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Faculty union effort underway at Santa Fe Community College

SANTA FE — Full-time faculty at Santa Fe Community College are looking to unionize.

The faculty filed a petition with the New Mexico Public Employees Labor Relations Board on Friday, according to a news release issued late Friday afternoon.

Signed authorization cards from faculty members supporting unionization have been collected by a local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the release says. The proposed bargaining unit would consist of approximately 90 full-time faculty members at the college.

According to the release, the state labor board will now review the petition and schedule an election to certify the union the in the coming months.

“We started this process by listening to our colleagues one-on-one about their work as faculty,” said Marci Eannarino, lead faculty member for English, Reading and Speech department at the college and leader of the union effort.

“Over the last few months, we have heard from 100 percent of our faculty and found that an overwhelming majority of our faculty support coming together in a union as a way to ensure a set of fair processes, and that honor the faculty’s perspective at our college’s decision-making table.”

Eannarino did not immediately return a phone message from the Journal on Friday. SFCC officials also could not be reached after 5 p.m. Friday.

The news release says that key issues include “workload, shared governance, a fair evaluations and grievance process, and establishing clear processes at the college.”

The Journal reported in October that the college’s faculty senate representative told the SFCC’s elected Governing Body that the campus was in a state of “crisis,” at least partly due to administration’s handling of a situation involving members of the English, Reading and Speech faculty.

Nine faculty members had received letters of reprimand accusing them of “blatant insubordination” for boycotting a Liberal Arts strategic planning meeting in August. The faculty members cited an excessive workload as the reason for skipping the meeting.

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The faculty senate representative said at that time that the college administration’s actions raised concerns about what processes and protections exist for faculty members who have a complaint. SFCC President Randy Grissom responded that the administration was meeting with the teachers in an effort to resolve the issues.

“As a college, we’re always sensitive to issues of concern that may be coming up, whether they are coming from faculty or staff, and we try to address those the best way we can through our shared governance process and other processes we try to get input and feedback,” he said.

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