We Can't Sit This Election Out! Volunteer Now!

We need all hands on deck for this election. The stakes are incredibly high in our federal races and may determine the very survival of our democratic institutions. But, let's not forget that all public school funding in New Mexico flows from the State Legislature. It is imperative that we help labor-friendly supporters of public education not only maintain a majority in the NM Senate and House of Representatives but expand that margin. The way forward through this pandemic and economic crisis must not be an exercise in slashing budgets, but a commitment to invest in our schools and other public institutions. Let's all do our part to make this happen. Below you will find a plethora of opportunities to get involved in this election. Let's work together and fight for the future of our public schools and our democracy.

ATF/AFT NM COPE Volunteer Opportunities






Safe, friendly, fun opportunities to be an activist include:

  • Every Saturday in October: Contact-less Literature Drops for Julie Ford Brenning- House District 31. Call 505-944-5934 for more information.
  • October 11: Karen Bash – House District 68 Birthday Bash w/ Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Online event at 4:00: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87540375871
  • October 17: Public Education for Stansbury-House District 28. Call 505-750-7079.
  • October 6- Election: Jessica Velazquez-House District 22. Call 505 -238-2327.
  • October 6-Election: Phone banking (generally, between 4 and 8 PM, Monday -Thursday) and literature drops to labor households. Email: john@nmaft.org

Phone Banking for NMFL-endorsed federal and state candidates

  • Monday-Thursday, 4pm-8pm (Through election day)
  • Two ABQ Locations: IBEW 611 Hall (4129 Alexander Blvd. NE) & UA 412 Hall (San Pedro & Zuni)
  • Point of Contact for Phone Banks: John Dyrcz 505-554-8679 (text is best) or email at john@nmaft.org

Contactless Labor Literature Drops

  • Saturday, October 17, 24, and 31; 10am - 2pm
  • Two ABQ Locations: IBEW 611 Hall (4129 Alexander Blvd. NE) & UA 412 Hall (San Pedro & Zuni)
  • Volunteers can do literature drops by themselves, or bring your own partner.
  • Point of Contact for Lit Drops: John Dyrcz 505-554-8679 (text is best) or email at john@nmaft.org

Sign up to be a poll worker through the NM SOS (this is an all-day commitment)

For Joe Biden’s agenda on public education and more go to: https://www.aftvotes.org/sites/default/files/biden-palmcard2020.pdf

Read more

Why Joe Biden? His Agenda On Public Education!

Why does the Albuquerque Teachers Federation and the American Federation of Teachers endorse Joe Biden for President? Take a look at his Education Agenda. These are many of the same issues we have been fighting for in New Mexico for years.

America faces three immense crises—a health pandemic, an economic recession, and racial injustice. These crises have demonstrated the need for a compassionate, competent leader who will not only bring us out of the depths of economic ruin but also rewrite the rules so working families can thrive and our nation can heal. Joe Biden is that leader. (Download the flyer here.)

As president, Joe Biden will:


  • Harness the resources of the federal government for combating the pandemic in a coordinated
  • Provide the necessary help to workers, families and small businesses that are hit hard by this
  • Ensure all frontline workers have high-quality and appropriate personal protective
  • Secure paid family and medical sick
  • Expand assistance to federal child care centers and to schools—particularly Title I


  • Triple Title I funding to reach disadvantaged students and ensure that districts can offer educators competitive
  • Eliminate high-stakes standardized
  • Prioritize and create more community schools, and expand these services for 300,000 students and their
  • Provide universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, and ensure that the early childhood education workforce is
  • Ban for-profit charters, increase accountability and transparency for current charters, and oppose private school
  • Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education
  • Fund professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals and school employees, and fund teacher preparation programs that address teacher
  • Invest in improving and modernizing school


  • Double the maximum value of Pell
  • Support a Title I-type program for postsecondary education, to enable colleges and universities to better serve the needs of low-income and/or underprepared
  • Improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to offer student debt relief for national or community
  • Make community colleges tuition-free, and make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families making less than $125,000 annually.


  • Ensure healthcare is a right, not a privilege, by protecting and building on the Affordable Care Act, to give every American access to affordable health insurance, including providing a public
  • Allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations to lower prescription drug
  • Allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other
  • Broaden and improve the access to high-quality prescription generic
  • Lower costs and improve health outcomes by partnering with the healthcare


  • Repeal the Trump/Republican tax cuts benefiting corporations and the wealthiest
  • Support the American economy by investing $400 billion in products made by American
  • Support a $15-an-hour minimum
  • Support legislation banning states from enacting right-to-work
  • Invest in rural broadband


  • Restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act, and strengthen voting
  • Strengthen Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and expand protections for Dreamers and undocumented
  • Build on the Violence Against Women Act and the Equality Act to help reduce violence and hate crimes against LGBTQ
  • Make it a priority of the Justice Department to prosecute hate crimes committed against people of color, LGBTQ people and religious group


  • Preserve and strengthen Social Security by ensuring the wealthy pay their fair
  • Protect and strengthen Medicare and ensure high-quality, affordable healthcare for all older
  • Ensure that states fulfill their commitment to protect public and private pensions so that workers keep the benefits they have







ATF Share Fair This Tuesday, 9/29

Join us for ATF Share Fair!

Frustrated with your schedule? Can’t connect with students? Planning until the wee hours of the night? Confused about synchronistic and asynchronistic learning and how to balance it all?

Or…do you have a great schedule? Do you know how to connect with students? Have you figured out the planning thing? Do you have a good balance of synchronistic and asynchronistic lessons?

Join us! Share your successes and struggles with remote learning at the ATF Share Fair Tuesday, September 29th at 4:15. We will send a link next Monday for those who register. Let us know you are going to attend by signing up here.




Educators, You Have the Power! Vote Our Values!

If nothing else, this pandemic has brought the shared value of a greater good front and center, as we are reminded daily that we are “all in this together.”

