Sign the petition: UNM Should Recognize Graduate Workers’ Right to Unionize

President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes, Provost Dr. James Holloway, Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Julie Coonrod, Dean of Students Ms. Nasha Torrez

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The rights of graduate workers to organize unions and collectively improve their working conditions must be defended!

To: President Dr. Garnett S. Stokes, Provost Dr. James Holloway, Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Julie Coonrod, Dean of Students Ms. Nasha Torrez
From: [Your Name]

The University of New Mexico has filed a motion seeking to strip its graduate employees of our right to unionize under state law, reneging on its prior public commitment to respect the rights of graduate workers to organize. The motion was filed after a strong majority of graduate employees signed union cards and petitioned the State Labor Board for union recognition on December 9, 2020.

We decided to unionize in response to long-standing issues of job insecurity, inadequate benefits, excessive workloads, and low compensation that leaves many workers below the poverty line. We know that without our labor and the labor of other workers on campus, the university cannot function. We teach thousands of undergraduate students, grade and provide feedback on countless exams and essays, work on research to improve our communities, and much more.

In October, UNM Provost James Holloway said in a statement to the Albuquerque Journal that “the university recognizes the rights of our graduate students to decide to organize.” Now, UNM is backtracking and claiming that we are not “regular employees” and that our right to collective bargaining should not be recognized. In describing their new position to the state Labor Board, UNM cites a proposed Trump administration rule that seeks to rob the union rights of graduate workers at private institutions, arguing that New Mexico should apply the Trump administration proposal to graduate workers at public universities in the state.

As of today, nearly 1,000 graduate workers at UNM have joined the union because we believe that we are stronger together. We call on UNM to recognize the vital labor that graduate employees contribute to the university and community. We call on UNM to recognize the right of graduate employees to unionize. We call on UNM to do the right thing and recognize the right of graduate employees to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives.