AFSCME Council 18


In this update:
  1. AFT President Randi Weingarten and NM Senator Michael Sanchez rally union members for GOTV effort in Valencia County
  2. Opportunities to Volunteer
  3. AFSCME Endorsements

UNION Members Turn Out Big-Time
to WIN Valencia County!

Over 75 Union members representing AFSCME Locals, teacher's union members, public safety locals, and many building trades showed up in Belen last night to hear from working family champ, Senator Michael Sanchez and National President for the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten. Members then hit the road and knocked on doors to mobilize union voters across Valencia County.
"We are fighting for the heart and soul of our country, if we work hard enough we can take back the New Mexico House of Representatives, and strengthen the Senate. We have $17 billion in New Mexico's permanent fund, and a bill that would help fund early childhood education to help make sure our children are not hungry, that they end up in our universities and not our prisons. The Governor won't even allow this good bill to be heard.

The Governor's policies will never lift up New Mexico. She is spending $2 million to attack me because I've played my part in stopping the worst kind of legislation. If I'm reelected we will continue to have Labor's back because you have always had our backs. I'm never going to break and don't you doubt it! We don't simply talk about family values, we LIVE family values!"

Michael Sanchez, New Mexico Senate District 29

"We're here to walk for Michael. Why is the Governor spending as much as they can find to fight Senator Michael Sanchez? Because he takes the moral route, not the easiest route. Susana Martinez cuts and cuts and cuts, and tries to undermine anyone who tries to be a check and balance. Every single one of our beliefs rests on Senator Sanchez's shoulders, and the broader community needs to know what that means!"

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers


UNION members and retirees can earn $12/hour volunteering to help elect pro-worker state legislators, a secretary of state, and president.

or CALL 505-350-2200

Your Union endorses these candidates:



New Public Safety Locals Will Continue to Raise Bar for New Mexico

It has been a busy summer for AFSCME Council 18 organizers and the public safety workers who united to organize under the AFSCME flag, ultimately bringing strong worker rights to more than 106 public safety officers!

In a two-day election on July 25 and 26, Rio Arriba County Detention Center Officers voted 12 to 2 to join AFSCME Council 18, covering 18 detention center officers.  And on August 18, Sandoval County Detention Center officers voted 40 to 4 to join Council 18, covering 56 officers, with an additional 32 officers on probation.          

The Rio Arriba County election was conducted by the New Mexico Public Employee Relations Board (PELRB), which officially certified the election results at their  August 9 board meeting. The Sandoval County election was conducted by the County Clerk’s office, in accordance with the Sandoval County Labor Management Relations Ordinance, and was certified by its Labor Management Relations Board on August 23.      

Sandoval County Detention Officers gather following their victorious union election. (L to R) Anita Apodaca, Dora Castillo, Connie Derr - AFSCME Council 18 Executive Director, and Olga Esquibel

“Both of these elections were overwhelming wins for the officers and for AFSCME.  The results tell you that in order to make a stronger, better–run facility, public safety officers must be at the table and in the discussion.  With the extremely high vacancy rates and, in the case of Sandoval County where one-third of the officers have less than a year of experience on the job, the stability of a union contract will go along way to help with the retention and recruitment problems,” said Connie Derr, Council 18 Executive Director. “We are thrilled to welcome the public safety officers in Rio Arriba and Sandoval counties to the AFSCME family!"

Following these successful elections, AFSCME is gathering input from all of the bargaining unit-eligible officers for the first contract, which lay out all terms and conditions of employment.  

AFSCME Council 18 Senior Staff Representative Rocky Gutierrez, who has bargained more than 25 contracts for Council 18 local unions, will serve as chief spokesman for the AFSCME Rio Arriba County bargaining team.  “While County Manager Tomas Campos has publicly reported the county will spend (at least) $30,000 to fight the workers’ issues in negotiations, tax-payer dollars are better invested in its personnel and facility.”

Rio Arriba County Senior Detention Officer and AFSCME organizing committee member, Guy Jordan said that officers have been working towards this victory for 14 years.

“The County had been very skilled at disrupting our previous organizing efforts,” said Jordan, a 14 year officer for Rio Arriba County. “Commissioners and upper level managers are upset we’ve organized, and have said that our ‘union will cause nothing but problems.’ For the other officers and myself, the years-long problems of denying us overtime pay, failing to provide needed training, or avoiding the need to create vital safety policies, those are the only problems that matter and that we’ll be addressing through our union.”

Another RACDC officer and organizing committee member, Santana Bustamante, pointed to other health and safety concerns to be addressed through the bargaining process. “Staffing issues have caused the county to hold officers over for 24 hour shifts.

Read more >>>

Keeping our children safe is job #1. Your free child ID kit should help your peace of mind.

Since Labor Day, New Mexico union volunteers have completed 10,000 conversations around this election, both at union member homes and over the phone.  

With your help, we will turn out every one of New Mexico's 50,000 union voters and return the New Mexico Legislature to working family friendly hands.

Help us win this election! AFSCME members and retirees can still earn $12/hour volunteering to help elect pro-worker state legislators, a secretary of state, and president.

Tomorrow is the final day to register to vote in this important election and the FIRST day to early vote at your County Clerk's offices.

Everyone is coming out to vote in this election, and with  your help we can win!


