Highlands Responds

10/10/19

We’ve heard the misinterpretations and distortions of our contract.  What you should know is that NMHU has been unionized for 21 years.  In that time, because of our union, faculty salaries have risen at a greater percentage than other universities in the state.  In our first year of having a CBA, the average increase to faculty salaries was 10%!  Also, we have negotiated greater benefits and retirement rules so that faculty pay less.

Because of our union, we have greater protections for sabbaticals, workload, office hours, and the evaluation process for promotion and tenure.  We have a voice in all processes and have fought hard in our negotiations for the protections our collective bargaining agreement grants us.  Our union works closely with our Faculty Senate to protect all faculty rights and our CBA even mandates that our Faculty Handbook must be followed by our administration.

Without collective bargaining and a CBA, administrations can arbitrarily make changes to workload, office hours, faculty pay into benefits, and they can decrease sabbatical opportunities and salaries.  With a CBA, they can’t.

Last year for example, while other non-unionized universities in New Mexico were given anywhere from a 2.5% to a 4% raise in salary, we negotiated a 4% raise, including fringe benefits, and extra pay based on years in rank.

It is true that we are losing faculty like other universities in New Mexico.  But because of a united voice between our Faculty Senate and our union, our administration and Board of Regents are implementing a plan to help increase our numbers.

We love our union!  We have a powerful voice!

Let me know if you need any more information,

Sincerely,

Dr. Kathy Jenkins

Professor of Exercise Physiology

President of the NMHU Faculty Association