UNM to appeal allowing grad student workers to unionize

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico plans to appeal a ruling that graduate student employees can unionize.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that UNM has filed notice of intent to appeal in 2nd Judicial District Court.

Cinnamon Blair, a university spokeswoman, says “because of the importance of these issues to our mission, we feel a correct and thorough legal examination of the issues is necessary and this is the role of the courts.”

University graduate student workers first petitioned for union recognition in December 2020. A hearing officer on the the state Public Employees Labor Relations Board determined that graduate students were not regular employees because their jobs last for a semester.

Graduate students filed an appeal. Both sides made arguments in front of the board. In August, the board sided with the student workers. Earlier this month, the board called for graduate student workers to do a “card check” and see if a majority wanted to unionize.

UNM graduate student Ramona Malczynski, chair of the graduate student workers coordinating committee, said she wasn’t surprised by the appeal.

Their action was just “wasting taxpayer money on a lawyer,” Malczynski said.

Blair says the notice of appeal is not meant to reflect negatively on the value of graduate student employees.