BIPOC Caucus Sends Letter to Provost and Senior Vice Provost Regarding COVID-19 Impacts on Faculty of Color
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Albuquerque, NM – Earlier today, members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Caucus sent an important letter to Provost Holloway and Senior Vice Provost Rodriguez regarding the impact of COVID-19 on faculty of color. Read the full letter in its entirety by clicking here.
UA-UNM Testifies to Improve Material Wellbeing for Contingent Faculty
Friday, February 26, 2021
Santa Fe, NM – Lawmakers in the New Mexico House Education Committee heard testimony on Friday from UA-UNM
before passing House Bill 289, College Faculty Minimum Wage. This bill would extend eligibility for unemployment benefits and mandate provisions requiring that faculty be informed of course assignments at least 10 weeks in advance and stipulating guaranteed payment when classes are canceled without sufficient notice. It also seeks to establish a minimum wage of $5,000 per course credit hour for non-tenure-track-faculty.
UA-UNM member Jona Kottler of UNM’s Honors College presented formal testimony in support. “My students do not know that I am adjunct, or what that means. They expect, pay for, and deserve the same level of instruction they get from a tenure-track professor, but they get it for a much lower hourly rate,” she said. “The current national debate for a $15 minimum wage underscores the need for equitable wages, and we see a great disparity across Main campus, and especially across to the Branch campuses: an adjunct may earn $4000/per course ($1333.00 per credit hour) on Main while at a Branch only $2300/per course ($767 per credit hour) yet students pay the same per-credit cost,” she added.
Findings from a national survey conducted by the American Federation of Teachersshow one-third of the respondents reported earning less than $25k per year, placing them well below the national guideline for a family of four. Forty-one percent of respondents struggle with job security, reporting they don’t know if they have a teaching job until one month before the beginning of an academic year. For three out of four contingent faculty, employment is only guaranteed term to term. To learn more about how UA-UNM is working to improve pay, respect, benefits, and more for adjunct faculty at UNM, please click here to read our bargaining proposals and admin’s responses to date. To follow HB 289 in the legislative process, click here.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
UA-UNM and UNM Administration have been working diligently and collaboratively over the past few weeks on a faculty benefit for Spring 2021. In the hopes of offering faculty some relief from the strain of working during a pandemic and while possibly caring for others, we have negotiated a Temporary Voluntary Reduction in FTE, namely one-course release for spring. The benefit is paid via a 7% reduction in one’s annual salary, resulting in a 14% pay reduction per month for the spring 2021 semester. More information is posted hereon the UA-UNM website.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
United Academics of the University of New Mexico (UA-UNM) is happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with the administration of the University New Mexico as it relates to COVID-19 and our safe return to work. The details of the agreement and the joint message from UA-UNM and the administration are posted here on the UA-UNM website.
Friday, July 24, 2020
UA-UNM is happy to announce the creation of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus! Our first meeting is scheduled for September 10, 2020 at noon, Mountain time.The UA-UNM BIPOC Caucus aims to organize and build power with faculty who identify as BIPOC and create advocacy with BIPOC faculty and the issues that concern and affect us. We strive to address quality of life issues, our working conditions, and to help with professional development.If you are a faculty member who identifies as BIPOC and would like to join the caucus or get involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our outreach list. Our first meeting will be a conversation about concerns and priorities. We hope you can join us.
UA-UNM Issues Statment on Black Lives Matters
Tuesday, June 6, 2020
United Academics of UNM condemns the ongoing police violence against Black people. We stand against the racist structures that allow for gross abuses of power by law enforcement against communities of color across the country.
UA-UNM stands in solidarity with those protesting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and all Black people as they respond to the violence inflicted upon their communities and the violence they face on a day-to-day basis.
Our faculty union is dedicated to continually working towards a safe workplace for our communities of color through advocacy and accountability. We will continue to hold university administration accountable for providing us with a safe, anti-racist work enviornment, and we invite you to join us in these efforts.
Monday, June 1, 2020
As a faculty union, United Academics of University of New Mexico (UA-UNM) are working to solidify improved protections for our personal and collective safety, while ensuring that our voices are heard. With this in mind, we want to hear from you and understand your thoughts as to how the University’s administration is handling and responding to hate crimes on campus. UA-UNM has launched a survey that will help inform the ongoing negotiations at the bargaining table for our first contract and help guide our union as we help build a safe and just workplace. Please take a moment to fill it out here.
URGENT: Continuous Hate Crimes on UNM Campus
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
It has come to our attention that hate crimes and ongoing threats are occurring on UNM-Main campus. Our colleague, an Africana Studies faculty member, was targeted with a death threat. We have since learned that more general threats of violence against Black people were sent to numerous campus offices including the UNM library, Africana Studies, and the Special Events Office. We know that at this time, there are more details that have not been released. As a faculty union, we vehemently denounce these threats and call for UNM administration to communicate publicly what specific steps they are taking to assure the safety and security of those targeted by these acts of violence and how they will protect UNM faculty, students, and staff more broadly as they search to find the individual(s) responsible for these serious and violent threats.
As the Campus Violence Policy states, “The University of New Mexico is committed to providing an environment that is free from violence. Acts or threatened acts of violence will not be tolerated.” This policy was put in place in order to protect faculty in just these types of situations, yet the precise actions to be taken are not transparent. We call on the administration to strengthen and clarify the policies mentioned in the handbook during the interim, and to keep the UNM community informed about the investigation.
We stand in solidarity with faculty and students from both the Africana Studies Program and the broader Black community. We recognize the harm the threats of violence cause the entire community, and we expect the administration to take immediate action toward identifying who did this, ensuring they will not become a further threat.
Stephanie Ly, the President of American Federation of Teachers New Mexico stands strong with us as she said, “Racism and racist threats against educators have no place in an institution of learning, and these threats should be rejected by every member of the University of New Mexico community. Free exchanges of ideas must never be curtailed due to intimidation or hate-based threats. We call on the administration of the University to take all actions necessary to fully investigate this matter, hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, and involve all appropriate federal agencies in investigating these racially-motivated incidents.”
As these types of threats become more prevalent across our communities, we are prepared to collaborate with the administration immediately, and in the longer term, through the collective bargaining process. We believe all of our faculty, students, alumni, and broader UNM community deserve to be safe. As a faculty union we are open to working with administration and our members in order to achieve clarity in this crisis.
UA-UNM Executive Council Unanimously Endorses Prison Divestment Petition to New Mexico Educational Retirement Board
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Read the full petition and more here.