--2 NM High Court Says State Violated Union Contracts
       
Oct. 25, 2014

This Week's SFR Picks

Newsletters

Choose your newsletter(s):
* indicates required

SFR Events

Special Issues

 

 
2011-Wisconsin-AFSCME-protesters-MuZemike
Protesters from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees march around the Wisconsin State Capitol, demonstrating against Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining restriction on unions.
MuZemike

NM High Court Says State Violated Union Contracts

A District Court will now decide how to give back pay to the thousands of current and former state employees affected

May 31, 2013, 5:00 pm
By Joey Peters

 In a victory for two state public employee unions, the New Mexico Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the State Personnel Office violated a 2007 collective bargaining agreement involving thousands of state employees.

The court's order of affirmance, which stems from a lawsuit dating back four years, means the state could be on the hook to pay as much as $20 million to the approximately 20,000 state employees involved in the collective bargaining agreements. 

It also remands the case back down to district court to settle the details of the back pay, reads that SPO in 2008 "breached the State's contractual obligations, and acted contrary to the legislative appropriation and to the [Collective Bargaining] Act."

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees and Communications Workers of America, argues that the state violated the pay increases that were bargained and agreed upon in their respective contracts.

In the original bargained contracts, the state and the unions agreed to sliding-scale pay increases over the next few years. But in the midst of a pay freeze ordered by former Gov. Bill Richardson while the state faced large budget deficits, SPO changed the pay increases to a flat 2.9 percent. In return, they provided the lowered pay increases to 10,000 extra nonunion state employees. In the past, SPO Director Gene Moser called the decision a "question of equity." 

But the unions argued that SPO's decision violated the pay increases both parties agreed on earlier. The high court agrees.

"The State chose to provide increased wages to those employees not covered by contract who had no contractual rights at the expense of those state employees who had enforceable contractual rights," the order reads.

It continues:

“The State Personnel Board took actions to allocate a portion of those appropriated funds to purposes other than fulfillment of the State’s contractual obligations. The effect of this action was to deprive those state employees covered by contract of sufficient funds to honor those contracts. Instead, the State chose to provide increased wages to those employees not covered by contract who had no contractual rights at the expense of those state employees who had enforceable contractual rights."

Read SFR's previous coverage here and the court's order and AFSCME's statement below:

SC33792
Document
Pages
Zoom

              
p. 1
Loading Loading
p. 2
Loading Loading
p. 3
Loading Loading
To print the document, click the "Original Document" link to open the original PDF. At this time it is not possible to print the document with annotations.
Press Release Supreme Court WIN Pay Plan
Document
Pages
Zoom

              
p. 1
Loading Loading
p. 2
Loading Loading
To print the document, click the "Original Document" link to open the original PDF. At this time it is not possible to print the document with annotations.

 

comments powered by Disqus
 
Close
Close
Close