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Spring 2024 Elections

Our next UA-UNM election will take place April 22-29, 2024, when members will elect officers, Representative Assembly members, and Equity Representatives to lead our union for a two-year term.

Voting will take place online, using the same third-party online platform (OpaVote) used for previous elections and ratifications. Eligible voting members will receive an email with instructions and the link to vote on April 22, so please check your spam and junk filters to make sure you do not miss the link to vote.

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

Keri Stevenson | Vice President, Gallup Campus
I wish to continue representing the Gallup faculty's voice in our larger union. This is more urgent than ever as we enter rebargaining for our entire contract. Gallup faculty deserve continued protection for an equitable workload and grievance procedures, and increased protections such as greater adjunct pay and job security, as well as administration transparency. We also deserve the chance to work with people from other branches and know our voices are being heard in discussions about compensation and other matters with Albuquerque administration. As a more distant branch from the central campus, we had felt isolated and ignored in the years before the union. I am committed to ensuring that Gallup faculty continue to receive solidarity from our union comrades, and that we can offer solidarity in return.

 

Laura Haniford | Representative Assembly College of Education, Unit 1

TEELP, COEHS

I have been proud to serve as the unit 1 rep for the COEHS for the past two years. I have learned a great deal about what it means to represent faculty and have worked to ensure faculty voice is present, heard, and respected. Through our work, I have come to know the faculty in our college and have fought to ensure your impressive work and expertise are acknowledged. If re-elected, I will continue to fight for all of us and for our college. We are stronger together.

 

Richard Obenauf | Representative Assembly Honors College, Unit 2

Honors College

I have been contingent faculty in Honors since 2010. In this time, I have had many conversations with other adjuncts about their needs, hopes, and frustrations, and I have experienced firsthand the lack of respect from the university. I have seen friends quit their jobs here due to a lack of institutional support. Working conditions have begun to improve since faculty voted to form our union—the only pay raises I have received since 2010 were directly due to our union.

I am committed to advocating for our rights and well-being. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions. The university’s desire to be more inclusive will need to begin by paying a wage to all faculty so that all qualified scholars can afford to teach here and so that contingent faculty can work without fear of retaliation from students or administrators.

For too long the university has balanced its budget on our backs. Our union’s immediate goal is to get the university to pay a living wage to adjuncts. The union’s ultimate goal is to achieve pay parity for contingent faculty on par with our tenure-track counterparts. I have been a champion of this cause while serving as your representative for the last year, and this is why I want to continue serving as your Unit II union representative for the Honors College.

Manel Martinez-Ramon | Vice President Albuquerque Campus

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering

As a VP for the campus of Albuquerque, I will continue fighting for the faculty. I have been a member of the Bargaining Committee and of the Labor-Management Committee, from which we have achieved significant salary raises across the board and several agreements with the administration that improved the working conditions of the faculty. I will collaborate in achieving agreements to create clear, transparent merit and equity compensation policies and to contain the increases in our health insurance premiums. Also, I will work to improve the salaries and conditions of the contracts for our adjuncts and part-time faculty. I will continue working to increase the number of faculty that actively support UAUNM in our campus.

Saurabh Ahluwalia | Treasurer

Finance and Innovation Dept., Anderson School of Management

As a candidate for the treasurer position, my foremost goal is to ensure transparent, efficient, and responsible management of our union's financial resources. Drawing upon my extensive experience in finance, both in academic and corporate world, I am committed to safeguarding the financial well-being of our union while also fostering greater member engagement and satisfaction. My dedication to open communication and collaboration will enable me to work closely with union members and leadership to address their needs and concerns regarding financial matters. I am deeply invested in advocating for fair and equitable compensation for all educators, as well as securing resources to support professional development opportunities and other initiatives that enhance the quality of our work environment. If elected, I pledge to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability, working tirelessly to advance the interests of our union and its members. Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient union that empowers educators and elevates our profession.

 

Scott Kamen | Vice President, Valencia Campus

Social Sciences, Valencia

I have been actively involved in UA-UNM since I started as an Assistant Professor of History at UNM-Valencia in Fall 2019 and have been UA-UNM Vice President for the Valencia campus since the position was established in 2022. My experiences in this position—and particularly, my time at the bargaining table with administration—have helped me to see why our union is necessary to ensure a faculty voice at UMM and why our membership is the foundation of everything our union does.

If re-elected as Vice President (Valencia), my primary goal is to improve the working conditions of our most vulnerable faculty. Ever since I first became active in UA-UNM, I have been continually impressed by the degree to which our union has prioritized the concerns of branch faculty and part-time faculty. UA-UNM has included branch and part-time faculty in ways that I simply have not seen in other arenas within the UNM system. Still, this kind of culture of inclusion will not endure indefinitely without efforts to maintain and further it. As Vice President (Valencia), I would aim to increase membership numbers and membership involvement on the Valencia campus and the broader UNM system. I believe that the ongoing organization of faculty at all of UNM’s campuses can ensure that our union works for all of our faculty, not just those who are already the most privileged.

