Aug. 26, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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More than 400 days after the faculty contract expired, the State System of Higher Education addressed salary scales for the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties during a two-day negotiation session at APSCUF’s office in Harrisburg.
Building upon its proposal to cut part-time adjuncts’ salaries by 20 percent, the State System’s salary-scale proposal offered 0 percent for 2015–16, 0 percent for 2016–17, 1 percent for 2017–18, 1 percent for 2018–19, and a step increase in January of the final year of the multiyear contract.
The System also proposed a one-time payment of $600 to full-time faculty members in exchange for accepting their healthcare proposal that could cost faculty members thousands more in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
“It certainly seems that the State System wants to provoke a job action,” APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. “Why else would they make such an incendiary salary proposal? Our members can see that the leadership of the State System accepted thousands of dollars in salary increases last year. We cannot maintain great universities without continuing to attract and retain quality faculty.”
The two teams did continue to make progress on relatively minor issues. However, the State System has not backed off its proposals that negatively affect academic quality, such as pushing students into distance education, allowing uncredentialed graduate students to teach, and the increased use of adjunct faculty.
Frustrated with the lack of overall progress toward a contract that APSCUF feels preserves quality and is fair to faculty, APSCUF faculty members at each of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities will participate in a strike-authorization vote Sept. 7–9, after delegates agreed yesterday to move the vote to union membership. The vote is the third of multiple steps before a job action could commence. Those steps could not be completed before classes begin Aug. 29.
APSCUF coaches will participate in a strike-authorization vote Sept. 14–15, after APSCUF’s Executive Council approved a request by the coaches’ leadership.
“Our members will not compromise on quality,” said APSCUF Vice President Jamie Martin, who is chair of the faculty negotiations team. “State System officials cannot make up for their inability to secure state funding by raising tuition and fees and trying to exploit their faculty.”
The next faculty negotiation session is slated for Aug. 31.
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.