Reflecting on the last six months, we are grateful that we’ve worked hard to get strong political leaders elected in our state and local governments. These leaders are proving to us that they have kept the greater good in mind with every decision they have made. Currently, we have a governor who has continued to fund our schools and has made sure that all public education employees maintain an income. We have elected state legislators who continue to investigate ways to support our communities, as the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been.

Now it’s time to vote in the General Election and it is critical that we continue to support and vote for leaders who share our values. We all value a better life and a better future for all of us—namely:

  • Good jobs;
  • Quality, affordable healthcare;
  • Great public schools;
  • Affordable college;
  • A secure retirement;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Equality for all;
  • Collective bargaining; and
  • A healthy democracy with justice for all.

When we vote, our shared values have a good chance of becoming future realities. That future is more at risk now than ever. Our democratic institutions are under attack by the current U.S. President and his administration. The glaring inequities that follow racial and class lines have been laid bare by this pandemic. The callousness and indifference of the Trump Administration to the suffering of our citizens has fueled a nation-wide focus on the need to fight against racism and fight for social justice for all Americans.

We must elect leaders who will stand by us and our families, as well as by our students and their families because the fight forward requires strong leadership.

Join the ATF Unified Committee On Political Education (COPE) or increase your dues here!

2020 ATF/AFT New Mexico/AFT/AFCP COPE Endorsements

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, labor rights, and social justice. The endorsed incumbent candidates were recommended by the ATF Unified COPE committee based on their previous voting record. All new candidates have completed the ATF Unified COPE Questionnaire and have submitted to an interview with the ATF Unified COPE Interview Team. The endorsements were ratified by the ATF Fed Rep Council the first week of August 2020. All statewide endorsements and endorsements for candidates outside of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County were vetted by the AFT-NM COPE Committee. National endorsements are made by the American Federation of Teachers.

Thank you to the Unified COPE Interview Team: Sara Attleson, ATF COPE Chair, Kathy Chavez - AFCP President, Therese Saunders - AFTNM Retirees, James Macklin - Fine Arts, Chelsea O’Connell - John Baker Elementary, and Jorge Serrano - West Mesa High.

The candidates listed below are endorsed by the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, AFT NM, AFCP, and the American Federation of Teachers.

U.S. President/Vice President

Joe Biden/Kamala Harris

U.S. Senate

Ben Ray Lujan U.S. Senate

U.S. Congress:

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

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

Teresa Leger-Fernandez, U.S. House of Representatives-District 3 -

New Mexico State Senate:

SD 9 Brenda McKenna

SD10 Katy Duhigg

SD11 Linda Lopez

SD12 Gerald Ortiz y Pino

SD13 William O’Neill

SD14 Michael Padilla

SD15 Daniel Ivey-Soto*

SD16 Antoinette Sedillo Lopez

SD17 Mimi Stewart *

SD18 William “Bill” Tallman

SD19 Claudia Risner

SD20 Martin Hickey

SD23 Harold Pope

SD26 Jacob Candelaria

SD29 Paul Baca

New Mexico State House of Representatives

HD 10 G. Andres Romero*

HD 11 Javier Martinez

HD 12 Brittney Barreras

HD 13 Patricia Roybal Caballero

HD 14 Miguel Garcia*

HD 15 Dayan “Day” Hochman

HD 16 No endorsement

HD 17 Deborah Armstrong

HD 18 Gail Chasey

HD 19 Sheryl Williams Stapleton*

HD 20 Meredith Dixon

HD 21 Debbie Sariñana*

HD 22 Jessica Velasquez

HD 23 Daymon Ely

HD 24 Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson*

HD 25 Christine Trujillo*

HD 26 Georgene Lewis

HD 27 Marian Matthews

HD 28 Melanie Stansbury

HD 29 Joy Garratt*

HD 30 Natalie Figueroa*

HD 31 Julie Ford Brenning

HD 44 Gary Tripp

HD 57 Billie Helean^

HD 68 Karen Bash

NM Judicial Races:

Supreme Court, Position 1: Shannon Bacon

Supreme Court, Position 2: David Thomson

Court of Appeals, Position 1: Zach Ives

Court of Appeals, Position 2: Shammara Henderson

Court of Appeals, Position 3: Jane Yohalem

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

^Denotes a current, retired or former member of AFT-NM

Keep this list handy for when you vote- whether absentee or in person.

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 values of preserving and promoting public education and labor rights.

Important Dates & Voting Information

September 14 Absentee Applications mailed from Bernalillo County Clerk. (All registered voters in the county who have not already requested an absentee APPLICATION.) This must be completed and mailed back to the County Clerk’s Office.

October 6 Absentee Ballots will be mailed to voters who have requested via an application.

October 6 Voter Registration Deadline to update and/or register for the November election.

October 6- 30 Absentee voting is open.

October 17-31 Early Voting Opens, Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm.

October 29 Deadline to request absentee ballot online.


November 3 General Election In-person voting will be open 7am-7pm.

Mailed ballots must be IN the County Clerk’s Office ON November 3.  A postmark of November 3 isn’t sufficient.  You don’t need to stamp them as they are pre-paid.

You may also drop them off personally at in-person voting locations by 7:00 pm.


Register New Voters Here.





(Full directions for Absentee Voting)

There are options for voters to return their absentee ballot. And please note, whether you mail or hand deliver your absentee ballot, it must be prepared the same way: selections made on the ballot, ballot inserted into the privacy and mailing envelopes, voter signature and last 4 entered under the privacy flap, envelope sealed. Your absentee ballot will be rejected if these instructions are not followed.

By Mail

Voters may return their absentee ballot by mail. The consensus among election officials and the U.S. Postal Service is that ballots mailed from a Bernalillo County location on or before Oct. 27, 2020 will arrive by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020. After Oct. 27, please hand deliver your ballot to ensure it arrives on time.

By Hand Delivery

Voters may return their absentee ballot by hand delivery. Please note that the absentee ballot must be prepared as if it were to be mailed (see above) or it will be rejected.

