FAMU union workers protest for livable wages
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Union workers at Florida A&M University protested Tuesday morning to ask the university for livable wages.
Union officials say there have been a number of negotiations; however, the university still has not met their demands to pay employees, including groundskeepers and custodians, fairly.
In 2021, more than 100 union workers made $10 an hour according to Campus Union President Andre Crumity. In May 2021, only 74 workers received a pay increase, reaching a wage of $12.50 an hour.
Crumity says that pay is not fair and it’s not enough.
“We deserve a living wage! We deserve a living wage,” union workers chanted at Tuesday morning’s protest.
FAMU union workers and community advocates protested for nearly four hours, demanding pay that actually pay their bills.
“We’ve been negotiating for the last six months. We had two article reopeners, we were able to settle those articles not a problem. But it’s always a problem when it comes to wages,” Crumity says.
Although more than 70 employees received a $2.50 pay raise during the last negotiation, 21 employees were left out of that pay bump, according to Crumity.
“We’re trying to bring those people up, which consists of our groundsmen, our custodians, senior clerk, our housing staff,” Crumity says.
Tallahassee City Commissioner Jack Porter says it’s heartbreaking some of these employees haven’t received a raise in 10 years.
“You know these are not teenagers working at a McDonald’s,” Porter says. ‘These are professionals who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and paid accordingly.”
FAMU released the following statement to WCTV on Tuesday:
“FAMU values all of its employees. Negotiations are being handled through the collective bargaining process which is ongoing.”
According to Crumity, union workers operate under three-year contracts. The current contract started on July 1, 2019, and is set to expire on June 30, 2022.
Officials say wages are typically negotiated annually; however, they have not been implemented for the past 10 years.
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