APS, Unions Reach Tentative Agreements
Unions representing teachers, secretarial/clerical staff, food service, maintenance and operations workers and custodial staff in APS have agreed on tentative contract agreements.
August 7, 2012
Albuquerque Public Schools and unions representing teachers, secretarial/clerical staff, food service, maintenance and operations workers and custodial staff in APS, have agreed on tentative contract agreements, school and union officials announced today.
APS and the unions are pleased to be able to bring this agreement before union members early in the school year so we can focus on providing the highest quality educational environments to students, said Superintendent Winston Brooks.
If approved by the unions, the tentative agreements will go to the APS Board of Education at their regular meeting on Aug. 15.
Albuquerque Teachers Federation
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation will vote on ratification this week, with voting closing at 4 p.m., Aug. 14. Informational meetings for the ATF bargaining unit will take place at 4:30 p.m., Aug. 7, 8 and 9 at the ATF office, 530 Jefferson St. NE.
“Due to another year without legislative funding for salary increases, our negotiations focused on restoring a paid professional development day for teachers; ensuring there will be no personnel cuts; and several contract provisions, such as establishing the role of school Instructional Councils in implementing the Common Core State Standards,” said ATF President Ellen Bernstein.
Brooks commended the union for working with the school district for meaningful education reform.
“I want to recognize the ATF for having the best interest of students as a top priority throughout the collective bargaining process. We’ve worked collaboratively in reform initiatives like the redesigns at Rio Grande High and Ernie Pyle Mid-School, the new Emerson Elementary Common Core magnet project, the reorganization of A. Montoya and Roosevelt into a kindergarten to 8th grade, the teacher evaluation pilot project and the implementation of Common Core State Standards across the district in kindergarten through third grade,” Brooks said.
Maintenance & Operations and Food Services
“While members received no pay raises for the fifth consecutive year, no people lost their jobs and membership remains hopeful that the Legislature and Governor Martinez will feel pressure and allocate money for school support staff raises during the term of this agreement,” said Victor Perea, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 7070, which represents maintenance and operations workers as well as school custodians.
“I want to thank the members of the negotiating team from both APS and all the unions for their hard work on the contracts,” Brooks added.
Perea echoed Brooks’ remarks. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Superintendent Brooks for assembling a negotiating team that we feel bargained in ‘good faith’ for the benefit of all our members,” Perea said.
“We’re happy to have an employer that feels many of the same pains as our membership and always works with us to solve our problems. We have some of the most dedicated employees in the district and feel that they will be served well by the contract we negotiated,” added Valentino Garcia, vice president of Local 7070 and a member of the union’s negotiating team.
Estella Madrid, president of Food Services Local 7072, said that while salary raises were not part of package this year, changes were made to the agreement which benefits all our employees. “We will continue to focus on helping our members and making sure that all students get nutritious meals so they can learn,” Madrid said.
Secretarial / Clerical
“The Albuquerque Secretarial/Clerical Association Union, Local 4127, during negotiations this year, strengthened our contract language for the benefit of our employees,” said union president Carla Montano.
“We pushed for stronger language because we cannot get a raise for our constituents and have not been able to add to our paychecks for the last three years. Secretaries, clerks and bookkeepers on the "B" salary schedule are the backbone of the schools and an important part of the educational team that benefits all students in our school system,” Montano said, adding, “We hope that with a joint effort from all the union locals and the APS Board, we can see revenue coming in from Santa Fe next year that will benefit our employees and our school community.”