Students block intersection for higher wages

United Graduate Workers at University of New Mexico blocked an intersection to protest working conditions.

The university told Campus Reform it was 'disappointed' in the student's actions.

Blocking a busy intersection was the United Graduate Workers of the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) latest protest tactic. 

Members of the group recently protested for an hour in demand of “higher wages and to stop a proposal that would increase insurance premiums,” according to KUNM News

The group reportedly chose the intersection since it is known to be a high traffic area. 

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“This is a central system, as you can hear from the cars, it really does disrupt the navigation. We want to make our presence impact well felt throughout campus,” protestor Gisselle Salgado told KUNM

UNM Chief Marketing & Communication Officer Cinnamon Blair told Campus Reform that the Albuquerque school was “disappointed” in the students actions.

“As required by state law and respectful negotiating practice, the University has continued not comment on the details of active negotiations,” she said. “However, we are disappointed in the UGW-UE protest, as their disruptive tactics went beyond a free speech activity, including blocking traffic and entering people’s personal workspace.

She also told Campus Reform that “UGW-UE leaders signed and jointly filed a letter crafted by UNM to the Attorney General requesting clarification on a state law that does not allow state employers to pay more than 80% of an employee’s insurance premium.”

The parties also both agree that it would be optimal for UNM to continue to pay 100% of the insurance premiums.

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The United Graduate Workers at UNM also recently announced a new effort to push back against the administration.

The group also refused to conduct work outside of their contract with the university beginning the week of Nov. 14.

The implemented “work-to-rule” includes “not working more than [their] contracted hours or doing tasks not listed in [their] contract,” according to an announcement on the group’s Instagram account. 

“Let’s show UNM the true value of our labor by only doing the work we are contracted to do,” it read.

Campus Reform reached out to each party mentioned and this article will be updated accordingly. 

Salgado was unable to be reached. 

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