San Juan College Faculty Votes To Unionize

FARMINGTON On the heels of recent and decisive votes by full and part-time faculty at UNM, over two thirds (68 percent) of San Juan College (SJC) full-time faculty voted yes to win collective bargaining rights for faculty in a decisive victory in support of students and faculty. 
Votes were cast Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 resulting in 87 out of 128 faculty voting in favor of collective bargaining.
“I, along with my colleagues, are deeply committed to the mission of SJC and our student’s learning. We hope that SJC Administration will join us in realizing our vision of shared governance and transparency. We believe that together we can realize an equitable workplace that retains and attracts talent to SJC to deliver the best education for our students,” said Gerald Williams, professor of math and president San Juan College Education Association (SJCEA).
Collective bargaining is a formal process, governed by the New Mexico Public Employee Bargaining Act, granting SJC faculty rights to negotiate with the Administration on matters of working conditions, including the establishment of a fair process to address compensation, benefits, and due process procedures, among others. 
The SJC faculty expressed that they sought collective bargaining in response to concerns that were detailed in a vote of no confidence of President Dr. Toni Pendergrass in 2016, which remained unaddressed by the SJC Board of Trustees.
Professor of Math Gordon DeSpain expressed that, “Good education inspires students’ desire to be life-long learners and to give back to their communities.”
Williams added, “Our working conditions have a direct impact on our students learning and faculty see themselves as the stewards not only of their education but of their contributions beyond the classroom. We trust that the SJC Administration will join us in this noble undertaking and the continuation of the rich history established by the founding President James Henderson as an exemplary institution of higher education.”
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