October 6-16, 2020 - Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

  • Clerk's Annex - 1500 Lomas Blvd NW, Suite A
  • Expo NM - Enter fair grounds through Gate 3 at Copper and San Pedro and follow signs to drop off location in midway area next to the Bernalillo County Clerk's Mobile Voting Unit.

October 17-31, 2020 

  • Any of the Early Voting Convenience Centers - Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Expo NM - Enter fair grounds through Gate 3 at Copper and San Pedro and follow signs to drop off location in midway area next to the Bernalillo County Clerk's Mobile Voting Unit. - Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 3, 2020 - 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Any of the Election Day Voting Convenience Centers
  • Drop off location in front of City Hall on Marquette and 5th Street (drive in left lane west on Marquette from 3rd street, watch for signs and personnel). Voters will drop off their ballot through a car window and receive an "I Voted" sticker.

Please call (505) 243-VOTE (8683) with any questions regarding absentee voting in Bernalillo County.



18 Early Voting Convenience Centers (EVCCs) will be open for the 2020 General Election - October 17, 2020 to October 31, 2020. Most locations open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Same Day Registration will be available at 7 locations during Early Voting.

Voters may vote in-person or hand deliver a completed absentee ballot.

Clerk’s Annex - 1500 Lomas A NW (In-Person Absentee, Early Voting and Same Day Registration location)
Begins Tuesday, Oct. 6 and ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2019
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (During In-Person Absentee, Oct. 6-16, 2020)
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (During Early Voting, Oct. 17-31, 2020)

98th & Central - 120 98th St NW Suite B101 & B102
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Alameda West - 10131 Coors Blvd. NW Suite C-02
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Andalucia Shopping Center - 5600 Coors Blvd NW, Suite C-5
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Bernalillo County Visitor Center - 6080 Isleta Blvd. SW
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Caracol Plaza - 12500 Montgomery NE Suite 101
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Central Mercado - 301 San Pedro Dr. SE Suites B, C, D and E
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Daskalos Center - 5339 Menaul Blvd NE
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Desiderio Community Center - 117 Tribal Rd. 7036 To'Hajiilee
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Four Hills Shopping Center - 13140 Central Ave SE Suite 1420
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Holly Plaza Shopping Center - 6600 Holly NE Suite B-6
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Los Altos Plaza - 4200 Wyoming NE Suite B-3
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Los Ranchos Villa - 6601 4th St NW Suites E & F
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Petroglyph Plaza - 8201 Golf Course Rd NW Suite D-1
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center - 2008 Larrazolo SW
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The Shoppes at 6001 San Mateo - 6001 San Mateo NE Suite B-3
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tijeras City Hall - 12 Camino Municipal, Tijeras, NM 87059
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

West Bluff Center - 5201 Ouray NW Suite D-2
Begins Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 ends Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.


***Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Early Voting Sites are subject to change***



70 Election Day Voting Convenience Centers will be open Tuesday, November 3, 2020 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no Same Day Registration on Election Day.

Voters may vote in-person or hand deliver a completed absentee ballot.

