College Union Lauds First Contract, Now in Place

The agreement offers a fairer disciplinary process, transparent lay-off procedures, earlier notifications of non-renewal of contracts, a 1.25% increase in salary, more time for communications with the Board of Trustees as well as other changes.

February 23, 2023

The San Juan College Education Association (SJCEA) recently received an important ruling strengthening their role as a safeguard for improving the working conditions for faculty and a stronger learning environment for the students of San Juan College.

SJCEA successfully secured its first collective bargaining contract through Arbitration in March of 2022. Federal Arbitrator Paul Barron in his decision stated that he concluded that SJCEA’s contract proposal was fairer than the contract proposed by SJC administration. On April 22, 2022, SJC administration filed an appeal of this decision in the 11th Judicial District of New Mexico.
On Thursday, December 1, 2022, McKinley County Court Judge R. David Pederson in a swift ruling upheld the Arbitration ruling in favor of SJCEA.
After a round of discussions between faculty representatives and administration officials in January and February of this year, agreement was reached on several items of concern that entailed administration waiving any future appeals of the arbitrator’s ruling.
In response to this outcome, SJCEA President and Professor of Math, Gerald A. Williams stated, “I along with my colleagues are deeply committed to the mission of SJC, our community, and our students’ learning. We believe that the SJCEA contract will allow faculty and staff to better fulfill this mission.”

The agreement offers a fairer disciplinary process, transparent lay-off procedures, earlier notifications of non-renewal of contracts, a 1.25% increase in salary, more time for communications with the Board of Trustees as well as other changes.

This contract milestone is significant because it lays an important foundation for future negotiations to continue improving working conditions to recruit and retain the best staff and instructors for students. Williams continued, “SJC’s geographic location highlights the importance of being able to attract and retain high quality personnel. SJC faculty see themselves as the stewards not only of their students’ learning in the classroom but also of their contributions in our community which many of them will eventually work and serve.”
SJCEA has stated their interest in continuing to work with SJC administration in addressing the difficulties of being a successful if somewhat isolated community college during challenging times. According to Williams, the SJCEA is looking forward to a new chapter of collaboration and positive outcomes for SJC students and those that teach them.

In a statement, San Juan College Executive Vice President Ed DesPlas said, "San Juan College Administration continues to be committed to working with SJCEA and SJC faculty in moving San Juan College’s mission and vision forward for the benefit of our students and community”.  

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