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SPOTLIGHT

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE:

March 20, 2013

PASSHE Board of Governors ratifies contracts with faculty, coaches New labor agreements run through June 30, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's board of governors today ratified a pair of new collective bargaining agreements with the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union that represents both university faculty and athletic coaches.

The separate agreements, both of which run through June 30, 2015, were previously ratified by the members of the two bargaining units.

The new contracts include salary increases that essentially track those provided to other state employee unions, as well as changes in PASSHE's health care plan and other workplace revisions that should produce both immediate and long-term savings for the state system.

Eligible faculty and coaches will be given a one-time opportunity to participate in a retirement incentive program similar to that offered to all other PASSHE employee groups in 2010. They will have until March 29 to decide whether to take the incentive.

"The approval of these two contracts brings to a conclusion a more than two-year process, during which we successfully negotiated new agreements with all of our labor unions," said Guido Pichini, board chairman. "Throughout the process, we have been guided by our mission to continue to offer high quality, affordable education to our students. The board appreciates the enormous amount of time and effort everyone involved put into this process."

The new agreement with the faculty bargaining unit includes general pay increases of 1 percent each in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and 2 percent in 2014-15. Faculty also will receive either annual service increments of 2.5 percent or 5 percent in each of the three years as they move up the salary schedule or annual cash payments equivalent to 2.5 percent of their base salary if they already are at the top of the pay scale. About one-third of faculty receives the increments.

The new agreement with the coaches' bargaining unit includes salary increases of 2.5 percent in 2012-13 and 2.25 percent in 2013-14, as well as performance-based merit pools of 3 percent each in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Coaches do not receive annual service increments.

Minimum salaries for both head and assistant coaches will be increased effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Faculty will have higher co-payments for prescription drugs as well as for some office and emergency room visits, while coaches will make larger contributions to the cost of their healthcare premiums. PASSHE and APSCUF also will begin meeting no later than September to develop an optional defined contribution healthcare plan for future retirees.

The agreement with faculty includes $400,000 a year for faculty professional development, including for programs and activities specifically related to innovation in teaching and improvement of student learning outcomes.

"In the rapidly changing world of higher education, innovation is essential. We want to encourage such efforts among all of our faculty," Pichini said.

The new contract eliminates the payments faculty currently receive for the development and re-development of distance education courses, including those offered online, while ensuring faculty have the technical support they need to make certain the courses are designed and delivered in a way that is most effective and best meets students' needs.

The board also approved a merit pool to cover potential increases for PASSHE's approximately 1,400 non-represented employees in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Non-represented employees do not receive general pay increases. Any increases they receive are based on an evaluation of their job performance.



PREVIOUS NEWS

March 08, 2013

APSCUF approves tentative agreement, now goes to board of governors

Harrisburg – The membership of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties has voted to ratify the tentative agreement it reached last month with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The agreement will now go to the PASSHE board of governors for final action.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the vote taken by the APSCUF membership to ratify the tentative agreement on a new faculty contract,” said Gary Dent, PASSHE vice chancellor for human resources and labor relations. “The tentative agreement will now go to the board of governors for its consideration.”

The board has scheduled a special meeting for March 20 to consider the agreement. At the same meeting, the board will consider a separate agreement with athletic coaches. The coaches' bargaining unit voted earlier to approve a new four-year contract.

APSCUF represents both bargaining units, which separately include about 5,500 faculty and 600 coaches.

Feb. 03, 2013

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) have agreed to the framework for a new contract with the approximately 5,500 faculty at the 14 state-owned universities. Read More...  

Feb. 01, 2013

PASSHE, APSCUF resume negotiations

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties resume today. PASSHE Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Gary Dent provided the following statement as the two sides prepare to meet: Read More...

Jan. 24, 2013

PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman issues statement
regarding contract negotiations with faculty union

Harrisburg – Guido M. Pichini, chairman of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, commented today on the status of contract negotiations between the State System and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the union that represents faculty at the 14 state-owned universities. Mr. Pichini made his remarks during the Board’s regular quarterly meeting. Read More...

Jan. 18, 2013

Students need to focus on education, not negotiations

As we get set to welcome our students back to campus for the start of spring semester, I am sure they are occupied with thoughts of their upcoming class schedule, reuniting with fellow classmates and getting back to achieving their educational goals.  Unfortunately, one other item might be on their mind: whether their professors will be there to greet them. Read More...

Jan. 11, 2013

SCUPA ratifies tentative agreement with PASSHE, negotiations continue with APSCUF

Members of the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA) have “overwhelmingly” ratified a new contract with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). SCUPA represents approximately 600 admissions, financial aid, residence life and other student support services officers on the 14 PASSHE campuses. Read More...

Jan. 3, 2013

PASSHE, APSCUF resume contract negotiations Friday

Harrisburg – Negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) resume tomorrow. PASSHE Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Labor Relations Gary Dent provided the following statement as the two sides prepare to meet:  Read More...

Dec. 19, 2012

PASSHE, APSCUF cancel bargaining session

Harrisburg – The bargaining session scheduled for today between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) has been canceled by mutual agreement. The two sides plan to resume talks on January 4, with additional scheduled negotiations to follow. Read More...

Dec. 5, 2012

PASSHE to address cost savings, students' needs in final union talks

In successfully reaching agreements with six of our seven labor unions over the last approximately 15 months, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) sought both cost savings and the assurance that our students’ academic needs would be met into the future. Each of the unions recognized the enormous fiscal challenges facing the State System and partnered with us in achieving these goals. Read More...

Nov. 16, 2012

PASSHE responds to APSCUF strike authorization vote

PASSHE released the following statement in response to the vote results announced today by APSCUF authorizing a possible strike by the faculty union: Read more ...

Nov. 9, 2012

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) have been engaged in collective bargaining for nearly two years. The two sides met again today, during which PASSHE presented a comprehensive proposal that contained the following major components: Read More

Oct. 17, 2012

PASSHE message to student government presidents

I have heard from a number of you today requesting guidance on the status of negotiations between the State System and APSCUF, our faculty union.

First, please allow me to provide you some background information. PASSHE employees are represented by seven separate labor unions. We have reached final or tentative agreements with six of them. In fact, we announced a tentative agreement with SCUPA today, the union which represents admissions, financial aid, residence life, and other student support services. Each of the settled contracts is structure to assure that any new cost incurred are offset as much as possible with savings through redesigned health care benefits or changes in how work is done. Read more ...

Oct, 17, 2012

PASSHE, SCUPA reach tentative agreement on new contract

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that would run through June 30, 2015.

Both parties said they believe the tentative agreement, which was reached yesterday, is a fair one and will recommend its ratification. SCUPA members will vote on the tentative agreement first, followed by the PASSHE Board of Governors.  Read more ...

Oct 15, 2012

Letter from the Chancellor:

Dear Dr. Hicks:

Thank you for your letter of September 25, 2012. After a review of your request for binding arbitration, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) must decline your offer. Under the provisions of PASSHE's enabling legislation, Act 188, the Board of Governors and I have fiduciary and legal duties to assure that the system is operated in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner. We believe it would be improper to delegate those responsibilities to a third party arbitrator who does not have the responsibility or duty to consider the financial implications of their decisions and who is not obligated to take into account the interests of Pennsylvania taxpayers or the long-term effects of those decisions on the Commonwealth or PASSHE.  Read more ...

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