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University of New Mexico Union Supporters

 University of New Mexico faculty gathers outside the Board of Regents meeting on March 11, 2019 after speaking during public comment in favor of unionizing. The University will issue a response to the petition for a vote to unionize on Monday March, 18. 

University to make decision on union petition today

On Monday, University of New Mexico officials will be releasing their response to a petition signed by over 900 faculty members across all five campuses in support of the formation of a collective bargaining unit, which was filed under the name United Academics of the University of New Mexico (UA-UNM). 

The decision will come more than a month after the petition was first delivered to President Garnett Stokes during her traveling office hours. UA-UNM allowed the University until March 18 to reach a decision

Lee Montgomery, an associate professor and member of UA-UNM, said the University essentially has three options on how to respond to the petition:

  • They can accept the union as it is presented in the petition, which would would not require an election.
  • They can request an election, with the request that the union adjust certain aspects of their petition.
  • They can outright reject the union’s petition.

Various members of UA-UNM have said their concerns range from cost-of-living adjustments to scheduling and working conditions. 

At the Feb. 28 Board of Regents meeting, Stokes said the University will be launching an educational campaign so faculty “fully understand the ramifications of a decision to unionize.”

Montgomery, who was at the meeting, told the Daily Lobo that an educational campaign undermined the knowledge faculty already have of labor laws. 

“It’s interesting to me that, after three years of organizing, the president’s response was that there needs to be an education campaign, as if we as teaching faculty haven’t done enough research on how a union works on a campus,” Montgomery said.

Interim Provost Richard Wood said there will be an announcement explaining what the campaign will look like sometime this week. 

Stokes has previously expressed concerns that a union would further divide main campus and the Health Sciences Center. HSC faculty are not currently represented by UA-UNM.

Kyle Land is the editor-in-chief for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at or on Twitter @kyleoftheland.

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