November 2016 Newsletter

Election Recap: You Win Some, You Lose Some

from Jon Hendry, NMFL President

Solid blue New MexicoAlong with the shock of the Republicans winning the U.S. Presidency, Senate, House, and presumably the Supreme Court, there was some good news. Despite losing two really good friends and allies in the Senate, we in New Mexico increased our pro-worker majority in the Senate and also flipped the House from Republican to Democrat.

We identified many of the winning candidates early and worked with them to overcome a national Republican tide. In fact, as we analyze the results, it looks like New Mexico was the only state successful in pushing back against anti-worker legislation and legislators. Electing a Secretary of State who will make it easier to participate in the electoral process is another big deal.

THIS WAS YOU. YOU WON. We may have lost on a national level, but we won right here, right now, and that's to your credit.

Public Forum: Hospital Healthcare in Santa Fe

Hospital and Healthcare in Santa Fe—public forum
When: Saturday, December 3, 2 to 4 pm
Where: Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe
Send questions, concerns and comments to: [email protected] or text them to (505) 204-5469. Questions and comments can also be made live at the forum.

There will be a panel discussion on questions from participants, including concerns regarding hospital healthcare, what people want a hospital to be, and how our hospital can be improved. These issues will be addressed at the next Hospital and Healthcare Study Group and in a written report to the Santa Fe City Council. Childcare will be provided for ages 2 – 8. Sponsors for the event include:

sponsors of event

Health Security for New Mexicans Strategy Meeting

Statewide post-election legislative strategy meeting—the Health Security Act will be introduced in the 2017 legislative session, which starts on January 17 and runs through March 18.
Saturday, November 19, from 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 114 Carlisle Blvd. SE, Albuquerque
For more info: email [email protected].

Please RSVP to [email protected] ASAP. For lunch orders, RSVP no later than 12 pm on Wednesday, November 16.

Box lunch options: turkey, roast beef, ham, or veggie-provolone sandwich, on your choice of sourdough, rye, or multi-grain bread, with a side of vegan coleslaw and two cookies OR a chef's salad with choice of ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, or Caesar dressing. Salad comes with two cookies.

AFL-CIO Community Services Volunteers Needed

Tax Help NM is recruiting volunteers who are interested in preparing tax returns for low income New Mexicans.  

Last year the program had the following results:
Total refunds—$23,352,733
Total returns prepared—$34,424
Preparation fees saved—$5,073,110

As a volunteer, you will interact with people who need help preparing their tax returns at no cost to them. We need volunteers to serve as tax preparers and greeters. We have over 30 sites to choose from around the state. Free training takes place in December and January on the main campus of Central NM Community College in Albuquerque.

If you are interested in volunteering as a tax preparer or a greeter, please contact Mike Swisher, [email protected] (505-245-1720), or Jeffrey Ledbetter, [email protected] (505-247-3671).  

Click HERE for more information.

City of Belen Blue Collar Employees VOTE AFSCME

from AFSCME Council 18

 Paul Dominguez, Henry Jaramillo, Kenneth Reese, Robert Chavira, Rex ChaneyCongratulations to City of Belen blue collar employees who organized and voted overwhelmingly to form a union with AFSCME on July 28, 2016. The secret ballot election was conducted and supervised by Belen’s Labor Management Relations Board at the public library.

Despite intimidation tactics employed by upper management, who talked down the union and distributed misleading anti-union “fact” sheets, the organizing committee held strong and maintained good communication with 17-plus bargaining unit employees.

Click HERE for full article.

Scenes from NM ARA's GOTV Rally

from Elva Santos, NM ARA 1st Vice-President

Check out these photos taken at New Mexico ARA's 2016 GOTV Rally, on November 5.

In attendance were Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, as well as candidates Michael Vigil (State Supreme Court), Julie Vargas (Appeals Court), Linda Stover (County Clerk), Joy Garratt (SD23), and Ronnie Martinez (HD29).

Many labor members attended the rally at the home of Elva and John Santos, representing CWA, IAM, AFSCME, AFT, UAW, LIUNA, AFD, and also the West Side Democrats. After a nice lunch, everyone left to canvass in their respective districts.

