Graduate Workers Hold Walk-Out Rally to Call for a Fair Contract

December 7, 2022

Media Contact: Ian Birdwell, 570-594-2052,

Friday, December 9 is the scheduled final date of bargaining for United Graduate Workers of UNM (UGW-UE 1466), the union representing graduate workers on the University of New Mexico campus. Graduate workers are seeking agreement on a few important articles, including a grievable non-discrimination language, union and employer rights, increases to the minimum salaries for graduate assistantships, and inclusion of research assistants on salary increases. Currently, the University is not including research assistants in the overall raise within the contract being negotiated. RAs, who make up ⅓ of graduate workers at the university, need to be given a raise just like all other grad workers. UGW of UNM is holding the Walk Out in protest of UNM’s refusal to include them and will pressure the university to do so.

The rally is being held at 12pm on Wednesday, December 7 at Scholes Hall on UNM’s main campus with the intent to urge the university to cooperate with the union on meeting the needs of graduate workers, particularly on the inclusion of research assistants in the salary proposals.

“As a research assistant, I’m part of the reason why UNM gets to consider itself the state’s dominant research university — it seems the university forgets this at times, given how they talk about us,” said Anupam Mitra.

At a previous action in November, several hundred graduate workers gathered to show support for the union during the ongoing negotiations and to speak out against proposed increased health care cost burden on graduate workers. On Monday, the UGW of UNM bargaining committee announced that they are in the process of working on an agreement to their insurance article.

To arrange an interview with a graduate worker call Ian Birdwell at 570-594-2052.