Union Training: Stronger Together

Organized labor fights for a better life for all people. We protect and promote public education as the foundation of our democracy; wealthy political donors and corporate interests see that as a threat. Together, we are strong. Attend this training and learn how we can become stronger. RSVP here!


ATF Members: Protest Detentions in Tornillo

Dear members,

Many of us have been watching the news in horror as we witness inhumane immigration policies and child internment camps at the border. Trump's latest executive order was merely a publicity stunt that "reunited families" while still holding them in internment camps.

Let's be clear: holding children in cages separate from their families is no different than putting families in cages together.
To make matters worse, now that the executive order is signed, these families can be held for an indefinite amount of time.

But to be outraged isn't enough. It’s time to act.

Join our union family as we travel to the Tornillo Detention Center near El Paso, Texas where we'll meet up with our AFT National President, Randi Weingarten and Dreamers from United We Dream.

Together, we will participate in two actions:

AFT Rally and Delivery of Books, Clothing
and Supplies to Children in Tent Cities
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
11:00am
U.S. District Court, El Paso, TX
525 Magoffin Ave.
(Click here for a flyer)

United We Dream Action
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
12:00pm
Tornillo Detention Center
1400 Lower Island Rd. Tornillo, TX

 

If you can join us, here is some important information:

  • ATF members will leave Albuquerque together at 5am on Tuesday the 26th. The caravan will leave from the ATF office (530 Jefferson NE).
  • We will arrive in El Paso at about 11am to participate in the ATF Action of delivering books, clothing and supplies to children in tent cities.
  • Then, we will join the United We Dream action on the 27th and return to Albuquerque late in the evening.
  • ATF members able to join us will be responsible for their own costs for transportation, food and lodging on the night of the 26th. Depending on how many people sign up, it is likely we will carpool, share hotel rooms and split bills.

If you are interested in traveling with ATF to participate in these actions, click here to register.


For organizational purposes, the deadline to register is Sunday, June 24 by noon.

In solidarity,

Team ATF


ATF/APS New Teacher Orientation

The APS/ATF New Teacher Orientation (NTO) is a collaborative effort between APS and our union, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation. It seeks to change the culture of loneliness and isolation for incoming educators. For ten years, NTO has provided classroom supplies, Professional Development meant to help you during your first weeks on the job, and a community of educators (your union!) to help support and foster growth as you enter the profession we all hold dear to our hearts.

The NTO has grown throughout the years, thanks to our dedicated ATF members and ATF leadership. Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of school supplies are passed along from retiring educator to new teacher, thanks to the “Educators’ Emporium”, brainchild of ATF President Ellen Bernstein. Each year, more and more ATF member-volunteers step up to welcome our newest colleagues. And, each year, ATF is able to help our educators start off on the right foot, with whole class sets of books, school and art supplies, helpful tips and tools for success in our classrooms and within our Support and Related positions, and a promise of solidarity from our ATF union member colleagues.

 

Sign up for the 2018-2019 New Teacher Orientation
Thurs. August 2nd, 2018
8am-12:30pm
Sandia High School

New Elementary Educators, Sign up Here

New Secondary Educators, Sign up Here

(Support and related service providers are encouraged to sign up for the S&RSP class and "Know Your Rights in APS")


APS & ATF Reach Salary Agreement for 2018-2019

May 21, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

When we started negotiations just one month ago, our first priority was to work out an agreement with APS on salary increases. Our goal was to ensure that the highest amount of money went to the greatest number of people in our bargaining unit. Our work at the negotiating table was driven by a commitment to provide timely information about your raise before the school year ended. After years of shortages and uncertainty, you deserved this communication to better plan your family’s budget.

Through a very focused and collaborative negotiations process, we are pleased to announce a tentative salary agreement—even before the conclusion of our negotiations.

For the first time in four years, we had funding and flexibility as building blocks on which to craft a raise. Although the legislature appropriated different increases for different employee role groups, we worked to surpass the percentages appropriated by the legislature* and provide a minimum of a 3% salary increase in the 2018-19 school year for every employee covered by the ATF/APS Negotiated Agreement.

The averaging language in the state budget allowed us to include counselors, nurses, social workers and therapists in the new 3-Tier salary minimums. In addition, we were able to fix some issues with the salary matrix for Educational Diagnosticians, Transition Specialists and School Psychologists.

Every employee represented by the ATF will receive at least a 3% salary increase. Raises for some will be as much as 5.8%.