Union Brothers and Sisters,

Gov. Martinez and the House Republicans tried to balance the budget largely by cutting workers' pay and stealing from the pension fund. Thanks to your calls, emails, and AFSCME being at the Roundhouse throughout the session, our Democratic allies in the House and a bipartisan coalition in the Senate were able to stop pay-cuts, furloughs, layoffs, and pension raids -- for now.

State agencies must now figure out how to handle nearly $190 Million in cuts to this year's operating budgets. The 60 day legislative session beginning in January will be brutal IF WE DON'T TAKE BACK THE HOUSE in November!

This has gone on long enough! Here are three things every Union member needs to do right now:

  2. Register to VOTE HERE
  3. Go VOTE EARLY for UNION endorsed candidates

Gov. Martinez and House Republicans have succeeded in hacking public service budgets straight to the bone while coddling the wealthy and large out-of state corporations. Not one solitary tax loophole was closed. The rich and powerful friends of the Governor were held harmless from paying their share during this crisis.

"JOINING as a PEOPLE member allows us to increase the political power for everyday workers and our families.

Step up to the plate if you like your job!
For the price of ONE cup of coffee a week, you'll help take back the NM House of Representatives for working New Mexicans."

- Ken Long - President Local 1211, Department of Transportation, Highway Maintainer

WE CAN pass fair taxation laws, and close ridiculous tax giveaways for the rich so that wicked and harmful cuts to public services end.

Gov. Martinez and House Republicans have bankrupted the state over the last few years, turning a healthy $300 million surplus into a $460 million deficit. Those of you working for the state or a university live through those cuts every day.

We must now brace for more cuts in 2017, because Republicans insist on not only keeping all the tax cuts they've given to rich Wall Street gamblers and out-of-state corporations, but they actually just voted to lower corporate tax rates further over the next few years.  

Most agencies will now face cuts of 5.5% to this year’s budgets. University costs are going to go up, and every last bit of reserves and unspent money is gone.

We hate saying that one party or the other is to blame, but every single Republican in both chambers voted to lower corporate tax rates during this crisis as we struggle to keep public services afloat. Democrats voted overwhelmingly to make rich out-of-state corporations pay their fair-share and help solve Gov. Martinez' mess.

Instead of Republicans giving money to rich Wall Street players and big corporations, we should be taking that money and using it to prevent crimes by investing in the work that AFSCME members do, from CYFD to police to corrections to social services to K-12 and higher education.  

To distract voters from the economic disaster Republicans have brought upon our families, Gov. Martinez will try to make this election about the death penalty.

Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, the truth is that New Mexico has only executed one person in the last 30 years and spent over $100 million on death penalty cases. As we attempt to solve this budget crisis, it is a huge distraction from the high crime and terrible economy Gov. Martinez, House Republicans, and Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry have created in New Mexico.

"I fight every day to protect and better the lives of New Mexico children whose lives have turned upside-down.

We don't have to take more cuts if we don't want to. We don't have to risk paycuts, cuts to our facility resources, or layoffs in the next fiscal year.
We cannot stand by and watch our state get driven into bankruptcy and high crime.
Join PEOPLE. GO vote on the entire House and Senate this year, and for governor in 2018."
- Ben Chavez, President Local 1536, YPO II, Intake Officer - Bernalillo County Youth Services Center

In Solidarity

The last day to register (or re-register at your new address if you've moved) is Tuesday, October 11th.  You can go to to register or re-register, but do it today, and make sure you have a plan to vote on or before November 8th.


Read more >>>

In some districts, the election can come down to a handful of votes. You have the power to make sure our UNION VOTE MATTERS!

AFSCME members and retirees can make $12/hour volunteering to help elect pro-worker state legislators, a secretary of state, and president.

AFSCME members have the VOTE power needed to shift the NM House of Representatives back into the hands of working family friendly candidates. We all know what that can translate into: properly funded public services, fair raises, protected retirement, safe staffing levels, an education system that works for New Mexicans, and the end to Governor Martinez's free-pass to mismanage our taxpayer dollars.

Everyone is coming out to vote in this election, but we can't win without your help!


Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Belen, and Las Cruces Labor programs all run on the same schedule:

Phone Banking - Monday through Thursday: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Door to Door Canvass - Saturdays meet at 9:30 for breakfast and hit the doors 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

AFSCME New Mexico Public Safety members helped to produce this documentary about the true spirit of law enforcement in America.


Local 601 President Adam Keck and Local 923 President Sammy Marquez assisted in production for the New Mexico filming, recruited community members to appear in the filming, and appear in the final production.

Proud To Protect and Serve

AFSCME Law Enforcement Documentary

AFSCME Council 18 is glad to share this film with you today in honor of National Police Week, and in memory of dedicated Peace Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 15th.

In Unity


We know that the road has been long, that change has come too slow, and that Income Support Division (ISD) staff are under unacceptable pressures to do their jobs in the face of systematic ambush.

AFSCME has send this letter to the USDA requesting they investigate the systemic failures that have gone unaddressed by the Martinez administration for too long.


CLICK here to READ about the April 28 Court case where New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty is requesting a Federal Monitor to oversee ISD. AFSCME members and ISD staff are under federal subpeona to reveal the truth of what is happening within the system.

Watch this page for updates following the Federal Court hearing.

Read more >>>

AFSCME Council 18 represents more than 15,000 public employees across New Mexico. We perform many of the state's most important jobs—from childcare providers to corrections officers—and work to make sure our rights, our families and our communities are protected. To learn more about our union and meet our members, please take a moment to watch the following video. 

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