ALBUQUERQUE — After months of negotiations, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) announced a tentative agreement with the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) on raises for certified employees.
“While contract talks continue on other terms and conditions of employment, I am proud to say that all APS educators we represent will return to work next school year with significant salary increases. I am particularly pleased that we were able to negotiate a level of equitability in raises for all of our employee groups beyond what the state legislature specified.” ATF President Ellen Bernstein said.
The NM State Legislature provided funding to raise the minimum salary levels in the 3-Tiered Teacher Licensure System to $41,000, $50,000 and $60,000—equating to increases of between 10.8% and 14.3%. However, lawmakers only appropriated a 6% pay increase for teachers not affected by the increase to the 3-Tiered minimums and “other licensed staff” (which includes counselors, social workers, nurses, interpreters, special education therapists and audiologists).
Together, the 1,200 experienced teachers and the nearly 800 essential related service educators would receive half the pay increases of their peers had ATF not insisted on equitable raises.
“For more than 12 years, ATF has worked tirelessly for all Essential and Relates Service Educators and have successfully negotiated salaries for them equal to their teacher colleagues,” said President Bernstein, “and we are excited to announce that we have been successful once again.”
In the 2019-2020 school year, all counselors, social workers, nurses, interpreters, special education therapists, rehabilitation counselors and audiologists will earn the same 3-Tiered minimum salaries as teachers. This equates to an average of $2,700 more than the state appropriated.
ATF also successfully negotiated a 7% increase for all experienced educators, diagnosticians and school psychologists, and transition specialists—over $500 more than the state allocated for each of these highly valuable educators who have dedicated their careers to working with APS students.
Although salary agreements have been reached, ATF and APS negotiations about terms and conditions of employment will continue. All members of the ATF Bargaining Unit will have the opportunity to vote on the ratification of the above tentative salary agreements and contract language improvements when negotiations are completed.