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American Federation of Teachers New Mexico Celebrate Victory in Long-Running Mora Independent School District Case

Nearly Five-Year Case Results in Compensation for Educators; Court Fees for AFT NM

December 21, 2021

Mora – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President, Whitney Holland, released the following statement:

“After nearly five years of legal stall tactics and fruitless appeals by the Mora Independent School District, we are extremely pleased at the recent ruling by Judge Ben Chavez which affirmed previous rulings in these wrongful terminations and awarded damages to three Mora educators.

“Originally stemming from three separate wrongful terminations by the Mora Independent School District, this judgment once again affirms New Mexico’s public educators have the right to work under a collective bargaining agreement and have that contract enforced by their union when it has been violated, regardless of the size of the school district.

“In 2017, an arbitrator ruled in the favor of the employees, and awarded lost pay, a reinstatement to their positions, and their seniority within the District. Now in 2021, Judge Chavez confirmed the wrongful terminations and awarded $361,000 in back pay to the educators.

“AFT New Mexico, has won every ruling, including twice at the New Mexico District Court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Mora Independent School District was even ordered to pay the Union’s attorneys fees associated with its seemingly endless appeals.

“This is another example of the work that unions perform for all educators covered by collective bargaining agreements and our union is grateful for the outcome of this case. We are, however, deeply disappointed by the reckless amount of public resources used by the Mora Independent School District to fight their own employees and community members. It is our opinion those resources would have been better spent serving the students of the District instead of harming their employees.”


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