The MIT Living Wage calculator calculates the amount needed for a “minimum subsistence wage” in various states and metro areas; this wage does not include any funds for restaurant meals, entertainment, travel, savings, etc. For Albuquerque, a living wage for a single adult with no children is $23213; for an adult with one child, a living wage is $43075. The average of the .5 minimum stipend amounts is $14225, or just 61% of a living wage in Albuquerque.
The last time the UNM minimum stipends were increased was in 2018; the average increase for a .5 stipend was $141, or 1%. UNM does not mandate raises for returning graduate workers. At the University of Iowa, the graduate worker union negotiated a 2.1% raise for returning graduate workers in 2019 and another 2.1% raise in 2020.
Unionized Campuses Have it Better!
UNM lists the University of Kansas and the University of Iowa as peer institutions, meaning they have similar program offerings and enrollments . The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, KS, which has a living wage of $23828 ; the University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, IA, which has a living wage of $23655 .
Both the University of Kansas  and the University of Iowa  have unions representing graduate employees. Given their similarities with UNM, they can be used as a comparison point for what we can win with a union.
The minimum .5 stipend amount at the University of Kansas is $17750 , or 75% of a living wage in Lawrence. The minimum .5 stipend amount at the University of Iowa is $20041 , or 85% of a living wage in Iowa City.