PASSHE and APSCUF reach tentative contract to run through 2019

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 5:21 PM

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) reached a new tentative contract this past week, which will run through June 30, 2019.

Slightly over a year ago, on Oct. 19, PASSHE and APSCUF reached a tentative agreement to put an end to the three day faculty union strike that began on Oct. 17. A year later, the state system and the faculty union announced that they have reached yet another tentative contract.

This tentative agreement, if approved, is expected to take over when the current contract expires on June 30, 2018.

With no specifics of the negotiations included in this new tentative contract being released, and eight months remaining in the current collective bargaining agreement, PASSHE Interim Chancellor Dr. Karen M. Whitney commented on the new agreement in PASSHE’s news release.

“We have been committed to working together to achieve a new agreement in a collaborative manner,” Whitney said.

“As we move toward a positive conclusion for this contract, I’m hopeful it will lead to an even more meaningful relationship based on mutual respect and trust.”

PASSHE Media Relations Manager Kenn Marshall also commented on the new tentative contract and discussed what components of the agreement still need to be negotiated, according to reach a final contract.

“It is always a positive step when we are able to achieve a new contract with any of our unions. The only thing remaining is ratification of the tentative agreement by the union, then approval by the Board [of Governors],” Marshall said.

He continued: “Should both occur, the new contract will take effect at the conclusion of the current agreement. There should be no need for additional discussions. While we can’t provide any details until the agreement is ratified, it certainly is a very positive step.”

APSCUF representative Kathryn Morton shed some light on the union’s opinion on the new tentative contract, saying: “APSCUF was hoping for a one-year deal to avoid stress on both our students and our members. We were glad to be able to reach a fair tentative agreement with the state system relatively quickly and well before the current contract expires.”

Morton also shared that “the next step in the process is for APSCUF delegates from all 14 state system schools to vote on the tentative agreement.” She explained that if “that passes, faculty APSCUF members at all 14 campuses will vote [and] if they agree to ratify the tentative agreement, it goes to the state system’s Board of Governors for approval.” 

They hope to complete their end of the process by the end of November. 

The new agreement, set to expire in the summer of 2019, means a longer time period before PASSHE and APSCUF start negotiations again. The organizations are to start collective bargaining on the next contract during the summer of 2018.

“Our (APSCUF) president, Dr. Kenneth M. Mash, promised at the conclusion of last year’s strike that he would push to improve the contract-negotiation process so that there would not be the stress on our students that accompanied the previous contracts,” Morton said.

She continued: “Students should know their faculty members made sure quality stayed at the forefront of this contract — as with every one APSCUF negotiates. We are glad the state system worked with us to get this deal done quickly.”

Macala Leigey can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: passhe, apscuf

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