The New Mexico Highlands University administration continues to negotiate with its 90 faculty, who are working under their old contract.

The faculty was originally offered 10 percent pay raises with strings attached, said Kathy Jenkins, president of the NMHU Faculty and Staff Association who teaches exercise and sports science.

“They have since not offered that to us,” said Jenkins, who didn’t want to share additional information related to negotiations with the media.

“It’s significantly lower,” she said.

The minimum pay for tenure and tenure-track faculty with a terminal degree in their field is $53,500 for assistant professors, $58,500 for associate professors and $70,000 for full professors. 

“We really had hoped these negotiations would have been completed last May,” Jenkins said. “Unfortunately, they are still dragging on.”

When the contract expired, the old agreement kicked in, said NMHU President Dr. Sam Minner.

“I was really leaning into getting the minimum wage up higher,” Minner said. “The union represents all tenure track and tenure faculty. That’s not even close to all the faculty.” 

Highlands also contracted with a company to look at the school’s positions, job titles and pay in the region and country. They learned that Western New Mexico University in Silver City pays less than Highlands, and Eastern New Mexico University in Portales pays more than Highlands, he said.

“I would like to get up to the Eastern level.” Minner said. “I have those resources.”

During the recent NMHU Regents’ meeting, regent Danelle Smith said she is disappointed the school has not yet increased wages for all faculty to competitive levels with similar universities.

“Get this done,” Smith said. “We really want this to happen.”

Negotiations continue weekly, Jenkins said.

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