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There is a national trend in which institutions of higher education deny their adjunct faculty quality wages and benefits. The calculation of credit hours results in pay almost equal to the minimum wage at most fast food and retail locations. With such inequalities, many adjuncts are left to wonder how to make ends meet.

At this moment, there is an online petition asking David Weil, Director of the Wage and Hour Division in the U.S. Department of Labor, to “open an investigation into the labor practices of our colleges and universities in the employment of contingent faculty.” Please read Dr. Seth Kahn’s guest blog on Academe titled Why you should sign a petition calling for the Department of Labor to investigate contingent faculty working conditions. Dr. Kahn is an English professor and APSCUF member at West Chester University.

You can add your name to this very important measure by clicking here.

by Prince Matthews, APSCUF intern

Yesterday, I was telling my site supervisors that the APSCUF internship was my favorite internship to date. When asked why, I couldn’t give a specific answer so on the spot I decided to create a list highlighting the benefits of interning at APSCUF.

1. The staff at APSCUF are awesome and will treat you with the utmost respect. From the President to the other intern, everyone you’ll meet at APSCUF will treat you with respect and is glad to have you here as an addition to the team. The sense of belonging here is like no other. They are all really good at what they do, and have valuable information and interesting stories to share. In short…they’re awesome!

2. You get to work for a union that represents the faculty and coaches who helped you become the person you are today. Can you name a better internship to be passionate about? There’s no better feeling than being passionate about helping the people who were passionate about helping you. Interning for APSCUF will hit home in more ways than you could imagine.

3. You get to work with people who have similar but different stories from you. Having supervisors who are graduates of PASSHE universities gives you a greater sense of direction when it comes to entering the workforce. There’s nothing more insightful than getting the play-by-play of how your supervisors transitioned from the academic world to theReceiving such information can give you great ideas on how to pave your own journey to success.

4. You get to spend valuable time in the Pennsylvania Capitol building. If you love politics, you’ll love being in the Capitol building. There you will have the opportunity to meet legislators, government officials, lobbyists, tourists, and anyone in between. There is never a dull day, and there’s never a bland night.

5. There’s plenty of networking opportunities. During your tenure as an APSCUF intern, you get to attend countless meetings and events that can give you access to valuable networking opportunities.

6. You will learn new skills. One of the most valuable attributes about the internship is that you will get to learn new skills that have real-world use. By learning new skills, you are taken out of your comfort zone temporarily to grow as a professional forever. It also helps you build confidence and courage for completing new task in the future. Learning valuable skills now can land you a valuable position later.

7. You get your own workspace. As an aspiring young professional who is eager to get into the workforce, having your own office to work in is truly underrated and simply motivational.

8. You get to engage in valuable research projects. Here at APSCUF, interns have the opportunity to complete valuable research that looks promising to employers, great on a resume, and even better to graduate programs.

9. You can earn academic credit. Need a break from campus but still want to earn credits applicable to your graduation requirements? Intern for APSCUF.

10. You get paid! Unfortunately, not all internships are paid internships. However, here at APSCUF you will get the work experience you need and the money you deserve; it kills two birds with one stone!

PASSHE Board of Governors
Remarks of Kenneth M. Mash, Ph.D.
July 8, 2014

Chairman Pichini, Members of the Board, Chancellor Brogan,

My name is Kenneth Mash and I am the president of the APSCUF. I am proud to represent the approximately 6,000 faculty and coaches who are the heart of what we do at our 14 great universities.

Every day at those institutions, every one of them, your faculty and coaches are the ones who deliver to the students the promise of a quality higher education. Every day at our universities, our coaches are challenging their student athletes to be the best that they can be. Every day at our universities, faculty help students transform themselves into mature citizens.  Every day at our universities, there are faculty and coaches going the extra mile to help students reach their potentials.  Every day at our universities, there are faculty guiding their students into the workforce. Every day at our universities, faculty are engaged in groundbreaking research, and they do so despite the limited resources at their disposal. These are the stories that must be told.

The vibrancy, the buzz at our universities is something to behold. Excellence thrives at all of our campuses across the Commonwealth. Our students succeed. Every day at our universities, our students do amazing things, they reach new heights, exceed expectations, and our alumni go on to highly successful careers. 

Our universities, as study after study shows, return back to our communities and to the state far more than they receive in allocation dollars. They have also done more with less to the breaking point. 

