San Juan College faculty vote for collective bargaining

Sam Ribakoff
Farmington Daily Times
San Juan College is pictured on Thursday, March 15, 2018 in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – Full-time San Juan college faculty members voted to begin the process towards unionization and collective bargaining with the college's administration in a two-day voting process that ended on Dec. 4, 2019.

Out of 147 full-time faculty members eligible to vote, 87 voted for unionization and 41 faculty members voted against the unionization effort. Only full-time faculty members were eligible to vote, not adjunct faculty or any other staff.

“We’ve had concerns for many years, and we feel those concerns haven’t been met,” said Gerald Williams, a San Juan College mathematics professor and President of the San Juan College Education Association. “Collective bargaining gives us a seat at the table.”

Williams, who’s been a professor at the college for 24 years, specifically referred to a high faculty turnover rate at the college and “problematic terminations” that haven’t been properly addressed by the college’s administration as reasons why faculty members voted for collective bargaining rights.

“An 80 percent turnout, that’s a clear indication of where the faculty is at,” said Executive Vice President of San Juan College Edward DesPlas, “I’m not trying to invalidate their concerns, I’m listening.”

Williams said he is hoping to establish a good relationship with the college’s administration to improve the college for the students that attend it.

“We have a lot of things to bring to the table in order to better help our students,” Williams said.  

The San Juan College Labor Board is set to certify the results of the vote.

Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-333-5283 or via email at

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