Latest on Bargaining with NMSU

(March 17, 2024) 


NMSU GWU (UE-1498) is preparing for Fall 2024 bargaining!  We are looking for new bargaining committee representatives, executive board members and stewards.  Nominate yourself for one of the positions here!  Sign a card today to build our membership & increase our collective power at the bargaining table.  Keep updated by following our instagram!

In solidarity,

Lindley Hornsby, Political Action Chair


Dear fellow grad workers,

Today, we fought hard at the bargaining table to secure a raise. In the end, we reached a tentative agreement with the University for a 6% raise! This will go into effect the first full pay period of the Spring 2024 semester for all Graduate and Teaching Assistants. Due to fiscal year allocations that are beyond our control, raises for Research Assistants will be effective later in the spring semester, and at the very latest, July 2024.

Every tentative agreement must be approved by the membership! Ratification of this new article to our current contract will become available through Microsoft Forms from 12:00 AM on November 9th until 11:59 PM on November 12th. Look out for an email with a link to vote. As a reminder, only card signing members can vote. To ensure your voice is heard, sign a card here!

Voting on the tuition coverage article is also still open until 11:59 PM on November 12th. Click here to vote if you have signed a card!

This is a big win on the heels of the increase in tuition coverage, and we are excited to approach the end of the semester with big financial increases coming just two months from now. But the fight is not over! More raises will come. Full tuition coverage is on the horizon. To secure these, and to win more money for international student health insurance coverage and other benefits, we must continue to organize! Here are some upcoming ways to do just that and other important notes:

    • Thursday, 11/9 at 5 PM in Breland 182
    • Come share your thoughts about the raise and learn how you can help win more! Dinner will be provided. 
    • RSVP here!
    • Stewards are union members who know the contract and can help workers with issues at the department level! A strong steward structure is critical to our ability to file grievances with the University when grad workers are mistreated. 
    • Only one of the two above trainings is necessary.
    • Lost time will be retroactively paid out for those that attend.
    • Sunday, 11/12 and Tuesday, 11/14 from 11 AM – 3 PM in O’Donnell 104. 
    • Sign-up here!

There is more work to be done, but we are getting there. Come celebrate the win with us on Thursday and tell your coworkers. We hope to see you!

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team for 11/7

Hannah Sun, Alexander Allison, and Riley Schaner


  • We won $1600 of tuition at the bargaining table.
  • To ratify the article, sign a card to be a voting member!
    • Voting will be open from 12:00 AM on November 6th until 11:59 PM on November 12th via Google Forms. Be on the lookout for a link.
  • Stewards training will be happening sometime between 11/10-11/13. Sign up here!
  • Please fill out this compensation survey to help inform our next bargaining session.
  • Our next General Membership Meeting will be on Thursday, November 9th at 5 PM, location TBD.

The union works when we have solidarity and when the members push for change. We are extremely optimistic about this win and we believe there are more wins to come. 

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team for 10/24,

Hannah Sun, Alexander Allison, Riley Schaner, Regan Cadena

6/23/2023 Bargaining Update: 

Bargaining with NMSU over increased tuition coverage resumed today in what proved to be the lengthiest bargaining session this spring. It was once again NMSU’s turn to provide a counter-proposal, and they once again failed to address the union’s concerns adequately in any way. Despite multiple proposals from our bargaining team to address absolute trainwreck of last semester’s tuition disbursement adequately the University created last spring, NMSU’s counter made no movement towards a compromise and it is clear they care only about lining administrators pockets rather than improving the lives of the graduate workers that run this university. Their proposals, generously, gave marginal progress towards resolving a single issue on the table (changes included: changing font styles and the time delivered in their headers).

We delivered multiple, creative, and extensive proposals to show our dedication to make the lives of graduate workers better, but the level of incompetence displayed by the university is more than just the bargaining team can handle alone. We need all hands on deck to brainstorm and enact strategies to fight to end grad worker poverty. Please join us this Tuesday, June 27th, at 5pm on Zoom for a special Organizing Committee meeting to discuss summer and fall actions. 

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team

David Aviles-Rodriguez, Trevor Karpinski, Hannah Sun, Regan Cadena, Julia Olson, and Riley Schaner

Past Updates 

(see news archive)

June 2023: NMSU refuses to provide a counter-proposal

We were back at the bargaining table with NMSU today to continue negotiations for increased tuition coverage. It was the university’s turn to provide a counter-proposal to our proposal which we introduced during the initial bargaining session last month, which requested increases in the number of credits covered and set specific timelines for when tuition refunds would be delivered. 

After almost a month to come up with a response, NMSU’s counter proposal unfortunately failed to address any of our proposed items, even logistical items that don’t cost money. They did not even come prepared with information we had requested over a month ago.  

The university wants to remain at the bare-minimum coverage agreed upon in the current bargaining contract and make no moves to improve the conditions for graduate workers at NMSU. Despite a significant amount of money being appropriated by the state for graduate worker tuition at this year’s legislative session, NMSU feels that the money they will save in tuition reimbursements could be better used to fill unrelated holes in their budget. When we asked where they planned to allocate tuition scholarship monies that will now be covered by new legislative funds they vaguely stated that “buildings needed repairs” as if NMSU does not already receive monies specifically for building maintenance and improvements. 

We remain firm in our current proposal for increased tuition coverage and developing specific guidelines for disbursement of funds. Bargaining will resume next week, and we hope that NMSU will be able to provide an actual, adequate counter-proposal.

If you haven’t already, you can sign on to our letter to Provost Shoho asking him to respect our grievance process. If you have any extra time this summer and want to help the union out, check out our Action List for some ideas of how you can help sustain the grad worker movement at NMSU, or join our slack channel for the most recent updates on organizing, bargaining and actions. 

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team

David Aviles-Rodriguez, Trevor Karpinski, Hannah Sun, Regan Cadena, Julia Olson, and Riley Schaner

March 2023: Tuition negotiations begin again on May 19th, 2023!

On March 30th, 2023 we submitted our request to formally re-open tuition negotiations to expand tuition coverage for graduate workers. We spent the winter lobbying our legislators and now NMSU is scheduled to receive a $25 million increase in Instruction and General funds that could be applied to tuition and a new statewide fund for graduate scholarships.

December 2022: We have ratified our first contract with the administration! This is a first step in the right direction. We are still fighting for tuition coverage and reasonable health insurance for all New Mexico State University graduate students and we FINALLY have got some momentum in bringing about fair negotiations with NMSU.

Read the summary of the contract here and view the full contract here.

Did you know that 80% of NMSU’s peer institutions offer tuition coverage for graduate employees but NMSU grads are forced to pay to work?

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Over 800 graduate workers, including TAs, GAs, and RAs, perform work critical to the university’s core mission as a center for education and research, and our labor is the backbone of the University.

Yet, unlike many peer institutions, NMSU does not provide health insurance, tuition remission, or summer employment to most graduate workers.

Now is the time for graduate workers join together and demand the working conditions and basic employment rights we deserve!

Sign a Union Card and Get Involved!