Clerk’s Annex - 1500 Lomas NW, Suite A 87104

98th & Central - 120 98th St NW, Suite B101 & B102 87121

Alameda West - 10131 Coors Blvd. NW Suite C-02 87114

Andalucia Shopping Center - 5600 Coors Blvd NW, Suite C-5 87120

Bernalillo County Visitor Center - 6080 Isleta Blvd SW 87105

Caracol Plaza - 12500 Montgomery NE Suite 101 87111

Central Mercado - 301 San Pedro Dr. SE Suites B, C, D and E 87108

Daskalos Center - 5339 Menaul Blvd NE 87110

Desiderio Community Center - 117 Tribal Rd. 7036 To'Hajiilee 87026

Four Hills Shopping Center - 13140 Central Ave SE Suite 1420 87123

Holly Plaza Shopping Center - 6600 Holly Ave NE Suite B6 87113

Los Altos Plaza - 4200 Wyoming NE Suite B-3 87111

Los Ranchos Villa - 6601 4th St NW Suites E & F 87107

Petroglyph Plaza - 8201 Golf Course Rd NW Suite D1 87120

South Valley Multi Purpose Senior Center - 2008 Larrazolo Rd SW 87105

The Shoppes at 6001 San Mateo - 6001 San Mateo NE Suite B3 87109

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

West Bluff - 5201 Ouray Rd NW Suite D-2 87120

  1. Montoya Elementary School- 24 Public School Rd, Tijeras, NM 87059

Adobe Acres Elementary School - 1724 Camino Del Valle SW 87105

Albuquerque High School - 800 Odelia Rd NE 87102

Arroyo Del Oso Elementary School - 6504 Harper Dr NE 87109

Bandelier Elementary School - 3309 Pershing Ave SE 87106

Bellehaven Elementary School - 8701 Princess Jeanne Ave NE 87112

Chaparral Elementary School - 6325 Milne Rd NW 87120

Cibola High School - 1510 Ellison Dr NW 87114

CNM Workforce Training Center - 5600 Eagle Rock Ave NE 87113

Del Norte High School - 5323 Montgomery Blvd NE 87110

Double Eagle Elementary School - 8901 Lowell Dr NE 87122

Duranes Elementary School - 2436 Zickert Rd NW 87104

Eisenhower Middle School - 11001 Camero Rd NE 87111

Eldorado High School - 11300 Montgomery Blvd NE 87111

Forest Meadow Baptist Church - 54 Hwy 217, Tijeras, NM 87059

Garfield Middle School - 3501 6th St NW 87107

Hayes Middle School - 1100 Texas St NE 87110

Herman Sanchez Community Center - 1830 William St SE 87102

Highland High School - 4700 Coal Ave SE 87108

Holiday Park Community Center - 11710 Comanche Rd NE 87111

Hubert H Humphrey Elementary School - 9801 Academy Hills Dr NE 87111

Jackson Middle School - 10600 Indian School Rd NE 87112

Jefferson Middle School - 712 Girard Blvd NE 87106

Kennedy Middle School - 721 Tomasita St NE 87123

La Cueva High School - 7801 Wilshire Ave NE 87122

La Mesa Elementary School - 7500 Copper Ave NE 87108

Lyndon B Johnson Middle School - 6811 Taylor Ranch Rd NW 87120

Madison Middle School - 3501 Moon St NE 87111

Manzano High School - 12200 Lomas Blvd NE 87112

Manzano Mesa Elementary School - 801 Elizabeth St SE 87123

Mckinley Middle School - 4500 Comanche Rd NE 87110

Montezuma Elementary School - 3100 Indian School Rd NE 87106

Mountain View Community Center - 201 Prosperity Ave SE 87105

North Star Elementary School - 9301 Ventura St NE 87122

Onate Elementary School - 12415 Brentwood Hills Blvd NE 87112

Pajarito Elementary School - 2701 Don Felipe Rd SW 87105

Polk Middle School - 2220 Raymac Rd SW 87105

Raymond G Sanchez Community Center - 9800 4th St NW 87114

Rio Grande High School - 2300 Arenal Rd SW 87105

Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School - 2800 Vermejo Park Dr SW 87121

Sandia High School - 7801 Candelaria Rd NE 87110

Taylor Middle School - 8200 Guadalupe Tr NW 87114

Truman Middle School - 9400 Benavides Rd SW 87121

Valle Vista Elementary School - 1700 Mae Ave SW 87105

Valley High School - 1505 Candelaria Rd NW 87107

Van Buren Middle School - 700 Louisiana Blvd SE 87108

Ventana Ranch Elementary School - 6801 Ventana Village Rd NW 87114

Vista Grande Community Center - 15 La Madera Rd, Sandia Park, NM 87047

Volcano Vista High School - 8100 Rainbow Blvd NW 87114

Washington Middle School - 1101 Park Ave SW 87102

West Mesa High School - 6701 Fortuna Rd NW 87121

Zuni Elementary School - 6300 Claremont Ave NE 87110


***Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Election Day Voting Sites are subject to change***

Make September Labor Month: Teach the Power and History of Unionism!

Make September Labor Month: Teach the Power and History of Unionism!

It would be impossible to list accomplishments more important in the everyday lives of working people than the 8-hour day, weekends, overtime pay, parental leave, Social Security, employer-paid health care, safety regulations, and democracy in the workplace (just to name a few). These are benefits brought to us by the courage and tenacity of our union forebears who faced violence and financial retribution to organize in unions. Workers’ rights are civil rights.

Sadly, under the federal education policies known as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, history and civics took a backseat to test-driven instruction. The enormous contributions of the labor movement in bettering the lives of working people in New Mexico and the United States became a footnote in most history texts written in this century. In a state that was both the real and fictional setting of the Empire Zinc strike commemorated in the film Salt of the Earth, it is imperative that students understand the positive impact on their everyday lives that union membership and working under a negotiated agreement can have. Our future workforce must know that they have the right to due process in the workplace, collective bargaining, and the benefits of a contract. The way they will achieve these goals is through union membership.

It is our duty as educators to teach the real history of the United States. We know that the vast majority of Americans are the workers who keep our country running; to use the parlance of our times: essential workers. Yet, American history texts, for the most part, teach a top-down narrative of our past. We must make the commitment to teach the history and current reality of the people, not the oligarchs.

In the 2020 NM Legislative Session, the ATF Executive Council and Fed Rep Council sponsored a motion supporting the creation of a Memorial to declare September as Labor History Month across our state. This memorial was carried by our union sister, Representative Christine Trujillo, but sadly did not come to a vote on the House Floor.

The memorial was conceived in the belief that schools and school districts across the state should be encouraged to commemorate the month of September (which hosts United States’ Labor Day) with appropriate educational exercises teach all students the role the labor movement has played in shaping New Mexico and the United States, and the importance of collective bargaining to our students’ futures. It would also proclaim that New Mexico labor history, from the Spanish colonial period to the present day, be considered in the adoption of instructional materials to be used within our history/social science curriculum framework.

We know that education is key to improving the lives of our students. The importance of understanding their rights in the workplace cannot be overstated nor can their need to understand how those rights were won.

The American Federation of Teachers has already produced curricula for the state of California which can be accessed for free (https://www.cft.org/curricula). The Albuquerque Teachers Federation is ready to help teachers across our district share their standards-based labor lessons. Send lessons you'd like to share to act@atfunion.org.


Lesson Plans, Resources and Activities:

Timeline of American Labor History: https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/organizations/labor/labor-history-timeline-1607-1999/

AFL-CIO Timeline: https://aflcio.org/about-us/history

AFSCME & Dr. Martin Luther King: https://www.afscme.org/about/history/mlk

Mother Jones Chicago Statue Campaign: https://www.motherjonesmuseum.org/statue

Full “Stay Home Session” of MOTHER JONES IN HEAVEN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaeO3EX9ajA

THE SOCIAL DRAMA AND THE CHILD LABOR CONTROVERSY: https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/lesson-plan-social-drama-movie-and-child-labor-controversy-318628

WHEN THE RULES AREN’T RIGHT: 7 TIME TRAVEL TALES OF ACTIVISM https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/when-rules-arent-right-7-time-travel-tales-activism-leslie-tolf-279986

Dolores Huerta: A Civil Rights Icon: https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/dolores-huerta-civil-rights-icon-305959

Rights of Workers https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/rights-of-workers-lesson

Human Rights and Sweatshops https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/teaching-human-rights-sweatshops-288101

The Yummy Strawberry Company https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/workplace-issues-yummy-strawberry-company-267259

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS MAN https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/let-me-tell-you-about-man-cesar-chavez-union-organizer-267257

A printable biography of Cesar Chavez. Spanish/English

Collective Bargaining: Out of Conflict… Accord https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/collective-bargaining-education-project-267264

Work, Labor, & Power https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/work-money-power-unions-21st-century-267265

Labor Day Lesson Plan: Unions Today https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/labor-day-lesson-plan-unions-today-253621

