Negotiators reached an agreement between Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) in principle for the new faculty contract on Sept. 18.
The agreement followed a five-day marathon interest-based bargaining (IBB) session that began on Sept. 14. According to PASSHE, IBB is the strategy negotiators used which focuses on collaboration instead of traditional exchange of contract proposals.
Since mid-May, negotiators for both PASSHE and APSCUF met at Dixon University Center in Harrisburg a total of 21 days to discuss the contract. The previous faculty contract expired June 30; by law, it will remain in effect until a new contract is ratified.
In a press release published by PASSHE on Sept. 19, Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira said PASSHE and APSCUF have achieved the ultimate goal: focusing on students.
“When the State System and APSCUF began this journey, we all envisioned a process that put students at the center of our discussions,” Shapira said. “We’ve achieved that goal together. Reaching this milestone is another example of what System Redesign is all about—working together to solve complex problems with the shared understanding of our common interests and always putting students at the center of everything we do.”
Details of the agreement won’t be released until the official contract is ratified and approved, but APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth Mash said the agreement in principle is a great representation of how [the] universities should operate to serve students.
“The principle components are fair,” Mash said. “They address a number of faculty concerns, and they establish a solid foundation for the future of public higher education in Pennsylvania.”
Chancellor Dan Greenstein applauded both APSCUF’s and PASSHE’s negotiating teams progress, saying they were successful in prioritizing students and building a lasting partnership that will be helpful in the future.
“By engaging deeply with each other from the start, the negotiating teams achieved a result that puts students first, honors the important work of our dedicated faculty, and takes another important step toward overcoming our financial challenges,” Greenstein said. “Along the way, we built lasting relationships that will serve us well as we collaborate to create a better future for our students, our 14 universities, and our Commonwealth.”
According to the press release published by PASSHE, legal counsel for APSCUF and the State System will continue to finalize language before a tentative agreement is available for APSCUF members, and the ratification process will begin after the language is completed.