Negotiations on contract language will continue. We are optimistic that we will conclude by the end of the month. Full details of the tentative agreement will be revealed at the conclusion. Both the employees and the Board of Education must ratify the tentative salary agreement and contract language changes before they are final.

Note: *The Legislature appropriated monies for raises in the following manner:

  • Teacher minimums were increased by $2,000 for each of the three tiers. With this increase, teachers with fewer years of experience (near the beginning of their respective tiers) will have an increase of approximately 5.8% in Tier 1, 4.8% in Tier 2, and 3.8% in Tier 3.
  • Experienced teachers who would not benefit from the increase in the minimums were allocated an average of a 2.5% raise.
  • Classroom teachers were allocated a higher raise than educators in other role groups such as counselors, nurses and therapists. These Support & Related Service personnel were allocated enough money by the Legislature to receive a 2% raise.

Details:

We’re happy to announce that APS and ATF came to an agreement on salaries, which includes raises that your union negotiated which are more than what the New Mexico Legislature appropriated. In addition, our union stood strong for all of our members, making sure that Support & Related Services Providers received raises commensurate to those of teachers, despite the fact that the Legislature appropriated less money for counselors, social workers, diagnosticians, OT’s, PT’s, SLP’s and nurses.

Due to the hard work of the ATF Negotiating Team and our dues paying members, everyone we represent will see a raise of at least 3%.

 

How to calculate your percentage raise:

Click on the appropriate 2018-2019 Salary Matrix for your licensure level/role group to determine your new rate of pay:

Level 1- Teacher, Librarian, Nurses, Counselors, Social Worker, Interpreters Matrix
Level 2- Teacher, Librarians, Nurses, Counselors, Social Worker, Interpreters Matrix
Level 3- Teacher, Librarians, Nurses, Counselors, Social Worker, Interpreters Matrix
Diagnostician, Transition Specialist, Psychologist Matrix
Audiologists, Mobility, SLP, PT, OT Matrix
90% - COTAs, PTAs and Others Matrix

  • Take your 2018-2019 base pay. (Do not include any differentials or extended contracts.)
  • Determine the difference between your new rate of pay and this year’s base salary.
  • Remember that your placement on the 2018-2019 salary matrix will be one step higher to reflect an additional year of experience.
  • Divide that number by your current base salary.For example, I currently earn $42,009 in base pay. (Level 2, B.A., Step 10)
    The 2018-2019 matrix says I will earn $44,010. (Level 2, B.A., Step 11)
    That’s a difference of $2,001. $2,001 ÷ $42,009= .0476
    This means I get a 4.76% raise.

Here are a few examples:

Level 1 Examples

  • In 2017-18, a Level I licensed employee with 2 years of experience (i.e., on step 3) and a BA made $34,002. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix, that employee is now on step 4 and will make $36,003. That is a 5.8% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18, a Level I licensed employee with 3 years of experience (i.e., on step 4) and a BA+15 made $34,136. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix, that employee is now on step 5 and will make $36,135. That is a 5.9% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18, a Level I licensed employee with 3 years of experience (i.e., on step 4) and a BA+45 made $34,271. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix, that employee is now on step 5 and will make $36,267. That is a 5.9% increase over last year’s base salary.

Level 2 Examples

  • In 2017-18 a Level II licensed employee with 4 years of experience (i.e., on step 5) and a BA made $42,004. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 6 and will make $44,005. That is a 4.76% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 a Level II licensed employee with 14 years of experience (i.e., on step 15) and a BA+15 made $43,317. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 16 and will make $44,663. That is a 3.1% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 an employee with 23 years of experience (i.e., on step 24) and a BA+45 made $46,604. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 25 and will make $48,052. That is a 3.1% increase over last year’s base salary.

Level 3 Examples

  • In 2017-18 an employee with 10 years of experience (i.e., on step 11) and an MA (or NBC) made $52,305. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 12 and will make $54,011. That is a 3.26% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 an employee with 16 years of experience (i.e., on step 17) and an MA made $53,352. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 18 and will make $55,011. That is a 3.1% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 an employee with 25 years of experience (i.e., on step 26) and an MA+45 made $54,946.  Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 27 and will make $56,653. That is a 3.1% increase over last year’s base salary.