Peaceful Protest in Child Labor https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/peaceful-protest-child-labor-history-253073

Organized Labor and the American Dream https://sharemylesson.com/teaching-resource/organized-labor-and-american-dream-299531

Elementary Resources https://www.cft.org/elementary-curricula

Secondary Resources https://www.cft.org/high-school-curricula

Strike! Teaching Labor History in a Right to Work State https://rethinkingschools.org/articles/strike/

SALT OF THE EARTH (full movie)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE1oKQCwwo4

Oral History of Labor in New Mexico https://econtent.unm.edu/digital/collection/WPHNM/search




The month of September is hereby deemed to be Labor History Month throughout the New Mexico public schools, and school districts are encouraged to commemorate this month with appropriate educational exercises that make pupils aware of the role the labor movement has played in shaping New Mexico and the United States and the importance of collective bargaining and due process rights in bettering their future careers.


It is the intent of the Legislature that New Mexico labor history, from the Spanish colonial period to the present day, be considered in the next cycle in which the history/social science curriculum framework and its accompanying instructional materials are adopted.


Other SOURCES for this article:

Labor in New Mexico: Strikes, Unions, and Social History, 1881-1981. Robert W. Kern.

History of Slavery in New Mexico https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_New_Mexico

History of New Mexico https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_Mexico#Spanish_exploration_and_colonization


Students in the Center: A Project of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation

In recent years, our students have been coming to us with more and more social and emotional needs. This is especially compounded by life in a pandemic. As educators, we know that it is extremely important that we work to build relationships with our students while conducting remote learning.

Do you need support in further developing and building your skills to address the emotional and social well-being of your students during remote learning?

If so, your union is here to help. Students in the Center: A Project of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation is a cadre of educational professionals who will work throughout this year to support you and your students.

We’ve carefully researched and are now suggesting a few resources that might be helpful to you in fostering these relationships. Take a look at our first set of lesson plans, tip sheets, and resources developed for you with a focus on creating relationships via remote learning.

We put together this short list of useful Share My Lesson resources. We hope this is helpful.

(Share My Lesson is owned and operated by the American Federation of Teachers.  Share My Lesson is the premier digital platform where educators can collaborate and share standards-aligned learning resources such as lesson plans, classroom strategies, and professional development webinars—at no cost.)

Scroll to the end of thei article to find a unique opportunity for AFT MEMBERS ONLY!



Staff from the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility will share strategies for encouraging social and emotional learning and self-care in our students through remote learning platforms.

Games, active listening, communication

PowerPoint presentation for Grades 2;3;4 and 5/6 touching upon some of the elements of Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning theme Relationships. Focuses on friendships and stimulates discussion.

Facing History and Ourselves: Getting to know each other and building relationships, Creating classroom community.

Blog post- Motivating students duringremote learning

On-demand webinar w/ handouts

Blog post- Exploring Strategies for Facilitating Effective Online Discussions

Preschool resource digital tool w/ teacher resources

Engaging Parents during the pandemic, some resources to review.

Colorín Colorado's ELL and immigrant parent resources.

Working with students with special needs.

Planning Ahead with Capstones: Project-Based Lessons for a Changing School Environment:  Capstone projects, developed by AFT members, are educator-vetted, project-based lessons that can be used at the start of the school year, during the school year, or as end-of-the year culminating instruction. Utilizing universal design for learning, grade-level standards, differentiation strategies, and performance-based assessments, these lessons for grades K-12 integrate the best practices for teaching diverse populations of students.

For ATF Members:

Introducing the Three Rs: How to Ignite Learning, Buffer Stress and Promote Resilience

Every educator is facing an unprecedented challenge this fall. This is why the American Federation of Teachers has partnered with Turnaround for Children to bring you a series of professional learning opportunities to help in supporting students through the lens of relationships and understanding the strategies to help every student succeed.

Turnaround for Children translates scientific knowledge about how children develop and learn in context into evidence-based integrated tools and strategies that enable all children to reach their full potential and prepare them for the lives they choose, no matter how much adversity they experience.

To accomplish this, we must adapt our systems and practices so that learning can move with the learner, wherever that learner may be. It is more important now than ever before for educators to be able to design and establish calm, safe, supportive environments and experiences for children that support each and every student with strength, humanity and confidence, even as schools reopen remotely—by focusing on three R’s: relationships, routines and resilience.

We invite you to take advantage of this meaningful four-part learning opportunity. REGISTER NOW! Participants must attend all sequential sessions, with the same group, to receive a certificate of completion. Your session will be specially designed to meet the needs of your grade level and position.

Kickoff session: Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m. EDT
All participants must attend this session to participate in the learning series. Turnaround for Children founder and senior science advisor Pamela Cantor, M.D., will draw on discoveries from the science of learning and development to answer these questions: How do young people discover what they are capable of? What is any young person capable of under the right conditions? Is all stress bad for you? What is going to happen to learning development in the era of COVID-19? Are there opportunities and, if so, how can we optimize them?

Relationships: Learn about the science behind the human relationship—and the power of positive developmental relationships as the “active ingredient” in any learning environment; they boost oxytocin and activate the learning centers of the brain. Participants will learn both the “why’” and “how” of practical strategies for strengthening and maintaining relationships, both in the classroom and in distance learning settings.

Routines: Our brains are prediction machines that like order; when our environments are orderly, the brain is calmer. In this session, participants will learn practical strategies for building routines in all learning settings.

Resilience: Building resilience is likely the most important task we have, for ourselves and our children during this time. AFT members will learn about the Building Blocks for Learning framework and how to build on the existing strengths of all learners to bolster the skills, mindsets and habits to regulate emotions, actions and behavior—so that all children have an opportunity to thrive this fall and well beyond.

