Tuesday, July 03, 2007

APSCUF Reaches Tentative Agreement

July 3, 2007
No Strike in Pennsylvania as Professors and System Reach Tentative Agreement

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract with the approximately 5,500 faculty at the 14 state-owned universities.

The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by both the union membership and PASSHE’s Board of Governors before taking effect, would run through June 30, 2011. It would replace the previous contract, which expired Saturday.

The agreement was reached after five straight days of negotiations. It was announced today by PASSHE Chancellor Judy G. Hample, APSCUF President Pat Heilman and Governor Edward G. Rendell.

“This agreement strikes a fair balance between the legitimate salary requirements of the faculty and the pocketbooks of parents across the state who are scrimping to send their children to college,” Governor Rendell said. “It is an affordable contract that sends a clear message that we are doing all we can to support and retain our faculty. As a result, we are improving the reputation of our great public colleges.”

“These were difficult negotiations, which, toward the end, threatened to disrupt the education of our students,” Dr. Hample said. “Our ultimate goal was to reach a settlement that guarantees our faculty members are well compensated and our students continue to receive an excellent education at an affordable price, and we achieved that goal.”

“After five days of continuous negotiations we have a tentative agreement that, I believe, will begin to improve our compensation package,” Dr. Heilman said. “This should, in turn, increase PASSHE’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality faculty. Our next task should be to devise jointly a negotiations process that allows for a more timely settlement in the future.”

The tentative agreement provides for a one-time cash payment of $1,750 to each full-time faculty member, plus general pay increases of 3 percent each in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and 4 percent in 2010-11. In addition to the general pay increases, faculty not at the top of the salary schedule will receive annual service increments of 2.5 percent or 5 percent each year. The most senior faculty will receive a cash payment equal to 2.5 percent of their salary in the final year of the agreement.

The faculty’s contribution to their healthcare premium would increase from the current rate of 10 percent to 15 percent by the final year of the agreement. Faculty also would be required to participate in a new wellness program, or their premium co-payment would increase to as much as 25 percent.

Other terms of the new pact will be released upon ratification. The union membership will be the first to vote on the new pact, followed by the Board of Governors.

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