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Yesterday, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (State System) came to an agreement to resolve all but one of the grievances and unfair labor practice charges. These charges were filed by the Association against administrators at East Stroudsburg University (ESU) involving multiple violations of the collective bargaining agreement and state regulations.

After the Association had presented its case in one of the grievances, the System offered its initial settlement proposal for all grievances. That proposal was rejected by the Association, but negotiations continued to resolve all but one grievance.

To create a fair settlement, APSCUF countered the System’s initial proposal with language that addressed several other management violations of the contract, including the improper transfer of eight faculty to other departments, ignoring the curriculum process as defined by the CBA, and the local agreement on how programs are placed into moratorium. Additionally, the parties will continue to pursue one retrenchment-related grievance to arbitration.

As a result of the Association’s work, the two remaining music faculty members will remain at the university to teach general education music courses in the Theater Department, and East Stroudsburg University agreed to take various other steps to resolve grievances.

Dr. Kenneth M. Mash, APSCUF President, is issuing the following statement:

“Yesterday’s agreement that resulted in the retention of the two music faculty is in the best interest of the students at ESU. While nothing can possibly make up for the damage that has already been done to people’s careers and their livelihoods, ESU students deserve to have music courses, and we are hopeful that this can be the beginning of a change in tone from the ESU administration. A better atmosphere can only be initiated by the University’s president, and our students will be far better off for it.

Retaining the two music faculty members is an economically sound decision for the University because they will be primarily teaching general education courses that raise revenue. Last year, the ESU administration publicly projected that there would be a $7.6 million deficit, but instead ended that same year with over $3 million in surplus. None of this needed to happen.”