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Jan. 19, 2016
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Kathryn Morton, 717-236-7486 or

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties continues to work toward requiring the State System to negotiate about mandating extensive criminal-background checks for professors who do not instruct minors.

After seeking an injunction last year, the faculty union now awaits a response to its application for extraordinary relief against the Commonwealth Court judge’s latest order. That order requires all professors teaching 100-level courses to follow the System’s policy regardless of whether of they will ever have direct contact with minors, and it is in effect until the issue can be decided by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and/or an arbitrator. The hearing before the labor board is next week.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2015 enacted a policy that goes beyond Pennsylvania law and requires all professors to complete extensive background checks. APSCUF understands that the universities must require background checks for those in direct contact with non-matriculated minors, APSCUF President Kenneth M. Mash said; however, the majority of the union’s members do not fall into this category. Requiring such unnecessary background checks without negotiations is not only an unfair labor practice, it is an unwise use of funds at a time when the universities are facing major budgetary shortfalls, Mash said.

The State System, which is in contract negotiations with APSCUF, has stopped negotiating with APSCUF about this issue.

APSCUF represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at the State System universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.