TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Starting fall 2008, Florida A&M University (FAMU) will provide full insurance coverage for students who work as graduate assistants. In addition to insurance, FAMU will provide a base pay increase for graduate assistants from $7,000 annually to $8,000. Although the pay increase will be effective this fall, current graduate assistants will receive a two percent increase in their base salary, which will be reflected in the next check they receive.
"We have always believed that healthy graduate students are imperative for the health of our graduate programs and research outcomes." Haywood said. “ Dr. Ammons' approval of insurance coverage shows how much of a priority research is to him. This is a major step forward in graduate education at FAMU.”
According to Haywood, students have inquired about a pay increase and insurance coverage for some time now, but their needs could not be met because of budgetary constraints.
“Despite the fact that we are facing more cuts in our budget this year, Dr. Ammons feels that graduate students are too critical to sustaining the university's research agenda for us not to provide them with insurance coverage,” Haywood added.
“If we are to maintain a healthy and enduring graduate program, it is of utmost importance that we provide our graduate assistants with the proper resources to be productive,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons.
The Graduate Assistants United (GAU) serves as a labor union, a collective bargaining group, for all graduate students that are employed as graduate assistants. GAU is not to be confused with a club or advisory council.
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