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 Staff Council’s history of supporting, honoring, and celebrating UNM Staff:

  • Resolution 2020 #1: Support for UNM Legislative Priorities, including an endorsement of revisions to the compensation formula, a mass salary update (MSU) for faculty and staff, and an 8% increase in funding for the University overall.
  • Received a 4% mass salary update. The state budget is under review and this MSU may be revised in the June, 2020 Special Session of the state legislature due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Approved the creation of the Staff Council Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Standing Committee.
  • Organized letter denouncing the racists directed towards a faculty member of Africana Studies, signed by over 430 staff members of staff as of June, 2020. 
  • Due to the pandemic, Staff Council:
    • Suspended rules in April and May to allow business meetings to be held electronically in response to the move to partial operations at UNM in March. The Council implemented online voting procedures.
    • Improved voting instruction procedures by adding Spanish-language options and by asking councilors and administrators to notify Tier 3 employees (those temporarily relieved of work duties) about the election.
    • Hosted electronic Meet & Greets between precinct councilors-elect and constituents.
  • Resolution 2020 #2: Addressing Climate Change at UNM, calling for University commitment to carbon goals, triple bottom line decision-making, and higher environmental standards for construction and renovation projects.
  • Approved the creation of the Staff Council IT Committee.
  • Resolution 2020 #3: Spanish Translation of Key University Communications, Mandatory Training, and Policies.
  • Approved the Staff Council 2020 Strategic Plan.
  • Resolution 2020 #4: Requesting Town Hall Regarding Policing.
  • Resolution 2019 #1: Support for UNM Legislative Priorities, requesting a mass salary update, discouraged changes to Cost of Living Adjustment formula, and an 8% increase in funding for the University overall.
  • Resolution 2019 #2: Parental Leave, requesting a Paid Parental Leave policy allowing 6 weeks of leave for parents of newborn or newly adopted child.
  • Resolution 2019 #3: Employment of People with Disabilities, supporting the hiring of people with disabilities, including a program to hire recent graduates with disabilities in temporary Grade 9 professional intern positions.
  • Resolution 2019 #4: Tuition Remission, requesting support in encouraging supervisors to grant tuition remission for courses related to an employee’s job.
  • Received and distributed information regarding the new Mobile Lobo Food Pantry, including acceptable items and opportunities for volunteering.
  • Presented Staff Hero awards to Provost Holloway and Vice President of Human Resources Dorothy Anderson.
  • Presented a posthumous Staff Hero award to Alex Gonzalez for his dedication and work towards staff empowerment at UNM.
  • Resolution 2018 #1: Support for Staff with Disabilities, supporting the Office of Equal Opportunity in updating the University’s Transition Plan and in developing a reporting system related to accessibility barriers; requesting funds for accommodations; and suggesting training.
  • Updated the Staff Council Constitution as well as its Bylaws and adopted new rules around elections.
  • Endorsed the University Sexual Misconduct Task Force recommendations for revising Policy 2740: Sexual Misconduct.
  • Adopted the 2018-2019 Staff Council Priorities and Goals document.
  • Reestablished the standing Government Relations Committee.
  • Resolution 2017 #1: Creation of Staff Council Town Hall Ad Hoc Committee.
  • Resolution 2017 #2: Security Cameras in All Campus Parking Lots, suggesting the University put security cameras in all campus parking lots to address auto theft and car burglaries.
  • Resolution 2017 #3: Creation of a Sanctuary Campus at the University of New Mexico, supporting foreign-born and undocumented members of the UNM community, including DACA students, by requesting sanctuary campus status.
  • Hosted first Staff Research Expo.
  • Resolution 2016 #1: Creation of Staff Councilor Engagement Committee, encouraging involvement in Staff Council and its committees.
  • Resolution 2016 #2: UNM Seal, calling upon the UNM Administration to ensure open, respectful, and safe discussion for all involved groups around the UNM Seal initiative.
  • Resolution 2016 #3: Shared Governance, requesting the UNM Board of Regents adhere to the spirit of shared governance and ensure its decisions are transparent and adhere to the public interest.
  • Resolution 2016 #4: Winter Break Schedule, requesting the implementation of an official holiday break of ten days, not including weekend days, during each winter break.
  • Resolution 2016 #5: Campus Police Officer and Security Staff Commendation, praising UNM police officers and security personnel for their work in promoting safety, security and order on campus.
  • Initiated the Staff Council Mentoring and Leadership program.
  • Created the Karin Retskin Legacy Scholarship Award.
  • Worked to reinstate tuition remission for CNM classes for particular work-related certifications.
  • Resolution #1: Adoption of 2015 Strategic Plan.
  • Resolution #2: Retain Healthcare Retiree Benefits for Future UNM Employees, requesting UNM retain healthcare retiree benefits, rather than protecting this benefit for existing staff only.
  • Resolution #3: Budget Leadership Team Proposal, requesting the Committee consider the cost of staff turnover its calculation of staff promotion and recognition.
  • Resolution #4: Staff Engagement Survey Data, calling for the administration to provide more detail about the findings from the Staff Engagement Survey Data.
  • Reviewed the MOU between Staff Council and Office of the President, Provost, VP of Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor for Health Sciences.
  • Requested and received a $5,000 stipend for the Staff Council President, similar to the existing stipend for the President of the Faculty Senate.
  • Celebrated the Staff Council 25 th Anniversary by planting a tree, burying a time capsule, and placing a plaque at the University Club.
  • Updated the Staff Council Bylaws.
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.
Physical Address
Hokona - Zuni Room 302
Phone: (505) 277-1532
Email: scouncil@unm.edu 


Mailing Address

UNM Staff Council
Hokona-Zuni Rm 302 MSC02 1560
1 University of New Mexico
AlbuquerqueNM 87131-0001