This special meeting was convened at 10:05 AM in the Regents Room, Educational Services Center -- announced only a few days earlier and ignored in the press, with a regular meeting scheduled one week later. Laura M. Conniff, Chair, and Ed Kellum, student member, were present in person; the three other members participated by means of conference telephone (routed through the audio system).

 NMSU General Counsel Bruce Kite introduced the sole agenda item, "Ratification of Collective Bargaining Agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)."

 Several points were brought out in brief discussion, including: That the regents had pushed very hard to attain this agreement in a minimum time, seven months of actual negotiation. That it will be in effect until 2010. That payment of the negotiated full 5% increase to university employees with annual pay of less than $30,000 will go into effect this year, as well as increased NMSU contributions to health plans; but future increases will be dependent upon legislative appropriations. And that all employees will get the present 5% raise, not just AFSCME members. Within thirty days after formal signing of the contract, it will be posted in full on the NMSU website.

 NMSU President Michael Martin pointed out that the next phase in the long process, today consummated, will be campus-wide forums and training, especially of supervisors, starting this summer. AFSCME members will have an option, in case of problems, of using the university's "standard" grievance procedure or using a new procedure set forth in the contract.

 The agenda included a call for "other," but there was no public participation, as usual.

 John P. Bloom

for Southern NM Common Cause

 ADDENDUM re press coverage:

 The brief article by Bryan Kirk in today's SUN-NEWS was basically OK, but made me wonder, with Regent Bob Gallagher being quoted as usual, rather than the Regents' Chair, Laura Conniff, or any other member. Introducing myself to Mr. Kirk, I learned that this was his fourth day on the job, and that he had been given, for covering the regents, cell phone numbers only of Gallagher and President Martin.                            JPB