Therapists (A-2) Examples

  • In 2017-18 an employee with 2 years of experience (i.e., on step 3), on Level 1 license, and an MA made $34,546. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 4 and will make $36,003. That is a 4.2% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 an employee with 3 years of experience (i.e. on step 4), on Level 2 license, and an MA made $42,233. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 5 and will make $44,004. That is a 4.19% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 an employee with 20 years of experience (i.e., on step 21), on Level 3 license, and an MA made $53,650. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 22 and will make $55,349. That is a 3.16% increase over last year’s base salary.

Educational Diagnosticians, Transition Specialists and School Psychologists (A-3/4) Examples

  • In 2017-18 a Diagnostician or Transition Specialist with 2 years of experience (i.e., on step 3) and an MA made $48,412. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 4 and will make $54,003. That is an 11.5% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 a Diagnostician or Transition Specialist with 12 years of experience (i.e., on step 13) and an MA+15 made $56,239. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 14 and will make $59,042. That is a 4.9% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 a Diagnostician or Transition Specialist with 21 years of experience (i.e., on step 22) and an MA+45 made $63,666. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 23 and will make $72,054. That is a 13.1% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 a School Psychologist with 1 year of experience (i.e., on step 2) and Ph.D, Psy.D or Ed.D made $55,621. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 3 and will make $59,002. That is a 6% increase over last year’s base salary.
  • In 2017-18 a School Psychologist with 15 year of experience (i.e., on step 16) and Ph.D, Psy.D or Ed.D made $63,666. Next year (2018-19) on the new salary matrix that employee is now on step 17 and will make $65,577. That is a 3.0% increase over last year’s base salary.

Educational Diagnosticians, Transition Specialists and School Psychologists

  • For several years, we worked to negotiate combining the A-3 and A-4 salary matrices—this year, we were successful.
  • For several years, we have worked to negotiate a decrease in the work year with no loss of pay—this year, we were successful.
  • Our success in combining the matrices will be noticed most by Educational Diagnosticians and Transition Specialists.
  • Each individual will need to compute salary increases using the method described above.

90% Matrix - COTAs, PTAs and all others that do not have a BA degree

We are pleased that we now have a matrix for our newest ATF role groups; the COTAs and PTAs.

We will be convening a committee of ATF members this summer to develop a plan for salary advancement beyond the 90% matrix.

 

 

These raises were only made possible by your union, who advocates for raises year after year during the legislative session, successfully lobbied for money to be allocated in the budget this year and then bargained higher percentage raises with APS for all role groups. If you are not yet a member, click here to join.


ATF COPE Endorsements-2018 Primary Election!

The following candidates are endorsed by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation and the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico:

U.S. Congress:

Martin Heinrich, U.S. Senate

Debra Haaland, U.S. House of Representatives, District 1

Xochitl Torres Small, U.S. House of Representatives, District 2

Ben Ray Lujan, U.S. House of Representatives, District 3

 

Governor of New Mexico:

Michelle Lujan Grisham

 

Lieutenant Governor:

Howie Morales

 

Attorney General:

Hector Balderas

 

New Mexico Treasurer:

Tim Eichenberg

 

New Mexico Secretary of State:

Maggie Toulouse Oliver

 

State Auditor:

Bill McCamley

 

New Mexico State House of Representatives:

Andres Romero HD10*

Javier Martinez HD11

Patricia Roybal Caballero HD13

Miguel Garcia HD14*

Dayan “Day” Hochman HD15

Antonio “Moe” Maestas HD16

Deborah Armstrong HD17

Gail Chasey HD18

Sheryl Williams Stapleton HD19*

Debbie Sariñana HD21*

Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson HD24 *

Christine Trujillo HD25*

Georgene Louis HD26

Melanie Stansbury HD28

Joy Garratt HD29*

Natalie Figueroa HD30*

Karen Bash HD68

 

* Denotes a current, retired or former member of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation

Your union does not tell you how to vote. However, you can be sure that we have carefully vetted each candidate to ensure that our recommendations reflect individuals who most closely align with our goals of preserving and promoting public education and labor rights.


Vote early from May 19th to June 2nd.

Early voting locations are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. *

(*except as noted for 2 locations)

 

Click here to look up your voter registration information and voting districts and see your personalized sample ballot.

 

 

98th & Central - 120 98th St NW Suite B101 & B102

 

Alameda West - 10131 Coors Blvd. NW Suite C-02pak

 

Bernalillo County Visitor Center - 6080 Isleta Blvd. SW

 

Caracol Plaza - 12500 Montgomery NE Suite 101

 

Central Mercado - 301 San Pedro Dr. SE Suites B, C, D and E

 

Clerk’s Annex - 1500 Lomas A NW

 

Daskalos Center - 5339 Menaul Blvd NE

 

Desiderio Community Center - 117 Tribal Rd. 7036 To'Hajiilee


Isleta Elderly Center Building
- 79 Tribal Road 40, Isleta, NM

* Tuesday – Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. *

(Note different days/hours at the above two locations only.)