These are the stories that need to be told loudly and broadly. 

Today, the PASSHE Board of Governors met at its quarterly meeting to consider the 2014-15 budget, increases in tuition and technology fees, and a host of other policy issues that will impact students and faculty. Major policy changes approved included:

  • Setting tuition for 2014-15 at $6,830—a three percent or $198 increase over last year.
  • Increasing the technology fee by $54 per student.
  • Approving more tuition flexibility pilot programs for East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Mansfield and Cheyney Universities.
  • Approving the imposition of additional program-specific fees at Edinboro University for Arts and Nursing programs, including a nursing fee equal to 25 percent of tuition.
  • Lifting the 12 credit cap on Lock Haven’s per credit educational services fee.
  • Allowing Mansfield to set specific high-cost program fees.
  • Creating a new Protection of Minors policy that spells out duties of all employees including faculty when it comes to handling abuse of minors on campus. The policy outlines employee responsibilities in the areas of training for child abuse prevention, interacting with minors, and mandatory reporting of child abuse.
  • Changing the Board of Governors by-laws related to voting.

APSCUF President, Kenneth M. Mash addressed the board regarding the continued acceptance of flat funding from the state after a $90 million cut and demanded greater advocacy by the State System to legislators and the public. Without an increase in tuition/fees and further cuts, the State System will be operating with a $58 million deficit with flat funding from the state.

Mash stated that the universities cannot ride out this storm by simply passing the burden of cost onto the students through tuition increases, creating a patchwork of additional fees, and asking Presidents to cut programs, services, and faculty and staff further. Citing the clear return on investment the Commonwealth receives from investing in PASSHE, Mash called for our story to be heard to avoid these pitfalls in the future (flat funding, increasing tuition, and asking universities to cut more.)

An example of the cuts on campus can be found in the list of programs placed in moratorium in just the past six months, which was outlined during this week’s meetings. According to the State System, 33 programs have already been placed into moratorium (with a heavy amount coming from foreign language programs.) If PASSHE is not responsive to the call for greater advocacy, this list will only get bigger. 

To read the entire Board of Governors agenda, please click here. 

By: Ken Mash, APSCUF President

As our attention has been focused on the goings on surrounding the budget battles in Harrisburg, including against a cut to PASSHE’s appropriation, fighting off paycheck deception, and working to preserve pensions, an even bigger storm brews in Washington, D.C.

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court justices will likely announce their opinion in Harris v. Quinn, a case in which a conservative majority could potentially, in a worst-case scenario, find non-member, fair-share fees to be unconstitutional.  Such a ruling would deprive unions of revenue because non-members would then be able to free ride on the backs of members and benefit from the hard work that we and our fellow unions, e.g., PSEA, AFSCME, PFT, and SEIU, put in on behalf of all members of our bargaining units.

Should that storm come we will redouble our efforts so that we persevere.  The truth is that we can do little to control what happens at the Court.  However, you can still have an impact on what happens in Harrisburg by reaching out to your representatives. In the meanwhile, keep your eyes on our capitals, both Harrisburg and Washington.

For more information on Harris v. Quinn see:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/samuel-alito-harris-quinn-supreme-court-union

http://www.vox.com/2014/6/3/5775516/the-supreme-court-could-cut-union-membership-in-half

 

The State Government Committees of both the House and the Senate have now moved anti-union legislation one step closer to becoming law by referring them out of their committees.  Dubbed “Paycheck Protection” by anti-union groups like the Commonwealth Foundation, these bills severely restrict the ability of public sector unions—including APSCUF—by prohibiting the Commonwealth from deducting dues from paychecks for anything beyond fair share.  They would also restrict a union’s ability to advocate in the legislature on behalf of their membership, meaning there would be no voice for APSCUF in the legislative process on important issues like funding for public higher education or protection of retirement benefits.

Senate Bill 1034 and House Bill 1507 are clear attempts to weaken and silence union members in order to maximize the power of other outside groups. The Commonwealth currently allows payroll deductions that benefit charities, retirement companies, and insurance companies that advocate on behalf of their members.  However, only unions are singled out in these bills.  We cannot allow this attempt to go unchallenged.

Please immediately contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to stand up to this attempt to challenge your collective voice.  Ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 1034 and House Bill 1507. 

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Harrisburg PA 17101
717-236-7486 or 800-932-0587
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