Union members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) voted this week to ratify their four-year tentative agreement. Of APSCUF faculty members who voted, 94% were in favor of the deal.
Members voted Nov. 11-13, and APSCUF tallied the ballots on Friday, Nov. 15 in its Harrisburg office. With this step complete, the document will go to PASSHE’s Board of Governors for approval.
APSCUF president Kenneth Mash said in a press release published to the APSCUF website, “with this vote, our members accepted lesser increases than those in other statewide unions. They did so in order to keep tuition low for our students and as an act of reaching out to the governor and the legislature.”
“It is simply unacceptable for Pennsylvania to be last or near last on every measure of state support for public higher education,” Mash continued. “We have done our part, and now it is time for the governor and the legislature to do their part to properly support our universities at a level that enables us to make public higher education a truly affordable option for working-class Pennsylvanians.”
In a previous press release published by PASSHE, Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira said PASSHE and APSCUF’s ultimate goal during negotiations was to focus 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.”
Negotiations between APSCUF and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) for the new contract began in May of this year. The previous contract expired June 30, but has been in effect throughout the negotiation process. The APSCUF and PASSHE negotiation teams have utilized interest-based bargaining strategies, which focuses on collaboration rather than the traditional exchange of contract proposals.
APSCUF will post the full contract, which expires in 2023, on its website after ratification is complete.