AFT New Mexico Granted Temporary Restraining Order Against Gallup-McKinley County Schools

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American Federation of Teachers New Mexico 
Granted Temporary Restraining Order Against Gallup-McKinley County Schools
District Judge Prevents Gallup-McKinley Schools from Forcing Staff to Violate NM PED Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          
August 7, 2020                                                                         

John Dyrcz | 505-554-8679
Shane Youtz | 505-980-1590

Gallup – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly, and McKinley County Federation of United School Employees (MCFUSE) President Patrice Carpenter and Executive Vice President Brian Bernard released the following statement: 

“The Honorable R. David Pederson, State District Court Judge, has just issued a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the Gallup-McKinley County School District from actively and willfully violating the school reopening procedures identified by the New Mexico Public Education Department.  

“The Order was issued pursuant to a request, filed today by McKinley County Federation of United School Employees, Local #3313, AFT NM (the “Union”).  In that request, the Union sought an order compelling the School District to comply with an Order issued by New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary, Ryan Stewart, Ed.L.D.  Secretary Stewart issued an order on August 4, 2020, requiring all districts to allow employees to perform work from home, where possible.  Secretary Stewart’s Order explicitly directed districts that:

No staff member that has the technological capacity to teach or perform their job remotely shall be required to physically report to the building for the purpose of delivering online instruction or other job-related activity that can be performed remotely.

“On August 6, 2020, and in explicit violation of Secretary Stewart’s order, the School District’s Superintendent Mike Hyatt, ordered all District staff to perform all work from their worksites and prohibited employees from performing work at home, even if the work in question can as easily be performed from home.

“In the Order, the Court found that the School District, “is in violation of the lawful directive of the Secretary of the Public Education Department.”  The Court also found that the Union had “demonstrated irreparable harm to the employees they represent should such a directive be implemented.”  The Court ruled that the School District, “is prohibited from directing employees to report to campus on August 10, 2020, to perform any work which those employees can perform from home.”

“The Court has scheduled an emergency hearing for Monday at 11a.m., as well as a hearing on a permanent injunction scheduled for Friday, August 14, 2020.”