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No action taken on school district negotiations with union

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The Gallup-McKinley County Schools Board of Education held a special meeting July 14 to discuss the collective bargaining strategy for continued negotiations between the district and the McKinley County Federation of United School Employees.

The negotiations involved reaching an agreement of terms for the upcoming school calendar and salary schedule, as well as communications with legal counsel regarding the scope of the New Mexico Public Education Department taking credit for federal CARES pandemic aid funding, and legally challenging the same impact negotiations on the district’s re-entry plan.

During the school board’s July 6 meeting, the board said the start of the school year for GMCS will be a hybrid of limited in-person learning and online courses. This is in accordance with the mandates by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Also included in the discussions were issues of potential liability and requirements for bargaining under the state’s Public Employee Bargaining Act, which gives the state board authority over public employee collective bargaining matters in any jurisdiction that did not have an active local labor board.

After a lengthy closed executive session, the board stated its report for the record.

“We discussed the litigations filed against the school, and the options and all that,” Board President Charles Long said. “The report is no action was taken.”

Preparations for the district reopening are ongoing. The district posted an update where it shows distribution of numerous cleaning supplies to help students and teachers remain safe. The update can be found at https://www.facebook.com/gallupmckinleycountyschools.

In addition to the report on the litigations, the school board voted to approve a one percent pay raise for non-collective bargaining union staff members at the end of the meeting.

By Cody Begaye
Sun Correspondent