For Early Childhood and Elementary School Educators | REGISTER

  • Introductory Session: Sept. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT
  • Relationships: Sept. 29, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Routines: Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Resiliency: Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. EST

For Secondary School Educators | REGISTER

  • Introductory Session: Sept. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT
  • Relationships: Sept. 30, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Routines: Oct. 28, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Resiliency: Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. EST

For School Support Staff | REGISTER

  • Introductory Session: Sept. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT
  • Relationships: Oct. 1, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Routines: Oct. 29, 6-8 p.m. EDT
  • Resiliency: Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m. EST

Space is limited! Join the AFT Professional Learning Community to learn more or register using the links above.

We look forward to your participation.

APS Educators Vote To Ratify the 2020-21 Changes To the Negotiated Agreement!

Educators in the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) Bargaining Unit voted 96.1% FOR the 2020-2021 changes to our APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement.

Now, it's time for ATF and the District to present the contract to the APS Board of Education to vote on accepting the changes. The Board will vote on Wednesday, September 2nd. Please take the time to read this summary of the changes to our Negotiated Agreement (below). You can watch the Board meeting here. 

Click here (APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement Addendum 2020-21) to read the changes made to our Negotiated Agreement in context.

Click here to view the 2020-2021 Salary Matrices.

Thank you to our ATF Negotiations Team who worked all through the Spring and Summer to bring you the changes to our Negotiated Agreement.

Ellen Bernstein, ATF President

Sean Thomas, Executive VP, Eldorado Hs

Sarah Hager, ATF Secretary, Cleveland MS

Tanya Kuhnee, High School VP, Eldorado HS

Jason Krosinsky, Middle School VP, McKinley MS

Sonya Romero Smith, Elementary School VP, Lew Wallace ES

Loyola Cortinas, Tierra Antigua ES Elementary School VP

Angela Reynolds, Essential & Related Services Educators VP, NE Diagnostic Center

Derek Villanueva, Treasurer, Manzano HS

Joseph O'Connell, ATF Staff Representative

Jerry Thorn, ATF Staff Representative


A summary of the Changes in the APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement:


New language added that brings this portion of the negotiated agreement into alignment with newly passed changes to the New Mexico Public Employee Bargaining Act (PEBA). Adding “protected concerted activity” rights. Also establishes a window and process for individuals to drop union membership.


Embedded already existing language previously found in Appendix J.8 MOU entitled “The common core state standards, standards-based teaching practices, & the relation to APS programs and practices” and Appendix J.17 MOU entitled “Room Changes.”

New language added meant to better define rules and expectations around advisories and student led conferences.

Also, the word “pupil” was changed to “student” throughout the Negotiated Agreement as is done here.


Changes made that streamline the summer school assignments in eCademy and alters the pay per session.

New language added to allow school social workers to be paid for performing social-emotional evaluations outside the contract year.

New language added that allows for educators coming into APS to fill a new role have their pay held harmless while they fulfill the requirements of their license level.

Embedded existing language that was previously found in Appendix J.27 MOU entitled “In-district experience for educational diagnosticians and transition specialists and licensed school psychologists (A-3) employees.”

Also, embedded language previously found in Appendix J.13 MOU entitled “ESL Differentials” and language previously found in Appendix J.18 MOU entitled “Athletic Directors.”

Changed language that will allow more educators to be eligible for the $1,000 TESOL/Bilingual support differential.

New language added that requires the district to notify employees before making pay adjustments and if necessary, work with the employee on any potential repayment plan for overcompensation.


Clarified already established practice on the scope of IC decision making responsibilities.

Cleaned up and clarified language.

Clarified that school staff and their respective ICs have the right to see school budgets and budget projections in a timely manner to allow each school IC to make the financial decisions it’s responsible for. Added the word “at-risk” to describe discretionary monies. Also, clarified the process to change a position funded with discretionary monies if the position isn’t vacant.


Established a joint ATF/APS mentorship program for all essential and related service educators new to the profession.

Made language clean up changes.


Embedded language that already existed and was previously found in Appendix J.15 MOU entitled “Hiring of Associate Degree Nurses.” Also, a change was made through contract administration that brings AD nurses to parity with other 90% eligible certified staff in APS. Also clarified that associate degree nurses need to be seeking to attain their BSN in nursing.

Embedded language that was previously found in Appendix J.19 MOU entitled “Athletic Trainers.”


Moved board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA) from the A-2 salary matrix to the A-3 salary matrix.

Clarified that each Head Teacher at a school will receive the appropriate differential if there is more than one at any given site.

Codified established practices reviewing the “mutually agreed upon list” of approved certifications and endorsements, along with criteria to be approved for A-2 salary matrix for employees and social workers.

Embedded language that already existed and was previously found in Appendix J.2 MOU entitled “Head Special Education Teacher Positions.”

Embedded language that was previously found in Appendix J.10 MOU entitled “SLP and Social Worker Caseloads.”


Change made that limits voluntary transfer to two per school year and creates an appeal process through contract administration for those who’ve been denied. It also deletes the waiting period of 10 workdays to transfer, it does leave the waiting period until the end of the grading period.

Article 18, LEAVES

Added new language allowing educators to take one day of bereavement leave to attend the funeral of a current or former student.


Established a more detailed reasonable suspicion testing protocol


Made changes that better defines and enhances employees’ rights to not work in unsafe environments as determined by the NM Department of Health. Also delineated a process that would need to be followed to ensure safety concerns are addressed by the district and that the educator(s) be provided a safe alternative workspace until the issue is resolved.


Added language that allows for negotiations to be reopened when the state changes the SEG unit value, also the years have been updated to be current.


Codified a 1% salary increase for all current ATF represented staff.

Appendix J.34, MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU), Teacher Leader Facilitators 2020-2021

The Teacher Leader Facilitator (TLF) position was created and established last school year in this same appendix as a pilot program, this year’s TLF MOU clarifies the position, it’s responsibilities, how it’s filled, and how the programs itself is evaluated.

Memorandum of Understanding, Student Discipline Task Force

New MOU establishing a joint task force to examine and make recommendations for changes to the language currently found in Article 21, Student Discipline.


