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PASSHE, APSCUF to continue contract negotiations Friday

31 January 2013 No Comment

Contract negotiations between the state higher-education system and its faculty union will continue Friday in Harrisburg.

The last meeting between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty on Jan. 16 yielded little solid progress.

Shippensburg University is one of 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

The state system’s goal is to achieve an agreement that includes cost-saving measures. Distance education and healthcare for active and retired employees remain the most significant divides.

PASSHE has said it wants to end incentive payments that began in 1999 for faculty to develop and teach distance education courses. The groups have eased closer to an agreement, but APSCUF has said the proposal is unfair considering the training and extra time involved to develop and teach these courses.

In terms of healthcare, PASSHE wants to more closely align the plan with what is offered to approximately 80,000 state employees, including the governor and his cabinet. APSCUF has said the state system’s proposal would increase faculty members’ out-of-pocket expenses.

Hundreds of APSCUF faculty picketed at the PASSHE Board of Governors meeting Jan. 24 at Dixon University Center, Harrisburg, to show support for an agreement on a fair contract.

The threat of a faculty strike across PASSHE’s 14 universities, which includes Shippensburg University, looms as negotiations continue. APSCUF, which represents about 6,000 faculty members, has said a strike is a last resort.

The current contract expired in June 2011.

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