lieutenant's role in evaluating sergeants (Perf. Eval) comprises a peer review or occasional employee evaluation program

 Hearing of the news, AFSCME leadership are reporting a flurry of activity of Lietenants signing union cards around the state. 

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