At The University of New Mexico, the campaign to unionize the UNM faculty under United Academics UNM (UA-UNM) has ended in both the adjunct and continuing faculty voting in favor of union representation. Eligible faculty cast their ballots on Oct. 16 and 17 on both the main and branch campuses, as well as via absentee ballot.
Out of the nearly 500 eligible adjunct faculty, 288 ballots were cast (59%), with 259 (90%) voting for a union, and 26 (9%) voting against – three ballots were invalidated. The 32 challenged ballot votes submitted for the adjunct faculty bargaining unit would not affect the outcome of the election, and therefore were not counted.
Of the just over 1,000 eligible continuing faculty, 811 (79%) ballots were cast, with 500 (62%) voting in favor of unionization, and 304 (38%) against – seven ballots were invalidated. The 43 challenged ballot votes submitted for the continuing faculty bargaining unit would not affect the outcome of the election, and therefore were not counted.
“UNM’s faculty are one faculty, even as they are a varied group of singular scholars and intellectual entrepreneurs,” said Provost and EVP of Academic Affairs James Holloway. “The debate over faculty unionization has been vigorous and intellectually robust. Such exchanges of ideas and clashes of values are core to the special environment that a research university must create. Ideas can be launched here, challenged here, and made better here.”
There are still some steps to be taken. The vote does not conclusively establish a faculty union, as it needs to be certified by the board at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25. All parties have five (5) business days to file objections to the conduct affecting the results of the election according to the UNM Labor Management Relations Board Rules and Regulations.
Holloway went on to say, “The faculty decisions on unionization speak their will, and I look forward, in partnership with our faculty and the rest of the Lobo community, to helping move UNM forward as a great research university.”
Once the union is certified, a committee of bargaining representatives will need to be selected and a contract with the University will need to be negotiated.