AFSCME Council 18

Joint Statement on Berry's Vision to Outsource The Sunport 14

 AFSCME New Mexico-Led Labor Alliance Calls on Mayor Richard J Berry to Rescind CABQ Request for Proposals to Outsource Good Family Jobs to the Lowest Payer

Mayor Berry's Administration should immediately move to rescind the Request for Proposals (RFP) to take over Land and Hardscape Maintenance of Albuquerque's International Sunport and Double Eagle Airports.

Albuquerque's City Parks and Recreation Department Aviation Division has been escalating the beauty and elegance of the Sunport Landscaping since 1983. As the gateway to our Duke City, the highly licensed, certified, career employees who maintain the landscape features cannot be replaced by Albuquerque CAO Perry's vision for a small number of minimum wage employees.

Current City Aviation Div Parks Employees maintain Federal Background Check Security Credentials. They're licensed by New Mexico's regulatory bodies to apply insecticide, safely handle fertilizer, ensure OSHA compliance on the job, and maintain federally regulated standards on Storm Water Pollution.

These are NOT the employees to replace with temporary minimum wage employees, but Mayor Berry's Administration made their intentions clear during an August 9 2013 Labor Management informational meeting on the impact of the RFP.

“This is America, and we have something called the minimum wage," was the statement of ABQ Chief Administrative Officer Perry when asked by AFSCME how the city intended to ensure that potentially outsourced jobs would be good jobs with fair pay, benefits, and adequate training for qualified staff.

Perry went on to state that,"beyond complying with those minimum wage standards, the city has no stake in dictating how those jobs should be long as the work gets done."

The administration has not yet consulted with its own Parks and Rec Dept. to troubleshoot tightening the budget. Neither has the Berry Administration begun to scratch the surface and quantify all the benefits and cost savings to aviation operations that city public works brings to the table.

Thanks to being a part of ABQ Public City Works many services come pro-bono to aviation operations. These include snow removal, heavy hauling, weather event clean-up, access to publicly run plant nurseries, industrial irrigation equipment at immense cost savings, and significant investment in certification training for the operation of heavy equipment and to maintain OSHA standards.

Whatever the bid, a high ranking city official who asked to remain anonymous admitted, the only apparent savings to the city will be brutal cuts to labor costs in the form of manpower and compensation.

Adding the infamous "unexpected costs" will quickly dwarf labor cost savings as a private contractor shops the market and price-hikes costs for irrigation equipment, materials, plants, heavy hauling, machinery, and endless certification training costs. If the bid is awarded to a for-profit business, they'll constantly contend with the high turnover accompanying Perry's vision for a few "American Minimum Wage" jobs.

Mayor Richard J. Berry should sit down with his Directors to understand the true value and cost savings of keeping the Sunport and Double Eagle Airports in the hands of the public. If costs are truly the motivation, then he should first explore practical and just options to trim aviation's maintenance budget.

Casey Padilla, President
AFSCME Local 624

Connie Derr, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 18

Jon Hendry, President
New Mexico Federation of Labor

Chelsea Evans, Director
Working America NM

Stephanie Lopez, President
Albuquerque Police Officers Association

Rachel LaZar
El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos

Matt Henderson, Executive Director
Olé, Organizers in the Land of Enchantment

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