Harrisburg – Monday evening the negotiations committee of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) unanimously approved a tentative contract agreement with the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). APSCUF delegates will vote on the tentative agreement at a Legislative Assembly scheduled for later this week. If approved, the agreement will go to the full membership for ratification.
The four-year deal mirrors the agreements reached by Governor Corbett and the other statewide unions. In addition to a compensation package that is similar to the statewide pattern, the tentative agreement contains changes to the health care plan, including increased co-pays for office visits, emergency room visits, and prescription medications. The specific details of the agreement will be released after the ratification process is complete.
“We are pleased that we were able to reach a tentative agreement that is fair to both faculty and students,” stated Dr. Steve Hicks, president of APSCUF. “It has been a long, often difficult, process, but in the end, we were able to reach a settlement that maintains quality public higher education.”
This evening, APSCUF President Steve Hicks sent faculty a brief summary of the agreement which includes virtually none of PASSHE’s radical demands and several gains for faculty members. For the first time, class size will be included in the collective bargaining agreement as an issue subject to curriculum committee recommendations. While the tentative agreement eliminates course development compensation for distance education, it provides for technical support and instructional design professionals to assist faculty.
“By reaching a fair agreement, faculty can now focus on what they love to do: teach. Students can continue the semester without the looming threat of a strike,” Hicks said. “I am grateful to both our negotiations team and our negotiations committee, who worked tirelessly over the weekend to resolve the key outstanding issues with the State System.”
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents the 6,000 faculty members and coaches at the 14 state-owned universities. Faculty members have been working without a contract since June of 2011.