FAMU and UFF Reach Tentative Agreement on Salary Increases
By Christal Searcy
The Administration of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) reached a tentative agreement on July 31 over the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Faculty of Florida (UFF).
The FAMU and UFF agreement provides for a 1.5 percent across the board wage increases to the base salary. Employers will be retro-paid from August 1, 2014.
The agreement also provides for a $250 one-time bonus payment to all those employed as of August 2014.
The agreement, which is subject to the approval of the union, also allows for the creation of a committee to develop a school-wide evaluation process.
The wage increases will take place within 60 days after full ratification.
“Our faculty are the cornerstone of this University. I look forward to working with them along with the entire University family to address improving the outcomes of our performance metrics and the concerns that challenge our long-term viability as an 1890 land-grant university,” said FAMU President Elmira Mangum by news release.
UFF President Elizabeth Davenport, Ph.D., mirrored Mangum’s belief.
“The UFF members are optimistic that this agreement will be the start of a strengthened relationship with the FAMU Administration and the start of a renewed focus on enhancing the educational experience for our students in today’s environment,” said Davenport by news release.
“The members of the UFF are committed to working with the Administration and the FAMU community in promoting the well-being of our members and preparing our students to compete in the 21st century global economy,” added Davenport.
The decision comes after Genyne Boston was appointed as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development.
Boston was acquired for leadership in all aspects of faculty development and support after FAMU President Elmira Mangum was criticized for having poor communication with the university’s faculty members.
The university’s hiring of Boston comes on the heels of Davenport’s original concerns about reaching an agreement during salary negotiations. In an earlier news release she said, “We are higher education professionals living in Tallahassee, but our salaries aren’t comparable to our colleagues who teach just a few blocks away at Florida State University. Yet we live, work and pay bills in the very same city.”
One disgruntled FAMU employee wrote an anonymous letter to voice disdain prior to the contract negotiations. That individual voiced concerns regarding Mangum’s hiring practices. However, they left no name and didn’t mention any of Mangum’s accolades while at the helm of the state’s only public historically Black university.
Mangum called the agreement a positive step in the school’s long-term viability.