Many faculty members and coaches have contacted APSCUF with questions about how contract negotiations are proceeding and how the current situation could impact APSCUF members. Today’s blog update is from Mary Rita Duvall-Quinn, head of APSCUF’s contract department, and she took the time to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions 1) The contract that outlines APSCUF/PASSHE faculty and coaches rights for wages, hours and working conditions expired on June 30. If the old contract has expired and no new contract has been reached, what happens to current working conditions?
Under Pennsylvania law, as it has been interpreted by the Commonwealth Court, the terms of the old APSCUF contract continue (unless the union goes on strike). APSCUF and PASSHE are continuing to negotiate new contracts that guarantee those same rights and benefits that are currently in place for faculty and coaches.
2) What obligations to perform work must faculty/coaches fulfill when working without a contract in place?
Faculty members and coaches are obligated to meet with their classes, advise students, keep office hours and perform other contractual duties outside the classroom, such as committee work, continuing scholarly activity, performance evaluation duties and other assigned duties. Faculty duties are further outlined in Article 4.B. of the collective bargaining agreement.
3) What happens to faculty/coaches pay rate, fringe benefits and working conditions while APSCUF and PASSHE are negotiating?
Faculty/coaches pay rates, fringe benefits and working conditions remain the same as under the old contract.
4) Will faculty/coaches health care contribution rates change?
Health care contributions for faculty and coaches will not change. They will continue to pay the same rate as they do currently.
5) Will faculty receive an annual increment/step as in the past?
There will be no change in a faculty member’s current rate of pay. However, future annual increments/steps must be renegotiated since they are date-specific under the old contract.
6) Can PASSHE unilaterally implement its last offer if there is an impasse at the bargaining table?
The Commonwealth Court has ruled that an employer cannot implement its last offer — even if there is an impasse in bargaining — as long as the employees do not strike.
The next scheduled faculty negotiations session will be August 11. For those seeking additional negotiations updates, please follow APSCUF on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook or visit the Members-Only forum on our website. Also, faculty members may contact their chapter president for more details.