 

The Shoppes at 6001 San Mateo - 6001 San Mateo NE Suite B3

 

Four Hills Shopping Center - 13140 Central Ave SE Suite 1420

 

Holly Plaza Shopping Center - 6500 Holly NE Suite A6

 

Los Altos Center - 4200 Wyoming NE Suite B-2

 

Los Ranchos Villa - 6601 4th St NW Suites E&F

 

Petroglyph Plaza - 8201 Golf Course Rd NW Suite D1

 

South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center - 2008 Larrazolo SW

 

Tijeras City Hall - 12 Camino Municipal, Tijeras, NM 87059

 

University of New Mexico - Student Union Building, Lobo A&B

 

West Bluff - 5201 Ouray NW Suite D-2

 


Save Hawthorne Elementary!

As many of you know, the PED has mandated that Hawthorne Elementary must be a "champion choice" school or close its doors. In Chris Ruszkowski's coded language, this means they want the students from Hawthorne to flee to charter schools, possibly resulting in the closure of Hawthorne, their neighborhood school. In addition, the PED is attempting to replace the staff at Hawthorne with teachers who have a "multi-year" track record of being rated "Highly Effective" or “Exemplary," forcing arbitrary transfers.

The ATF Save Our Schools Committee calls on all educators & community members to be ready to spring into action when a rapid response is needed.

Save Hawthorne Picket Sign Making

Monday, May 14

4:30pm

ATF Office, 530 Jefferson St. NE, 87108

ATF will provide all posters, paint, markers, etc.

If you haven't already, "Like" the Save Hawthorne Elementary page on Facebook to keep up with the latest information from the ATF Save Our Schools Committee.


Project Veritas Targets Our Union

Project Veritas, widely known for their secret recordings and highly edited videos, paid our union a visit. Given their track record, we have reason to believe they’ll release a video soon with manipulated audio taken from a meeting with Ellen and Staff Rep Simon Cao where a Veritas operative (Christian Hartsock) posed as a teacher at Del Norte in a crisis situation.

This is part of a larger attempt to discredit unions. It is no coincidence that this comes at a time when we are organizing to demand better working and learning conditions.

From what we know, Project Veritas operatives are also entering schools and asking to speak to union reps across the country. Fed Reps and union members, it is critical that you are aware this is happening.


Teachers unions say notorious Project Veritas targeting them—including in NM

A conservative group that films undercover videos of political opponents targeted a New Mexico teachers union, according to union officials.

Project Veritas, funded by an array of conservative groups with ties to Charles and David Koch and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is known for guerilla-style, heavily edited videos aimed at harming political opponents.

Earlier this year, the group made headlines when a woman associated with it raised false claims of an alleged sexual relationship with Roy Moore, the failed Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama. The woman’s attempt to set up a Washington Post reporter failed when the paper fact-checked her claims and discovered her ties to Project Veritas.

Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, says her union was contacted by someone associated with Project Veritas.

According to Bernstein, she was contacted by a man calling himself Timothy Johnson. The man said his brother, a teacher, was afraid to speak about an incident, but Johnson wanted to reach out for advice himself.

Bernstein said she told the man she could give him only limited advice, but agreed to meet with the brother, who called himself Kurt Kendall (the spelling is not clear).

It was only after the April 11 meeting with the purported teacher that Bernstein realized something seemed unusual.

“I found the person different than any other teacher I’d ever talked to in terms of what he was willing to say,” Bernstein told NM Political Report.

She said he asked, for instance, what would happen “hypothetically” if he had hit a child or what would happen “hypothetically” if he had used a racial slur.

When asked about what Bernstein had alleged, a spokesman for Project Veritas responded with an emailed statement, but didn’t say much.

“We do not comment on ongoing investigations, real or imagined,” Nick Evangelista said.

This isn’t the first time Project Veritas targeted teachers unions.

In March of 2017, the organization released a video on its website that appeared to show a union official in San Francisco telling two Project Veritas staffers he once hit a student and covered it up. The official was placed on leave.

National American Federation of Teachers spokeswoman Oriana Korin said the union had heard of similar incidents in New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin as well. The progressive news outlet Rewire News wrote about the incidents in Ohio.

