‘Raising’ discord

By: Jyllian Roach and Carrie Ratkevich, Managing Editor and Staff Reporter
Graphic By: Jonathan Gamboa
Info Courtesy: CNM

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.

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