ABQ Educators on the Cusp of Historic Victory
Record-Breaking ‘YES’ Vote Delivers ATF Union Decisive Mandate Ahead of APS Board Ratification Vote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2022
Albuquerque Teachers Federation
ALBUQUERQUE- The Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) is proud to announce that a historic number of Albuquerque Public School (APS) educators represented by the union participated in this year’s contract ratification vote. 98.6% of voters approved the changes to the APS/ATF Negotiated Agreement for the 2022-23 school year.
Advances in this year’s contract include the largest pay raise in APS history for many educators. The district also made a commitment to ensure that all Essential & Related Services Educators- counselors, therapists, social workers, nurses and many more- receive equitable raises in comparison to their teacher colleagues in perpetuity, even if the state legislature allocates lower raise amounts for those educators.
These proposed changes prompted a groundswell of support from APS educators who turned out in record-breaking numbers to cast their ballots.
ATF President Ellen Bernstein was elated with the resounding ‘yes’ vote, stating: “We are thrilled by the overwhelming approval our bargaining unit gave to the contract changes and agreements we reached with the APS Negotiating Team.”
“We must be mindful of the everyday struggles our public education employees face,” she continued. “This new contract is a step toward reversing nationwide educator shortages at the local level in Albuquerque. In addition to raises,” she emphasized, “there are improvements in working conditions that will help us retain the educators who make our schools work. This will allow us to better serve students and build a world-class education system in APS.”
“We are particularly pleased,” said Bernstein, “with the joint commitment between our union and APS to support educators to move toward an expansive implementation of restorative practices across the district. We want every child to feel valued and have the opportunity to learn by reflecting on their choices while we maintain clear behavioral expectations.”
President Bernstein asserted: “There really is something in this package for everyone.”
The next step in the ratification process is for the APS Board to approve the contract changes at their August 17th meeting. “Without the Board’s approval, both bargaining teams would have to start all over. We would even be forced to renegotiate the raises the Board previously approved as those are part of the larger agreement,” Bernstein said.
“Access to quality public education is essential to our nation’s democratic values. Once implemented, this contract will represent a strengthening of the partnership between the Albuquerque Teachers Federation and the Board of Education as we work together to keep the promise of great public schools for all.”
“I am excited to present these improvements to the APS Board,” said Bernstein. “I know they will vote to approve a contract that enables our students and staff to achieve their true potential.”
The APS Board of Education will vote on the changes to the Negotiated Agreement on Wednesday, August 17th at 5:00 pm. Community members can speak during Open Forum and watch the discussion and vote on the APS YouTube Channel and track updates via the APS homepage.