PASSHE, APSCUF reach handshake agreement
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 09:02
Students across Pennsylvania can breathe a tentative sigh of relief. The threat of a state-wide strike of college faculty seems to be behind us.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties negotiation team met with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education team over the weekend for the 46th round of negotiations to settle a two-year long contract dispute.
PASSHE and APSCUF have agreed to the framework for a new contract with the approximately 5,500 faculty at the 14 state-owned universities, according to a release on the PASSHE website.
“The general framework largely mirrors the agreements reached by Governor Corbett and the other statewide unions,” said APSCUF President Steve Hicks in a press release.
Details of the proposal would not be given out until after it had been endorsed by a vote Monday.
The negotiations involved conference calls from Friday night into Saturday, according to IUP APSCUF President Mark Staszkiewicz. Talks finally came to a close between midnight and 2 a.m., Sunday morning.
“At this point, the language on both sides is that they have agreed on a framework for the contract,” he said. “That framework has a couple of things, the meat to put on the bone, so to speak, but in principle, both sides are in agreement.”
The final language for the contract could be completed as early as Friday.
There is a three-step APSCUF ratification process. First, the 14 APSCUF presidents held a conference call with the negotiation team Monday.
“We will recommend … whether or not we as a group endorse the framework,” Staszkiewicz said.
If the framework is endorsed, the APSCUF legislative assembly, approximately 175 delegated faculty members from all the PASSHE campuses, will meet Friday and Saturday and vote whether or not to send the proposed contract to the entire APSCUF membership.
Finally, the completed proposal will be sent to all APSCUF faculty, approximately 5,500 members, for review. Faculty will then have the opportunity to vote on the ratification of the proposal.
PASSHE will have to complete a ratification process as well.
They must wait until they receive the APSCUF member vote before the proposal can go before the Board of Governors, according to Kenn Marshall, PASSHE media relations manager.
The entire process could take two to three weeks to be completed, according to Staszkiewicz.
“From what I’ve seen it’s very fair, I do support it and I hope both sides will ratify it,” he said.
Once a contract is agreed on, it will carry faculty members through the next three years.
A major point of dispute had been proposed healthcare benefits to future faculty members.
Faculty have been working without a new contract since June, 2011.