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History & Accomplishments

During the early 1970’s, staff at the University considered forming a University Staff Association (USA). Although the organization never gained formal recognition, it served to educate the UNM community about the need for a unified staff voice on campus. As a result of this initiative, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) began to recruit members to their union. In 1972 University officials formally recognized the CWA. It was not until 1987 that non-union staff determined that they needed a means of directly communicating their concerns to the administration. The University Staff Association was resurrected and a membership drive was undertaken.

USA discussed the need for a formal, non-union Staff Association with President May and Vice President David McKinney. In March of 1988 President May created the Staff Council Study Group which was charged with determining if there was a need for Staff representation and if so, what form of representation. A formal proposal was presented to Vice President McKinney in November 1989. The UNM Board of Regents approved the creation of the UNM Staff Council in December 1989.

The Staff Council Study Group developed election guidelines and conducted the first election of Staff Councilors in the summer of 1989. The first meeting of the Staff Council was held on July 11, 1990, with Secretary of the University Anne Brown opening the meeting. The first Staff Council meeting addressed how to conduct/rules for the election of officers and the Council Bylaws and the first Staff Council officers were elected in September of 1989.

In May 1989, President May created an affiliate organization of the Staff Council Study Group entitled the Committee on Staff Recognition. This committee was charged with finding new ways to reward and recognize the many contributions of university staff. The committee presented its recommendations to the President in July 1989, which included support for the proposed Staff Council, a career development program, a resource center for staff, a sick leave bank and staff recognition awards.

Here are some highlights from the Staff Council’s twenty-three year history of supporting, honoring and celebrating UNM Staff:

YearMilestone
2015Celebrated Staff Council's 25th anniversary by planting a tree and burying a time capsule by the University Club; adopted the Staff Council Strategic Plan; created the Outstanding Supervisor Award program.
2014Developed the first Staff Council Strategic Plan; created Events Committee.
2013Participated in the Retiree Healthcare Task Force that developed a plan to address UNM’s liability for retiree healthcare benefits.
2012Approved a Resolution outlining a five-year compensation plan for staff; received permanent funding for the Gerald W. May Outstanding Staff Award.
2011Established the Health Sciences Center Staff Committee; revised the charge of the Faculty Staff Benefits Committee to allow for equal representation of staff and faculty; established the PAWS Award; assumed management of Staff as Students.
2010Established Student Success Committee; revised the Career Ladder Policy to allow unlimited career ladders; established Operation Gratitude Donation Drive; expanded Staff Appreciation Week to Staff Appreciation Month; created the Staff Hero Award.
2008Supported the continuation of Long Term Care Insurance for staff; established the Happy Tails Donation Drive for Animal Humane; successfully lobbied for Spring Break alignment between UNM, CNM and APS.
2007Advocated for the proration of the Dependent Education benefit for part-time staff; revised the Catastrophic Leave Policy to help achieve solvency; established the Greg Johnston Summer Concert.
2006Sponsored the first, state-wide Staff Summit and was the founding member of the state’s first Higher Education Staff Association (NMHESA).
2005Successfully lobbied to raise UNM’s minimum wage to $8.00 an hour.
2004Established Staff Appreciation Week, with daily events geared toward recognizing staff; participated in the first UNM Budget Summit.
2003Work+Life Committee issued the Council’s first strategic 12-page report to the administration resulting in the formation of a campus-wide Work+Life Advisory Board, updates to the Paid Time Policy, and creation of the Work+Life Manager Award; established the UNM Retiree Association.
2002Unanimously supported the option for staff to “opt out” of the Catastrophic Leave Program.
2000Established a Staff Council Office and hired a full-time staff person to support the Office.
1999In collaboration with CIRT (IT), developed the first “all staff” listserv.
1998Amended Inclement Weather Policy to align the messages faculty and staff received about working hours.
1997Established Staff as Students initiative encouraging staff to pursue degrees.
1996Dispute Resolution Center established; council requested the administration equalize the number of hours of annual leave given to exempt and non-exempt employees.
1995Requested feedback and mandatory training for supervisors.
1994Facilitated first Staff Council Town Hall; Staff Services Office established.
1993Supported Domestic Partners Policy.
1992Adopted a resolution in support of establishing a Catastrophic Leave Policy; established an annual Staff Appreciation Picnic.
1991Adopted Resolution to increase the number of allowable credit hours for employees and include children and spouses to tuition remission policy; Gerald W. May Outstanding Award created to recognize staff.