Nov. 28, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Kathryn Morton, or 717-236-7486, Ext. 3007
Coaches have deep concerns about job security, APSCUF leadership said as their negotiation team began a two-day bargaining session today with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
“While we’ve discussed many important issues in the past few months of bargaining, we’re at a point where we have to stand up firmly for our colleagues — and, by extension, our student-athletes,” Coach Executive Leader John Gump said. “The State System has been adamant in refusing to add language to the contract that would prohibit arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory decisions about coach employment. It is a matter of respect.”
Coaches represented by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties are asking for the same type of job security enjoyed by the vast majority of public employees. Coaches with solid performance evaluations should not have to worry about being fired on a whim, APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said.
“Our coaches deserve to have the opportunity to make course corrections based on evaluations, which is typical for public-sector employees,” Mash said, “but the chancellor’s negotiators are not even willing to tie evaluations to contract renewals. They have told us repeatedly that they won’t even budge an inch. It is completely disrespectful to our coaches.”
APSCUF negotiators want to reach consensus about contract language that would:
- Prevent arbitrary firings
- Tie coach evaluations to renewals
- Shorten the probationary period for roll-over contracts (currently five years)
“None of these issues create a financial burden to the State System,” Gump said. “It is a matter of respect for our coaches, so they can focus on their student-athletes and long-term benefits to their teams. At our state-owned, public universities, the focus should be on the student-athlete experience. A winning record does not determine a coach’s entire value and job performance.”
Talks are scheduled to continue Wednesday.
The current four-year contract expired June 30, 2023; it remains in effect while negotiations continue. Negotiators have not set a date by which they expect to complete contract talks. In the past, APSCUF coaches have worked more than a year with an expired contract.
APSCUF represents about 5,000 faculty and coaches at the State System campuses: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester.