Sept. 20, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Kathryn Morton, or 717-236-7486
In an effort to expedite a contract that is fair to students, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties today requested that negotiation teams undergo binding arbitration, during which a three-person panel (one selected by each side and one selected by both) could conclude the contract dispute between APSCUF and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
The request comes after the State System yesterday sent APSCUF a formal announcement that it wants to undergo fact-finding with a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board arbitrator.
“We believe our strike-authorization vote sparked the marathon contract negotiations that began last week and that continue today and tomorrow,” President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. “It’s unfortunate that we needed to take that step to prompt any action; we want to reach a conclusion.
“However, the State System’s request for fact-finding sends a mixed message. The practical effect of this tactic will likely be to delay the process for a month, since it is not binding on either party. Fact-finding ends a contract dispute in only about 25 percent of cases, but binding arbitration is effective in 100 percent of the cases in which it is agreed to. We believe our students want this over as soon as possible, and we hope the State System will agree to the binding-arbitration process that will allow everyone to focus on our students.”
Meanwhile, negotiators from APSCUF and the State System are meeting for the third consecutive day and plan to meet tomorrow at a neutral location.
Overall, APSCUF objects to State System proposals that would affect the quality of education faculty members could provide to their students. Such proposals would, among other issues:
- Substantially increase the use of temporary faculty in lieu of permanent faculty
- Make use of students with few graduate credits to teach courses
- Stop funding faculty research and professional development
- Force on-campus students into distance education sections
- Give university presidents unilateral authority to transfer faculty members to other departments
- Cut the lowest-paid faculty members’ salaries by 20 percent
Early this month, APSCUF faculty members voted to authorize a strike, with 93 percent of voters in favor. The vote was the third of multiple steps before a faculty job action could commence.
Negotiations have been ongoing since late 2014. Faculty and coach contracts expired June 30, 2015.
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.