The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Board of Trustees (BOT) approved a plan to provide a $2,000 merit, one-time lump sum payment to faculty, administrators and staff.

The payment will be available for Education and General (E&G) funded faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University Support Personnel Service (USPS) and graduate assistant employees prorated by Full Time Equivalency (FTE).

The one-time nonrecurring lump sum payment will include a merit criteria based on performance and hire date. Details of the proposal are forthcoming.

“This is extremely important,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., during the BOT Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee meeting Wednesday. “I’ve seen the great work faculty, staff and students have done, not just this year but over the last several years.”

Financing for Education and General (E&G) funded employees’ $2,000 lump sum payment will come from the six percent holdback from the governor, being released back to state agencies during this legislative session, according to Alan Robertson, Ed.D., vice president for Finance and Administration. He said President Robinson asked him to find ways to compensate employees who executed and delivered during the difficult past year.

The amount held back was $7.3 million. The lump sum payments will cost the University $3.225 million in E&G and non-E&G dollars.

“This wasn’t new money. These are monies we already had. We got through the year by being quite frugal,” Robinson said. “We thought this would be an appropriate use of the funds. We are going to reward our employees.”

The June 2-3 committee and full board meetings were the BOT’s first in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted more than a year ago. It was also the first-in person meetings for new trustees, Michael Dubose, Kenward Stone, Otis Cliatt II and Student Government Association President Carrington Whigham. It was also the first meeting since seven trustees were confirmed to terms by the Florida Senate. Among those confirmed were Cliatt, Dubose and Stone, along with Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Kristin Harper, Craig Reed, and Nicole T. Washington. Trustee David Lawrence Jr. has also since been reappointed to the BOT.

In other business:

*To resolve a dispute between FAMU DRS and the United Faculty of Florida-FAMU Chapter, the union representing DRS faculty, the BOT gave DRS Superintendent Micheal Johnson the authority to assign lunch supervisory duties to staff on a rotational basis.

*The BOT approved a collective bargaining agreement between the University and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), bargaining agent for University Support Personnel Service (USPS) employees, who include groundskeepers, secretaries, custodians, and office assistants.

Among the terms in the agreement is a provision for a $2.50 hourly base rate increase, retroactive to November 1, 2020, to custodial staff earning $25,00 annually or less. Also, certain additional staff with a salary of less than $25,000 will receive a one-time nonrecurring wage increase of $2,000.

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