New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says contract talks with state employee unions are at an impasse because she wants the state to stop collecting union dues through withdrawals from employees' paychecks. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Republican governor raised the issue while criticizing teachers unions for opposing her administration's policy initiatives. She spoke Monday to a real estate luncheon in Albuquerque.
Teachers' union dues are withdrawn under contract provisions negotiated at the local level, but Martinez is pressing for an end to dues withdrawals for state employee unions.
According to Martinez, the unions use the dues money to attack her administration.
Spokesman Miles Conway of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees calls Martinez's desire to end dues withdrawals a "declaration of war."
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