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APSCUF and PASSHE have agreed to cancel the faculty contract negotiations session scheduled for December 19th in Philadelphia. Last week, APSCUF requested that the meeting be cancelled if the Chancellor’s representatives were not prepared to make a counter proposal.

APSCUF had provided a comprehensive proposal to PASSHE five days before the last meeting on December 11th, but the Chancellor’s representatives were not prepared with an answer or a counterproposal. In an email yesterday, PASSHE suggested only that the Chancellor and the faculty are far apart and that the meeting would likely be brief. Apparently, PASSHE is not yet prepared to make a counterproposal. After more than two years of discussions and close to forty meetings between the parties, the Chancellor’s attitude toward the negotiations process is hard to fathom.

PASSHE’s actions are particularly disappointing in light of last week’s settlement with APSCUF Coaches. Of course, the coaches did not have to bargain over the contents of a health care plan or the retiree health care provisions; they will share the health care design the faculty negotiate, as the other PASSHE unions ultimately will. Still, the Chancellor has demonstrated a different attitude toward faculty negotiations that can only be described as counterproductive. The next scheduled negotiation session is scheduled for January 4th, and APSCUF will return to the table; however, given the disheartening context, we must also invest energy in mobilization.

We will keep you informed, as always. At this point, I hope you focus on the next two weeks ahead, with the rest, vacation, and fellowship that are so much a part of the season. Negotiations, mobilization, and APSCUF’s future will be there to deal with come January 2nd.