Negotiations Update: ATF & APS Make Agreements On Working Conditions During the Pandemic!


July 23, 2020


TO:                  APS Employees

FROM:           Scott Elder, Acting Superintendent Albuquerque Public School (APS)

Dr. Ellen Bernstein, President: Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF)

We hope that this joint communication finds you, and yours, doing well and staying healthy.  As the District prepares to implement its Instructional and Operational Reentry Plan for this upcoming school year, APS and ATF staff worked diligently and collaboratively to create the attached COVID-19 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.  APS and ATF know that in-person schooling is best for our students.  Unfortunately, there are still significant COVID-19 related concerns about the safety of students, educators, and our communities. To that end, we believe this MOU will continue to move us forward to the safe return to in-person schooling.

APS and ATF will continue to work collaboratively to determine how to most effectively utilize staff during this time. All paid staff should be available to participate in the ongoing improvement of the educational process to best meet the needs of our students during this very challenging time. APS and ATF mutually agree and understand that schools and educators will face challenges and barriers that will need to be addressed. We believe that the negotiated MOU will help all of you to keep safe and keep schools running.

Lastly, we share the mutual belief that providing a high-quality education for the children of Albuquerque is our paramount objective.  We also believe and affirm that it must be safe to do so.



Although no one knows what the future holds regarding re-opening during the pandemic, ATF and APS agreed that we would have a common calendar for all schools and worksites. The first issue that had to be settled was the start date and the beginning of the year Professional Development and Preparation Days. You can download the MOU here.


We know that students will return to school next year with a lot of social and emotional needs. ATF and APS had already begun to address these needs by re-booting advisories in Middle & High Schools. These were the Advisories agreements from March 2020. We also sent out an FAQ entitled “Advisory Reboot #1” and “Advisory Reboot #2”. Finally, here are a couple of articles that guided the APS/ATF Advisory Task Force to make our decisions: “The Challenge of Advisory and Why It’s Worth the Effort” and “Advisory: 22 Ways to Build Relationships for Educational Success”.


ATF & APS revised last year’s language on Teacher Leader Facilitators (TLFs), drafted additional language, and agreed to continue the program for the coming school year. This is an important position, as educators are able to elect their TLFs and this furthers the cause of democracy in our schools. You can download the MOU here. 

APS/ ATF made agreements about End of the Year procedures and the tone of our joint work: collaboration. Here is the first Joint Memorandum. You can download the document here.

ATF leadership met the last week of school with APS Administration and released the following Memorandum of Understanding. The two parties are working together to create a re-opening task force that will include administration and practitioners. The task force will work on the 7 areas listed on the Memo.