LAS VEGAS – Nevada state employees who provide a mental and behavioral health care services filed for recognition today as AFSCME with the Government Employee-Management Relations Board of the State of Nevada, becoming the second group of state workers to do so.
Since winning collective bargaining rights earlier this year, a majority of members in this unit –comprised of developmental support technicians, certified nursing assistants, mental health technicians, child care workers, licensed vocational nurses and other health care related jobs – are asking to be represented in contract negotiations as AFSCME Local 4041.
“We care for people with severe mental disabilities. I love working with our clients, but year after year our employer has made it difficult to do our job safely and provide our clients with the best care possible. With collective bargaining, I know my co-workers and I can make changes to improve safety in the workplace and the services we provide,” said Ken Edmonds, a developmental support tech at Desert Regional Center.
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.
This unit of health care workers followed the lead of a group of state corrections officers, who were the first to achieve majority support in their unit and file for collective bargaining recognition. After receiving it, workers in each unit will select bargaining teams to negotiate a contract with the state in the coming months.
“My co-workers and I provide valuable services to some of the most vulnerable communities in Nevada. As AFSCME, we will be able to advocate for resources to improve mental health services in all parts of the state,” said Katie Morgan, a mental health tech at Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services.
AFSCME represents 1.4 million public services workers across the country and thousands of state employees in Nevada.