Administration pay raise leads to concern
A recently approved three percent recurring raise and onetime two percent raise for the 2012-2013 fiscal year for all employees not protected by a collective bargaining agreement — those whose jobs are represented by a union — has caused friction between the administration and those excluded. This would mean that the raise applies only to members of the administration, administrative assistants, advisers and offices such as the Financial Aid Department.
The raise will not apply to full-time faculty, part-time faculty, security, maintenance, operations, and instructional support staff, according to an email from President Katharine Winograd to staff.
“The raises are an act of good faith,” said Chairman of the Governing Board Blair Kaufman.
The raise proves that the institution is willing to work with the union, said Kaufman.
Members of faculty disagree with Kaufman’s sentiment, said part-time Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences Instructor Julia So.
“If they want to offer a gesture of good faith, the administration would not take the raise,” said So.
Money has been set aside to give union employees a raise. The administration wished to respect the unions by waiting for a formal contract to be created before applying such raises, said Winograd. CNM is required to submit a formal budget for the 12-13 school year to the Department of Higher Education by May 1, according to Winograd’s email. The most important pieces of the budget are the tuition rates for students and the percentage increases or decreases for salaries, both must be passed by the governing board, she wrote.
“We respect the bargaining process and understand that the members of the bargaining team and their consultants from the American Federation of Teachers or the Communication Workers of America have the right to determine alternative salary proposals for the negotiations,” said Winograd in the same email.
The employees union has been in a state of impasse for the last three years, said President of the CNM Employees Union Andrew Tibble. The impasse is over a potential clause that the administration wants to add that would allow CNM to decrease pay without negotiations, said Tibble.
“As much as those pay increases may be appreciated, they are not a substitute for confidence,” said Tibble.
While in an impasse, CNM is not required to give any of the raises provided by the expired contract, according to New Mexico state law. There is no language prohibiting the raises.
The union currently has a Petition of No Confidence circulating to remove recently retired Vice President for Administrative Services Robert Brown as a contracted employee whose company, Management Associates, represents CNM in the bargaining process, according to the petition on cnmemployees.org.
“Mr. Robert Brown and the consulting group Management Associates’ continued involvement and influence in the area of Employee Relations has been responsible for obstructing legitimate communications between the CNM Employees Union and the bargaining unit members it legally represents, restricting basic rights of Union representation, denying legitimate requests for documentation in grievance process, imposing changes to Part Time and Full Time Faculty contracts without negotiations,” according to the petition.
The union has collected more than 400 signatures from students, instructors, staff and community members on the petition, said Tibble.