A union official in Michigan confirmed similar stories in an interview with NM Political Report.

Korin said the incidents were similar in nature.

Hecker said the attempts are solely to try to get union officials to say something bad on tape—or to edit video to make it look like they did.

A suspicious meeting

In New Mexico, Bernstein said it was ATF Staff Representative Simon Cao who first became suspicious.

When he asked the man basic questions, like who the vice-principal is at the school he claimed to teach at, or what his relationship was with the principal, the man couldn’t answer.

After “Kendall” left, Cao searched the website Project Veritas Exposed and identified the man as Christian Hartsock.

The Project Veritas Exposed is a project of the online video series, The Undercurrent. According to The Intercept, The Undercurrent executive producer Lauren Windsor is the driving force behind Project Veritas Exposed. Windsor is also a partner at Democracy Partners, a liberal political consulting firm which was the target of a sting by James O’Keefe III last year. The firm is suing O’Keefe, the activist behind Project Veritas.

It was then that Bernstein realized how unusual the interview was, and she recalled that the man “kept fiddling with something in his lap.”

O’Keefe was charged with illegally entering federal property under false pretences when he entered the offices of then-U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana. O’Keefe said he was trying to prove she was ignoring phone calls complaining about the Affordable Care Act.

In some states, though not New Mexico, recording without the permission of both parties is illegal. And it has got them in trouble legally before.

In 2009, Project Veritas released edited videos they said showed fraud with the community organizing group ACORN. As a result of the doctored videos, the federal government shut down contracts with the organization, which aided low-income families, and led to ACORN’s bankruptcy. O’Keefe settled a civil lawsuit with one former employee for $100,000 and an apology.

More recently, according to a 2017 story in The New Yorker, O’Keefe protege Hartsock was allegedly part of the attempted sting against the League of Conservation Voters in California. A letter from the LCV described “an elaborate, six-month-long scheme” according to the magazine.

LCV filed a complaint with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra against Hartsock and two others about the scheme.

Bernstein could only speculate as to why Project Veritas would include an Albuquerque union in its latest string of sting attempts. But she believes it is part of a wider attempt to discredit unions.

“In the grand scheme of things, this is a point in our country’s history where people with a lot of money are trying to get rid of unions that represent people who are working and don’t have much money,” she said.

Bernstein said she felt “very victimized.”

“[When] you hear about people who do things for the wrong reason and you say, ‘Wow, that’s evil,’” she said. “But when evil visits you and then gets on you, it really brings it to light what’s happening right now in this country to take down unions.”


ICYMI: Over 100 APS Schools Participated in the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools

Last Friday, over 100 school sites across APS participated in the National Day Against Gun Violence in Schools. Leading up to the day of action, ATF Fed Reps at each school site organized their colleagues to wear orange in solidarity with educators across the nation. Actions at school sites ranged from wearing orange wristbands and coffee/conversation about gun violence in schools, to formal agendas, student and educator speakers and school-wide walk-ins.

Thank you to all who participated and a special shout-out to our ATF Fed Reps, who worked tirelessly to put the event together, who documented their day and sent in great photos!

We've compiled the images we have so far on our Facebook page. Feel free to send us more at act@atfunion.org and we'll make sure they all get posted.

#NoMoreABQ #NoMore #ATFinAction


ATF Screens Backpack Full of Cash & Speaks Truths About Charter Schools and Privatization

Last weekend, ATF hosted a community screening of the movie Backpack Full of Cash, an award winning documentary that not only uncovered privatization schemes, the de-facto segregation occurring within the charter school movement and the corruption behind high stakes testing but also placed these politically motivated anti-public education efforts into a national context of profiteers and politicians.

ATF members, PTA Presidents, elected officials and community activists filled The Guild Cinema to watch this film. Together, we held a conversation about how the battles we are fighting on a local level are actually nation-wide attacks against public education:

  • The financial starvation of our public school systems
  • The chronic, low pay for educators
  • The perpetual attack against unions
  • The teacher evaluation systems tied to high-stakes testing
  • The revolving door of educators who leave our public schools, due to in part to the de-professionalization of our profession
  • The thousands of students who are lured into charter schools and then pushed out after being told they are not a “good fit” and then sent back to our public schools

 

We are ready to move forward as a unified force against these and any other means of dismantling our public school systems. Are you ready to stand with us? Text the words “ATFaction” to the number 69238 to sign up for our text message Action Alerts!