Satya Witt | Representative Assembly College of Arts and Sciences, Unit 1 College of Arts and Sciences 

I served as a UA-UNM bargaining team member since January 2020 and co-signed the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) for Units 1 and 2 in June 2021. As the only faculty member participating in these efforts at the Lecturer rank, I was a fierce advocate for our non-tenure track faculty, part-time instructors, and adjuncts. Since the ratification of our CBAs, I have served as chair of the Labor Management Committee, which is tasked with addressing issues of concern regarding terms and conditions of employment and the interpretation and effectuation of our CBAs. Through the efforts of the Labor Management Committee, we have negotiated 5 Memoranda of Agreement that have led to improvements in the parental leave benefit for our Unit 1 members, professional development opportunities for our Unit 2 members, as well as other improvements to our CBAs. I have also participated on the ad-hoc bargaining teams that have negotiated agreements that provided 7.12% across-the-board salary increase for all unit members in 2022, and that established new minimum pay rates for both units as well as 6% and 8% across the board increases for Units 1 and 2 respectively in 2023.
If elected as a member of the Representative Assembly for the College of Arts and Sciences, I will aim to inform our members of their rights and benefits under our CBA and continue to provide a voice for our members in negotiations with the administration.

Nahir Otano Gracia | Representative Assembly Equity Seat

English, Arts&Science, Albuquerque

I stand for equity and justice, especially for People of Color, graduate students, and our Trans brothers and sisters. I promise to be a pain in the ass to my colleagues when they don't center these issues as they should be centered.

 

Anicca Cox | Representative Assembly Valencia Campus, Unit 1

English, Humanities, Valencia Campus

My experience in union work has been both as a member of an academic union on the faculty side and as a graduate student member who served as a contract negotiator alongside my union siblings at Michigan State University. In that work, I learned several valuable lessons which I would bring to the rep position. Those are chiefly, the value of coalition building and building collective power, and the scale and scope of change over time.

In addition, my primary research is in labor equity in the academy, and in my discipline of writing studies. I approach labor work from a feminist, intersectional lens, that acknowledges the values, perspectives and standpoints of groups of workers.

My goals in this position are fairly pragmatic--I would like to build capacity here at our campus by growing our membership, through hallway conversations, door-knocking and bringing union news to our faculty. Next, I would like to focus on increasing representation of our branch to the larger campus and union, and finally, I look forward to collaborating with our other rep to foreground issues of part-time faculty on our campus. A larger goal is to connect our campus to some of the political action initiatives of our union.

Karen Walter | Representative Assembly, Valencia Campus, Unit 2

Social Sciences, Valencia

I am honored to be able to participate in the progressive equity work being done by UA-UNM both on our campus and statewide. Additionally, I am new to the work and very excited to be a part of something historically on the side of justice and fairness. I have noticed, more than ever, Union participation from local cultural events in New Mexico, to a wide variety of national and global media representations. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of something I feel so strongly about here in my home State. The promise I make to myself and my colleagues is to be present, listen, and work with integrity and authenticity. I continue that promise with the work I do here with UA-UNM as well.

 

Beth Ratay | Vice President, Unit 2

Music Department, College of Fine Arts

I am in my second year of teaching as an Adjunct Instructor at UNM. I teach Theory and Composition for the Music Department, and have my doctorate in World Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

I have taught as an adjunct for over ten years at six different colleges including colleges in Massachusetts and California. The colleges in those states have strong unions, so I have first-hand experience of what a great union can accomplish. I have also served as the Union Representative for the College of Fine Arts at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California.

As the Vice President for Unit 2, my highest priority will be working to get adjuncts paid a living wage. Other issues I hope to address include compensation for canceled classes, addressing reasonable workloads for adjunct instructors, and job security for long-term adjunct instructors.

I am a great listener and a great problem solver and I want to use those skills, in addition to my previous union experience, to help build a more equitable future for our faculty. Please give me the opportunity to work for you.

Gary Cook | Vice President, Taos

Art Department, UNM-Taos

I have been the UA-UNM Taos Vice President for three years, at UNM since 2001. My primary goals for the coming year are to increase Union participation at UNM-Taos and to give voice and support to our collective concerns regarding job security, work load, and pay.

Glenn Koelling | Representative Assembly, College of University Libraries & Learning, Unit 1

College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences

I've served in this role for the past two years and have enjoyed making connections within the union on behalf of CULLS faculty. I hope to continue to represent CULLS' interests -- perhaps especially since librarian faculty have unique needs.

 

Jesús Costantino | Representative Assembly Equity Seat

English Language & Literature, College of A&S, Albuquerque

A core mission of UA-UNM is to give faculty a more meaningful and powerful voice. I see the equity seats in the Representative Assembly as an important way to ensure that the concerns of faculty of color are heard within and addressed by that collective voice.

 

Paula Corbin Swalin | Representative Assembly College of Fine Arts, Unit 1

Music, College of Fine Arts, Albuquerque Campus

It is an honor to be considered for this position. For the past year and a half, I've served as the Unit 2 VP, participating in UA-UNM legislative efforts, compensation bargaining, and the Labor Management Committee. I credit my UA-UNM membership
and service as a catalyst for promotion from many years of adjunct employment to a continuing lecturer position.

Though I have moved to Unit 1, many years as an adjunct provided first-hand awareness of our Unit 2 members' challenges. If elected, I plan to continue advocating for Unit 2 faculty, actively serving on committees, and building our member density, which continues to be a most important issue. Thank you for considering my candidacy for UA-UNM service.

 

Ernesto Longa | President, School of Law

If re-elected President of UA-UNM, I will continue to fight and advocate for academic freedom for all, improved compensation and benefits, equal pay for equal work, pathways to longer-term contracts for our adjunct and contingent faculty, improved workload policies, and proportional pay for overloads and summer administrative work.

 

Jessica Goodkind | Secretary, Sociology

Statement forthcoming

Chris Holden

Statement forthcoming

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