In another labor story, Santa Fe County is at an impasse with the firefighters’ union after a year of contract negotiations. The local International association of Fire Fighters 4366 has gone public with a dispute over payscale, sick leave, and overtime.

Jenna Marshall speaks with Pedro Nandino of the local IAFF 4366.


Santa Fe County officials did not grant an interview, but their communications coordinator sent the following email:

"Santa Fe County has a competitive pay and benefits package that compares favorably to other departments in the region.  Santa Fe County has also made consistent and sizable investments in the Fire Department, and is better positioned now to provide emergency fire and medical services than ever before. 

For example: 

  • Santa Fe County’s current career staff totals 77, which is the best we have ever been staffed in the history of the Santa Fe County Fire Department.
  • Santa Fe County supports more paid career firefighters than any other County Fire Department in New Mexico, with the exception of Bernalillo County.
  • In the last seven years, Santa Fe County has built new fire stations to provide our career staff with modern and comfortable living quarters. We have also upgraded a number of volunteer stations to provide safer and more efficient working environments for our more than 250 volunteers.
  • We continue to modernize our fire and EMS fleet and maintain one of the best and most comprehensive fleets in New Mexico.
  • We added three Shift Training Captains in September 2016 to improve and increase the level of fire and EMS training delivered to field staff. This was requested by the Union and fulfilled by Santa Fe County.

With regard to turnover, in the last two years, Santa Fe County has lost nine firefighters.  This does not equate to anywhere near a 40% turnover rate, and is lower than the national average turnover rate. 

With regard to resident safety, Santa Fe County is attempting to realign its staff to those areas of the County generating the highest emergency call volume.  This is an appropriate move to match resources with need.  In addition, Santa Fe County has a robust volunteer program, meaning that trained volunteer firefighters and EMTs are available and able to help respond to high call volumes or extraordinary events. 

With regard to the union’s last proposal, it would not have helped deliver “high quality service” or “improve public safety”, as the union claims.  Rather, the union wants to be paid overtime if taking vacations and other paid leave.  In other words, it wants paid leave to count as hours worked for overtime purposes.  This would come at a cost to the taxpayer, without increasing the number of staff available to respond to calls."

Direct download: IAFF4366PresidentPedroNandino_firefighters_labor_dispute1206.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:27pm MDT

The full-time faculty of Santa Fe Community College are taking steps toward forming a labor union. Friday marked a particularly big step, as faculty organizers delivered 90 signed unionization cards to the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board. Professor Marcy Eannarino is heading up unionization efforts through the American Association of University Professors. She dropped by KSFR’s studios yesterday to give us an update.


SFCC President Randy Grisham told KSFR at an outside event that he did not yet have a comment about the faculty’s unionization.

Direct download: SFCCunioncardsupdate1206.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:14pm MDT

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Tuesday, December 6.

Direct download: Nooncast_1206.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 1:08pm MDT

Standing Rock erupts in victory celebrations! So the headlines proclaimed yesterday after the Army Corps of Engineers announced it was denying the Dakota Access Pipeline an easement to route the pipeline under Lake Oahe (O-AH-EE) and portions of the Missouri River that provide the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply.


The pipeline developers responded with an official statement of their intent to "complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting."


Santa Fe civil rights and social justice attorney Jeffrey Haas is in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Haas is part of legal team representing the water protectors. They have been in place in encampments in Cannon Ball since April to protest this pipeline. They were joined yesterday by several thousand military veterans. Ellen Berkovitch reached Jeffrey Haas by phone this morning.

Direct download: JeffHaasStandRock1205.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 9:23am MDT

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Monday, December 5.

Direct download: noon_news_cast_12-5-16c.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 9:15am MDT

Creative Santa Fe has launched the Disruptive Futures summit to frame a global discussion in Santa Fe about nuclear weapons and the nuclear threat. The summit kicked off last night with a conversation between former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Dr. William J. Perry, and journalist Eric Schlosser. In 2013 Schlosser authored Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident and the Illusion of Safety, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

Former Defense Secretary Perry told Schlosser and the audience at The Lensic last night that the nuclear danger today is more acute than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.


KSFR reporter Rob Morlino interviewed Dr. Perry on Saturday.

Direct download: WilliamJPerrynuclearthreat1205.mp3
Category:KSFR News -- posted at: 9:07am MDT