AFSCME Reaches First Contracts for Three New Units
Congratulations to three new AFSCME Council 18 local unions which have just reached agreements with their respective employers on a first contract!
The three new locals are Sandoval County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1873, Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1272, with Superior Ambulance in Chaves County, and Gila Regional Medical Center Emergency Medical Service Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 360, in Grant County.
“A union contract is a game-changer for workers and their families,” said Connie Derr, AFSCME Council 18 executive director. “Stability for a workforce begins when the workplace is organized, but it takes reaching that agreement for workers to be able to count on job security, benefits, increased safety, and truly having a voice in their future.”
AFSCME is at the bargaining table now on three more first contracts: Rio Arriba County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1792, Luna County Detention Officers’ Union / AFSCME Local 2061, and Luna County Sheriffs Deputies Union / AFSCME Local 1764.
AFSCME Council 18 is committed to protecting and improving public services and the future for each and every New Mexican worker. Below are a few highlights from the three new contracts.
Superior Ambulance EMS
Superior Ambulance Emergency Medical Services Workers’ Union / AFSCME Local 1272 members (left to right) Lisa Hill - Paramedic, Miguel Silva - EMT, Brian Milstead - Paramedic, Billy Quiroz - EMT, Collin Prescott - EMT, Kevin "KP" Prescott - Paramedic.
"Nobody in our industry works just for a paycheck. Our mindset is that the community comes first, we're out here to help people. The predictability of a union contract will be better for our families and better for our careers."
Kevin Prescott, Paramedic
Superior Ambulance Services
AFSCME Local 1272 Organizing and Negotiation Committee Member
Superior Ambulance is the first private sector employer organized by AFSCME Council 18. “The organizing effort, elections, and contract negotiations were governed by the National Labor Relations Act,” said Rocky Gutierrez, Council 18 staff representative who served as chief negotiator. Highlights of the contract include better pay, shift differentials, a solid grievance and disciplinary process which includes arbitration, and health, vision, and dental insurances. The members of AFSCME Local 1272 ratified the contract on December 2.
CHECK out short video of unanimous contract ratification ballot count:
Sandoval County Detention Center
Sandoval County Detention Officers (left to right) Anita Apodaca, Dora Castillo, Connie Derr - AFSCME Council 18 Executive Director, and Officer Olga Esquibel
"The officers are excited to have finally made it this far and are looking forward to some overdue raises. We hung in there, and in my book, we've already won something very important. Things are going to change, people are standing up!"
Anita Apodaca, Detention Officer
Sandoval County Detention Center
AFSCME Local 1873 Organizing and Negotiation Committee Member
Sandoval County Detention Officers are aiming to address serious health and safety concerns at the facility as their contract comes into effect. “Highlights of the contract include a tiered compensation system, shift differentials, a solid grievance and disciplinary process, mental healthcare, vaccinations and immunizations,” said Rob Trombley, Council 18’s public safety coordinator who served as chief negotiator.
Members ratified their contract with a unanimous vote on November 8. The County commissioners are expected to approve the contract at their December 8 meeting.
Gila Regional Medical Center
Emergency Medical Services
"In the past, we lost good workers due to unwarranted management retaliation. We chose to form a union with AFSCME because we weren't going to be pushed around like that anymore. Gila Regional EMS is one of the few remaining in-house operations left in the country. Our EMTs and Paramedics have a tight relationship with hospital staff. We think it is something special that is worth protecting. That's why we went union!"
Lynn Myers, EMT
Gila Regional Medical Center EMS
AFSCME Local 360 Organizing and Negotiation Committee Member
“Although negotiations on their first contract took longer than expected, the negotiating team members did not find the process adversarial,” said Steve Griego, Council 18 staff representative who served as chief negotiator. “Everyone was pulling in the same direction the entire time.” The final agreement goes to the membership for a ratification vote next week.
Highlights of the agreement include an improved leave policy, paid and unpaid educational leave, a labor-management committee, good health and safety language, annual increases in pay, and shift differentials.