Campus dining workers at the University of New Mexico ratified their first-ever union contract on March 9th. The approximately 80 workers employed by Chartwells, a division of Compass, had won union recognition in December 2011. This is the first UNITE HERE union workplace in the state of New Mexico!
The first-time contract includes protections for seniority; job security and guaranteed recall after summer, spring and winter breaks; and economic wage parity with the other university workers. The UNM Board of Regents passed a $9 minimum wage for direct campus employees but it did not cover the subcontracted food service workers who were subject only to the state minimum wage of $7.50. The new union contract includes $1.50 an hour in wage increases for all the workers and upgrades the Chartwells minimum wage to match the $9.00 UNM standard.