Española Police Union Loses Appeal

(SUNfoto by Austin Fisher) New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board Chair Duff Westbrook (center) reads from his motion, Aug. 9, upholding the decision to dismiss the prohibited practices case brought against the city of Española and its police department.

The New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board has upheld an earlier decision by its director to dismiss allegations that the city of Española and it’s police department tried to dismantle the local police officers union.

The three-member Board unanimously affirmed, Aug. 9, Executive Director Thomas Griego’s findings that the city did not violate labor laws when it fired American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 Local 923 Labor Union President Sammy Marquez in January and suspended Vice President Robert Vigil for two weeks in March.

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Española City Website Launch Delayed

A screenshot of a preview build of the new city of Española website as it appeared on Aug. 27, 2016.

The launch of a new city of Española website has been delayed until late September, more than nine months after the city signed the contract to build the site.

City Clerk Anna Squires expected the website to launch on Aug. 1, but the company building the site said it won’t be ready until Sept. 22. The city and Manhattan, Kan.-based company, CivicPlus, signed the contract in December 2015.

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Board Mulls Union Busting Case

(SUNfoto by Austin Fisher) Española Police Chief Richard Gallegos testifies in June during the prohibited practice case against his department. The police officer’s union accuses Gallegos and his former deputy chief of trying to dismantle the union.

Months of strife within the Española Police Department will soon reach a tipping point.

Lawyers for the police officer’s union and the city of Española will try to convince the state Public Employee Labor Relations Board of their versions of events, which led to a mass pulling of dues by the rank and file and the firing of Union officers.

Thomas Griego, executive director of the Board and the hearing officer in the case, is weighing final arguments turned in, June 16, by attorneys from both sides in the union’s prohibited practice case against the city police department. Griego’s decision could determine the future of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 Local 923 Labor Union’s leadership, and its relationship to Department management.

Continue reading Board Mulls Union Busting Case