New MOU stating APS and ATF will research the feasibility of moving ATF’s bargaining unit to a 24-paycheck model of compensation.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, A Professional Workday Pilot 2020-2021

New MOU that establishes a pilot program to move those in the ATF bargaining unit to an 8-hour professional workday.

 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING, High School Senior Capstone Project Task Force

New MOU that established a joint ATF and APS task force to work on the creation of general criteria, guidelines and suggestions for the implementation of capstone projects as a curricular option for students.

COVID-19 Memoranda of Understanding

This MOU establishes many terms and conditions of employment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Including the right to work from home during remote learning model and the right to be provided adequate PPE when at school sites.

Click here (APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement Addendum 2020-21) to read the changes made to our Negotiated Agreement in context.


Negotiating our contract is just one of the many tasks your union undertakes for educators. Not yet a member? JOIN YOUR UNION TODAY!



ATF's "Hybrid Schooling: What Do You Want To Do?" Survey Results



In July, the members of Albuquerque Teachers Federation overwhelming voted to take the position that hybrid learning should not begin until, at the earliest, September 8th. That date is rapidly approaching, and the time has come for decisive action.

It has become increasingly apparent that the intricacies of the Hybrid Learning Model would still pose massive challenges throughout the APS district, whether it is the provision of PPE for all staff and students or the profound need for HVAC updates to our schools for proper ventilation or the juggling act that will be required to serve students in both an online and in-person setting simultaneously. Add to these complications, the ease of transmission of this virus and the fact that doctors have seen a spike in the number of children getting tested for COVID-19. As a result, children account for a greater proportion of positive cases than previously recorded.

According to the NM Department of Health website, as of yesterday (8/18/20), 15.8% of New Mexico’s Covid-19 cases are carried by young people ages birth to 19. As in other states, people of color and those who live in poverty are feeling the brunt of the pandemic. In New Mexico, Native Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans account for over 78% of current cases.

The data is clear, students and staff will inevitably be infected on a large scale if they return to in-person learning before our district is fully prepared for the complexities of safe hybrid schooling. In addition, the system does not yet have a way to provide accommodations for employees who are in high-risk categories but who do not qualify for ADA accommodations.

The PED clearly stated in the State’s Reentry Guide:

"Schools will need to take into consideration that some teachers and staff will fall into high-risk categories because of their age or other health risks. Educators who are considered to be in a high-risk group as defined by CDC guidelines may need to teach from home. All districts and schools should have a process in place to identify these educators. In addition, districts and schools should establish a process that includes formal requests to continue working from home. The process should be aligned with the district’s or school’s Human Resources Department. Because PED recommends prioritizing younger children in-person attendance, high-risk teachers who work from home may need to teach upper grades and a licensing waiver may be required. (See the Educator Licensure section on the following page for details). For teachers who live with someone who is in a high-risk group as defined by CDC guidelines, local board policy should be established and will dictate procedures. More details about high-risk staff considerations and policies are forthcoming from PED."

Because of the number of questions and concerns consistently expressed by APS educators about the logistics and the safety of the hybrid model, our union, once again, polled all of the educators in APS. Almost 4,000 educators within our bargaining unit responded. The survey focused on the Hybrid Learning Model.

Below is a summary of some important general trends from the respondents (You can find the full summary here):

  • Over 40% of licensed educators responding prefer to work from home (with an additional 27.8% selecting “maybe”);
  • Over 1250 educators (that’s over 25% of those that answered) have high-risk conditions, many of which will not be covered by ADA accommodations;
  • Over 1150 educators responding live with someone who has a high-risk condition;
  • 3% of educators indicated they would be willing to return to the classroom if required. However, over 12% of those who responded (447 employees) indicated they would retire, resign or go on unpaid leave. Another 19% said they were uncertain about what their career choice would be.
  • Only 14% of respondents are ready to return to in-person schooling right now;
  • A full 78.1% of educators think the Hybrid Model will not work or that there are serious issues.

Concurrent with the survey that was open to all APS licensed employees, a motion to extend remote learning until, at least, the end of the first semester of SY 2020-21 was introduced at the ATF Federation Representative Council meeting in August. 142 Fed Reps from schools across the district had conversations with their constituents and voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion.

It’s clear from the results—134 school sites voted in favor (94.4%), 8 voted against (5.6%)—the members of our bargaining unit do not think it is safe to return to in-person, hybrid learning any time soon.

Decisions must be made. NM Department of Health recommendations, based on scientific evidence of a decrease in infections, must drive any decision-making about re-opening. Educators and staff need stability. Educators must be able to plan for our students and make plans to care for our own children. We cannot continue to plan for two different worlds: Remote/Red Learning AND Hybrid/Yellow Learning. We need to go all-in one way or the other. Parents and students need to be able to plan for where children will study and where they will spend their time when not in class.

Of course, we would ALL prefer to be in the classroom, with our students, engaging families, meeting with colleagues, bringing dishes for potlucks, leading after-school clubs, heading committees, decorating the halls, and all the wonderful, endless things we do as educators. However, given the current circumstances, a decision to extend remote learning would ease anxieties. One day, hopefully, sooner than later, we will return to the “normal” teaching and learning model. Continuing remote learning now can help control the spread of the virus and lead to fully re-opening our schools as soon as possible.











All APS Certified Educators, Take This Survey! "HYBRID SCHOOLING: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?"

Take the COVID Return to Work Survey!

Your union needs to hear your concerns and opinions about any possible return to school using the hybrid learning model.

We want safe working conditions for all of our educators, students, and families. Your responses to this survey will help us establish our position and to guide the district toward a safe return.

WE NEED EVERYONE TO TAKE THIS SURVEY! If you are a member, take the survey. If you are a not yet a member, take the survey. If you have never taken a survey from the union, take this survey. The district needs to understand the severity of the situation and we need to provide them with the data.

ATF Position Letter to the BOE on Re-Opening Our Schools

July 15, 2020

Dear Superintendent Elder and Members of the APS Board of Education,

Educators clearly know that in-person school is best for their students and have expressed deep concerns about meeting the instructional needs of our students in a hybrid or distance learning setting. However, they also have legitimate worries about the safety of educators, students, and our communities.

