Nevada COs First to File for Recognition Since Collective Bargaining Law

LAS VEGAS – Corrections workers have become the first group of state workers to ask to be recognized as AFSCME in contract negotiations since Nevada adopted a law in June giving state employees the right to collectively bargain.

The corrections unit filed for recognition Friday with the state’s Government Employee-Management Relations Board after majority of the staff asked to be represented in contract talks as AFSCME Local 4041.

“We are excited to achieve over a majority support for our union, AFSCME Local 4041, and to file for the recognition that will get us to the bargaining table. We are proud to join over 65,000 AFSCME corrections officers across the country. As AFSCME, we will build off decades of experience in creating strong contracts for corrections officers to improve our working conditions and lives,” said Fred Fonseca, CO at High Desert State Prison.

Nevada state employees have been organizing as AFSCME Local 4041 for over 20 years. This year, AFSCME members won the right for 20,000 state employees to bargain collectively over wages, working conditions and resources to improve state services. State workers must now file with the state as AFSCME based on bargaining units determined by job classifications. After filing, the units will select bargaining teams to negotiate a contract with the state.

“For years we’ve fought as AFSCME Local 4041 for the resources we need to provide the best services we can to improve the state. I am proud to continue to do so through the collective bargaining process,” said Sgt. Shari Kassebaum, who works at Southern Desert State Prison.

The collective bargaining law was a massive win for working people and the labor movement, proving that union momentum continues to grow nationwide. Now most Nevada state employees – corrections officers, nurses, Department of Transportation workers, caretakers, and the like – can use their collective voice to negotiate workplace issues, including safety on the job.

AFSCME represents 1.4 million public services workers across the country and thousands of state employees in Nevada.