ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Graduate students at the University of New Mexico walked out in protest Tuesday afternoon. The United Graduate Workers Union rallied in front of Scholes Hall on the Albuquerque campus to draw support for contract negotiations with the university. The union began negotiations with UNM nearly two weeks ago for higher wages.

The union reached its first collective bargaining agreement with the school last December but grad students said Tuesday that with inflation, they still struggle to get by. “All of us here know we need a raise, and we need it to be substantial, and we need it now. It’s harmful to us and embarrassing to UNM that we’re being paid below the federal poverty line and it’s time for that to end,” said United graduate worker Alicia Esquivel.

According to the graduate students, they will be bargaining Wednesday for a plan that would mean multiple wage increases over several years.