Heat’s On  

from Mike Swisher

Heat's On is joint program with United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 412. They service furnaces, winterize swamp coolers, and install smoke alarms for low-income seniors at no cost. This year 60 volunteers serviced 116 homes on October 22.

Journeymen and apprentices from Local 412 met at the union hall and split into two-person teams. They received a package of three to four homes. The package included a work order and map for each client. In addition, filter material, smoke alarms, batteries and miscellaneous parts were given to each crew.  

A typical visit went as follows:

  • Inspect the furnace
  • Install new filter
  • Perform minor repairs as needed (new thermostat, thermal couple, etc)
  • Install two smoke alarms or change out batteries
  • Winterize swamp cooler

We work in partnership with:
Office of Senior Affairs—they identify the clients and certify the eligibility
Red Cross—provides the smoke alarms
Various Mechanical Contractor Association members (B & D Electric, Yearout Plumbing, JB Henderson, Miller Bonded, etc.)

Advocates Speak Out Against Administration's New MVD Regulations

On October 18, more than 100 civil rights, domestic violence, and homeless advocates spoke out against the administration's proposed driver's license law regulations during the first and only hearing in Santa Fe.

Earlier this year the NM Legislature approved House Bill 99, which created a two-tier driver's license system—one that meets all the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act and an alternative license known as the Driver's Authorization Card, or DAC, that would be available to everyone. HB 99 also created a two-tier system of state identification cards.

In September the NM MVD issued proposed regulations that would unnecessarily require that all New Mexicans who have a social security number and want a non-federal ID or drivers' license must physically produce documents containing an identity number—a social security card, an employment or tax document. These are documents that many New Mexicans simply don't have. Click HERE to read the proposed regulations.

"Why is MVD seeking to implement new regulations that would make it hard, if not impossible, for many of New Mexico's most vulnerable people—the homeless, elderly, and unemployed—from getting that alternative license or ID card?" said Marcela Diaz Executive Director for Somos Un Pueblo Unido. "It's senseless and it's unsafe for New Mexico." Click HERE to read comments submitted by Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

Teachers' Evaluation Lawsuit Update—Court Date Set

from AFT NM

[On October 25] both AFT NM/ATF and PED returned to court to address the ongoing legal battle against the PED evaluation system. Our lawyer proposed that we set a court date ASAP. The PED requested a date for next fall, citing their busy schedule as the reason. As a result, the court date is now late October 2017. While we are relieved to have a final court date set, we are dismayed at the amount of time that our teachers have to wait for the final ruling.

ATF President Ellen Bernstein reflected on the current state of our teachers in regards to the evaluation system: “Even though they know they can’t be harmed in their jobs right now, it bothers them in the core of their being, and nothing I can say can take that away… It’s a cloud over everybody.”

AFT NM President Stephanie Ly said: “It is a shame our educators still don’t have a legitimate evaluation system. The PED’s previous abusive evaluation system was thankfully halted through an injunction by the New Mexico courts, and the PED has yet to create an evaluation system that uniformly and fairly evaluates educators, and have shown no signs to remedy this situation. The PED’s actions are beyond the pale, and it is simply unjust.”

Women in Unions Are Closer to Equal Pay Than Women Who Aren’t

by Dayna Evans for New York Magazine

This morning [October 20], a new study was released by the Economic Policy Institute that detailed new findings about the gender pay gap. The research was done in an effort to disprove the surprising number of people who don’t actually believe that the gender pay gap is real. (It’s real.) The authors of the report write that a “typical, or median” woman working full-time gets 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes. This is why they say there can be variables to that number.

However, the adjusted gender wage gap really only narrows the analysis to the potential role of gender discrimination along one dimension: to differential pay for equivalent work.
Click HERE for full article.

MONTHLY REMINDER: Mobile Food Pantry, November 18

What: Labor Mobile Food Pantry
When: Friday, November 18, 11 am to 1 pm (volunteers, please come at 10 am)
Where: Cesar Chavez Community Center, 7505 Kathryn Ave. SE, Albuquerque [NOTE: this will be the food pantry's permanent location going forward]
Who: Organized by Central New Mexico Labor Council
For more info: Contact Mike Swisher at [email protected]

Got union news ?
Submit it to [email protected].