Union negotiates raises for FAMU faculty


Faculty members will receive a 3 percent pay increase pending a ratification vote April 4 and 5. This agreement also calls for back pay for all faculty members retroactive to July 1, 2011.


The Florida A&M chapter of the United Faculty of Florida and the university administration agreed to the deal March 13, according to an email sent by union president Elizabeth Davenport.


To some faculty members, the pay raise could not have come at a better time especially given the state’s budget cuts.


“It came at a time when most of the faculty were feeling very demoralized since raises were given at other institutions,” said Narayan Persaud, the Faculty Senate president. “So this will help.”


Davenport was a pivotal player in getting the Tentative Agreement arranged with the university. In an email sent to faculty members on March 24, Davenport explains the details of the deal.


“The university anticipates this retroactive payment by April 30, 2012,” read Davenport’s email.


Persaud praised Davenport for her hard work in helping the faculty secure the agreement. He also thinks the university is making the necessary steps to show commitment to working with the staff.


“I think it will serve as a positive incentive and I think the union president did a good job negotiating the raise,” said Persaud, who also serves on the Board of Trustees.


He also praised President James H. Ammons. “It wasgreat that the president considered the raise given the fact that the university took budget cuts this year. It also gives the assurance that the president will work with the faculty.”


Also included in the agreement are administrative discretionary increases faculty members can expect to see from the university. The ADI will cease on June 30, 2013. The university will be finding ways to properly apply the increases.


The agreement also included a discussion of helping faculty members receive pay over the summer months, when they are not teaching.


“The university will explore methods of paying nine or 10-month faculty over 12 months if the employee is on a nine month or 10-month contract and implement is feasible,” read Davenport’s email.


This round of raises follows a November 2010 agreement under which the faculty received a $1,000 pay increase to be retroactively added to paychecks.


The university originally sought to apply the $1,000 pay increase to all faculty members not under the UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, excluding a majority of faculty members, but Davenport was able to secure a $1,000 increase for all faculty members.


This meant the raise was only available to the clerical, janitorial, administrative and professional [technical] employees. This was viewed by some, including Davenport, as an insult.


Ammons declined to comment yesterday about the pay raise for the faculty.


The ratification vote will take place at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 4 in the Tucker Hall Atrium in the UFF-FAMU Office and during the same hours in the Jackson Davis building on April 5.