We are working in good faith to negotiate contract language that addresses the complexity of terms and conditions of employment during COVID-19 and the reopening of schools. We have yet to reach agreement and I cannot overemphasize the overwhelming concerns of your employees about reopening in-person instruction too soon – even in a hybrid model.

I am sure you have heard that Las Cruces, West Las Vegas, Los Alamos, and Silver City are beginning full remote learning starting in August and lasting, at least, until Labor Day.

I trust that this will soon become a state-wide phenomenon, but for the sake of your employees' peace of mind, please consider changing the recommendation from your administration that would have us starting hybrid schooling on August 25th. Instead, decide tonight to start in-person school after Labor Day IF the data shows 14 consecutive days of declining cases in Bernalillo County. Let the data, CDC guidelines, and science determine the return of in-person instruction, not an arbitrary date on the calendar.

In response to APS educators’ concerns and questions, ATF Leadership drafted a proposal on re-opening and asked our members if they agreed with the following statement:



As educators we know that real school (brick and mortar with in-person instruction) ​ is best for students.

We all want to return to real school.

However, real school has to be really safe for all staff and every student.

We do not believe that the current data supports a safe return to in-person schooling in early August.

We, the members of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, propose the following:

  • Start school on the original start date in August for all staff.
  • Delay in-person schooling for students until, at least, after Labor Day.
  • Start the hybrid model for students on September 8th if the data indicates that it is safe.


During the first month of school educators will:

  • Engage in virtual home visits in order to establish a relationship with students and their guardians/parents.
  • Assess what supports the students/families need in order to successfully engage in online learning.
  • Distribute technology and establish in-home broadband hot spots for all families and staff.
  • Learn more and develop expertise in online learning.
  • Collaborate with our peers to develop engaging age-appropriate online learning lesson plans.
  • Coordinate with fellow educators who share students in the same family to establish workable schedules for online learning.
  • Coordinate with administration and bus drivers to ensure that families with multiple students have the same school schedule when we return.
  • Work with site administrators to create an appropriate schedule for September that takes into consideration the complexity of High School and Middle School course needs and that purposefully includes an advisory period that supports each students' social emotional learning.
  • Work with community partners to assess the day-care needs of every family.
  • Coordinate the daycare needs for our own (educators') children.
  • Rearrange each classroom and school to ensure social distancing is possible.
  • Work with our district to identify bathrooms and other school facilities that are out of date or broken and do not support current cleaning and safety guidelines.
  • Work with the district to conduct a survey of all employees in order to determine who may be at-risk because of age and/or preexisting conditions, ensure that they have an appropriately safe position within the district so that we do not suffer mass retirements, ensure that parents have choices for their online learning beyond September, and provide online learning for medically fragile students.
  • Develop school-based plans for lunches, specials, etc.
  • Order and receive the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff and every student.
  • Teach... and more!




Agree with Statement as Written     88%

Conditionally Agree                                       8%

Do Not Agree (Ready to go back

On Aug 12 w/hybrid model)                4%

Conditions that were repeatedly voiced by the 8% who clicked “I disagree” but expressed partial agreement with the statement “with some conditions” include:

  1. Childcare for educators’ kids and the community: How will this work?
  2. How will we provide help for students with IEPs, English Learners, and other at-risk students with the extra in-person support they will need for distance learning.
  3. It is not safe to go back. We need to teach online until the pandemic is under control. This is especially important to educators, students, and their family members who have pre-existing conditions (health and age).
  4. We are worried about provision of PPE. The ventilation and HVAC are inadequate at many of our schools. We don’t have access to sanitizing stations and we are worried about staffing for cleaning. How available will COVID testing be? We need more nurses and health aides.
  5. We must plan better and address access to technology, ability to use technology and/or home support for online learning so that we can better reach and teach more students.

APS educators are not alone in feeling these concerns. The American Federation of Teachers, our national union, polled members​ across the United States. "The nationwide survey of nearly 1,200 K-12 educators, paraprofessionals and higher education faculty and staff found that 76 percent of educators say they’d be comfortable going back to school if key safety precautions are met. The precautions they identify are specific to preventing virus spread, including appropriate physical distancing, adequate ventilation and cleaning, and necessary face coverings and other personal protective equipment. The poll also shows a plurality of educators expect a hybrid model for schools this fall, with 82 percent saying distance learning has not been nearly as effective as face-to-face instruction."

Although ATF members echoed the assertion of other union educators across the nation that distance learning cannot perfectly replace the in-person classroom experience, a safe school environment and logistical planning will take more than the one week of time educators are scheduled to have for planning before students arrive. Again, we want to teach and interact with students in-person when it is safe. However, our district is not prepared to implement the hybrid model and meet the safety needs of our staff, students, and their loved ones who will all be exposed to COVID-19 if we do not take adequate precautions. Exacerbating these problems is the inadequate funding of our schools to meet these new requirements and challenges. We also assert that, as online learning will be a necessary component of any school re-opening model, access to technology is a basic right of our public school students and staff. We believe that the City of Albuquerque, the State of New Mexico, and APS should act now to develop a public utility internet option that will make Bernalillo County a "hotspot" where internet access is available for all.

The safety of our students, staff, and families is our #1 priority. We hope that you will join the growing number of districts waiting until after Labor Day at the earliest to start hybrid schooling.


Ellen Bernstein

President, Albuquerque Teachers Federation

Cc: ATF Bargaining Unit

-- Ellen Bernstein, NBCT, Ed.D. President, Albuquerque Teachers Federation Tel: 505.262.2657 Ext. 202 Fax: 505.266.1967

Your union has your back! We are working through negotiations and advocacy to make sure that schools are safe before educators and students return to in-person learning. Imagine how loudly our voice will be heard when 100% of APS educators raise it together! Not yet a member? JOIN YOUR UNION TODAY!