NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU Board of Regents approves AFSCME agreement

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents unanimously approved the union contract negotiated between the university and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at a special meeting Friday, May 4. This was just one day after the agreement was ratified by AFSCME members by a vote of 492-15.

The three-year contract was negotiated in approximately seven months, considerably less time than it took for either the county or the state to reach an agreement with the union, NMSU General Counsel Bruce Kite told the board.

"I want to commend the bargaining groups from both organizations," Board Chair Laura Conniff said. "One of the reasons we are meeting here today is that we as a board pushed to get this done. And we wanted to step up as soon as possible to vote because we felt if you took the time to move it along, we would too."

Kite pointed out some of the key areas in the agreement: a 5 percent across-the-board pay increase for employees making under $30,000 and increased university contributions for health insurance. For those earning less than $26,250.00, 80 percent of the premium will be paid by NMSU, effective July 1, 2007.

While the agreement itself impacts only union members, the university made a decision to extend the 5 percent pay increase to all NMSU employees making under $30,000, Kite said.

Deductions for union dues will be made through payroll and employees will have the opportunity to end membership dues deductions during the first two weeks of July. Employees within the bargaining unit who decide not to be dues-paying members of the union will not be required to make "fair share" payments to the union.

The contract is effective when signed by the president of the union and the president of the university. Within 30 days of that date, which has not yet been set, it will be posted on the NMSU Web site. In addition, training sessions and forums will be scheduled to explain the contract, answer questions and provide employees and supervisors the information they need to go forward.

On closing the meeting, Conniff said, "We all are working for raising salaries." She added that she hoped that the various university units could approach the Legislature together in the future and work for the university as a whole.