Long-Awaited Contract Nearly Finalized For State-Employed Professors

Dec 13, 2016

Faculty at Pennsylvania's state-owned colleges and universities, supported by their students, went on strike for three days over their contract in October 2016.
Credit Katie Meyer / WITF

Professors at Pennsylvania’s 14 state colleges and universities have voted to approve a contract agreement between the union that represents them and the state school system that employs them.

That contract was hard-fought—a standoff over its terms culminated in a three-day faculty strike in October.

In the nearly two months since APSCUF members ended their strike and agreed to a new three-year contract for its faculty, the union’s president, Ken Mash, said he’s been busy informing professors about the new terms.

“We had to do some explaining to people,” he said. “Not everyone was thrilled about it, but overall an overwhelming majority approved it.”

94 percent of the faculty ultimately approved the contract. It’ll give them raises at varying levels, retroactive to last spring.

Healthcare premiums will also go up—a concession that school officials insisted on in order to save money.

Mash said he is already thinking about negotiating the next agreement.

“Hopefully it’ll just be a smooth conversation and we’ll be able to do what we haven’t been able to do in a number of years, which is, come to a contract conclusion relatively soon after the contract expires,” he said.

The full details of the new contract will come out after the school system’s board of governors officially ratifies it. They’re slated to meet on the 20th.