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Tallahassee: AFSCME at FAMU demands raises

By staff

Members of AFSCME Local 3343 demand a decent contract.

Tallahassee, FL – On February 1 from 8 to 11 a.m., around 20 people showed up to AFSCME 3343’s informational picket line to demand Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) raise the wages of workers on campus.

Members of the AFSCME Local 3343, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Graduate Students United and City Commissioner Jack Porter all stood on the roundabout between FAMU and Wahnish Way, with signs insisting that FAMU’s leadership come to the bargaining table ready to pay up.

“It’s time that we start negotiating in black and white and take care of employees on campus,” said Andre Crumity, AFSCME union president for Local 3343. A senior fiscal assistant at the FAMU Foundation, Crumity has been employed on FAMU’s campus for 15 years. Even though he became AFSCME’s president nearly four years ago, he says he hasn’t seen much change in FAMU’s willingness to pay workers.

“We have a tendency to sweep things under the rug, and that has to stop; there has to be a greater appreciation for the work that we do, and we should be compensated well,” said Crumity.

Staff organizer for ASCFME 3343, Tallulah Thomas, also pointed to the added dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of respect workers were given for their contributions at FAMU, despite the rise in cost of living and the complications brought on by the poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic on the university's campus.

“You choose to not recognize them for what they do and the funds they need to be able to increase their salary. Because the cost of living is going up. They are overworked and underpaid,” said Thomas. “If it wasn’t for the people at the bottom who hold the foundation together, the top wouldn’t be able to survive.”

Thomas called out FAMU’s leadership, stating “They only think about themselves, they’re not thinking of others.”

Thomas stated that they are “Making sure these people have a voice at the table, that they are not going unheard.”

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