APS, ATF agree on raises for instruction support providers - Albuquerque Journal

APS, ATF agree on raises for instruction support providers

The Albuquerque Public Schools building at 6400 Uptown NE.
(Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Social workers, counselors and many other instructional support providers got some good news on the last day of school – they’ll receive the same minimum salaries as teachers.

Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation announced the tentative agreement Tuesday, which was the last day of class for many schools.

The announcement came after the state this spring legislated minimum salary increases for teachers and some instructional support providers, which averaged around $10,000. That left out approximately 850 licensed employees, APS and ATF said in a joint news release.

Negotiations are ongoing, both organizations noted. Still, they said they felt it was important to come to an agreement about salaries before the end of the traditional school year so employees can plan.

“This early and groundbreaking agreement demonstrates that APS and ATF have a goal to ensure, in perpetuity, counselors, nurses, social workers and many more receive equitable raises in comparison to their teacher colleagues,” ATF President Ellen Bernstein said.

The tentative agreement would also do away with the district’s Career Pathway System, which provides a system for moving through career levels based on several factors including experience, degrees and professional portfolios.

Placement on new salary matrices, according to the new agreement, will be based on existing language from the CPS. Criteria for movement will also be based on factors including state Public Education Department licensure levels and at least three years of practice at each level.

Those placed on the third matrix will work 10 more days through an extended contract on top of the new minimum salaries.

The instructional support providers in the tentative agreement include audiologists, orientation and mobility specialists, counselors, physical therapists, interpreters for the deaf, social workers, nurses, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, diagnosticians, school psychologists, transition specialists, and other employees.

“Our work is pivotal to achieve our joint interest to attract and retain counselors, social workers, nurses, teachers, and so many more,” Executive Director of Labor Relations Valerie Hoose said.

The tentative agreement is based on pending approval of the budget by APS’ board and ratification of the negotiated agreement by the school board and ATF.

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