FAMU and employee union agree to stay impasse, resume negotiations

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Florida A&M’s non-instructional union employees and representatives from the university have agreed to put their impasse hearing on hold and return to the negotiation table on Sept. 9.

The next negotiation's focus will be on the union's proposal for a $2,500 raise to the employees' base salary. That raise would costs the university about $1.56 million annually in salaries.

If both sides reach an agreement next meeting, the proposal would be sent to the union's members for a vote. If ratified, FAMU's Board of Trustees would have to approve the agreement at tits Sept. 19 meeting.

"We have clarified some misunderstandings," Robert Larkin, a labor lawyer representing FAMU, said at the end of the three-hour talk Monday. "This allows both parties to come back to the negotiation table with a better appreciation of our respective positions."

The AFSCME Local 3343 union members met with university leaders and a magistrate for several hours Monday.

“Workers with Local 3343 continue to call for justice on the job and fair treatment in the face of growing controversy over how the University handles its finances and treats workers,” said the Local 3343 president.

The AFSCME union workers have been speaking out about the issue for months, calling for a raise. The workers say they’ve gone years without a pay increase. The union represents groundskeepers, secretaries, custodians and office assistants.

In March, union members attended a board of trustees meeting to protest the university’s contract offer.

At the time, FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson said the university appreciates all of the employees and wants to be fair, but cited a lack of resources.

The parties are not disclosing the offers made by either side in the negotiations at this point.

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