Last Thursday, the Communications Workers of America Local 7076 put out a petition to its members that, among other things, calls for Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Catherine Torres' resignation. The union represents roughly one-fourth of DOH's workplace.
"The mission of the Department of Health is suffering as a direct result of [Torres'] leadership," CWA Political Coordinator Miles Conway tells SFR.
Torres, who was named cabinet secretary by Gov. Susana Martinez, has been unpopular in the Department for some time. In January, an anonymous employee launched www.nmdohcrisis.com with the goal of getting Torres out of DOH.
Conway says he hopes to see roughly 500 signatures on the petition by the end of the summer (he estimates CWA currently has about 50).
"We're getting really worried about employees coming to work and having such emotional stress that something worse happens," Conway says. "People are upset. Deeply, deeply upset."
In an email to SFR, DOH spokeswoman Aimee Barabe writes that the Department has no comment on the petition. Below, Conway explains how consistent stories of intimidation and a loss in morale among DOH employees led to the petition.