Negotiations
Negotiations

Negotiations (44)

July 19 contract update

Negotiators for APSCUF and the State System met July 19. Click here to read today's press release.

The next faculty negotiations session is scheduled for Aug. 2. The next coach session is slated for July 26.

Members, click here to sign up for text-message alerts about future contract news.

Monday, 18 July 2016 15:09

APSCUF members are resolute and strong

Our guest post today is by Dr. Seth Kahn of West Chester University.

kahn seth sign

I had lunch the other day with a junior colleague on my campus during which we started discussing the current negotiations situation and what might happen in the event of a strike. At some point, she told me pretty plainly that she, and other people she’s friends with who are in their first few years, haven’t been reading the updates and newsletters coming from State APSCUF very carefully because the faculty have reached a point of saturation with the tone they hear coming from those of us in leadership positions (or who are just outspoken) over the last few years. The person I was with is strongly supportive of the union, but the way she put it, the people she’s talked to about the union have simply gotten to the point where they’ve shut down when they hear the “harsh” (her word) tone we often use in our communications.

Of course, my immediate reaction was to claim (and yes, I believe it) that the intention isn’t to sound that way at all, particularly in relation to the current negotiations, but instead to sound resolute and strong. I made that case, briefly, and it wasn’t entirely unsuccessful. But the conversation that followed made me realize three things. First, it doesn’t really matter what we intend if that’s not what you’re hearing. Second, what anger we do voice is often the result of years of managerial and political inattention to the realities of the system (as President Mash’s remarks to the Board of Governors from July 14 lay out). Third (and I never would have figured this out without my colleague’s conversation, especially for people who have only been in the system for a couple of years), the angst has been pretty relentless and has come to sound all the same — even when it isn’t.

It’s that third point I want to focus on for now. When I asked my colleague to say more about what she was hearing, her explanation began with the announcement and implementation of the mandatory-background-checks policy. She’s right. It was confusing trying to follow a policy that was oblique, complicated by the fact that it changed, complicated further by the fact that the timeline changed, and so on. By the time that situation settled down, or seemed to, the “activist” (As somebody who identifies as an activist, I want to wash my mouth out with soap after using the word to describe him.) who hates public unions had filed the sunshine-law request for our home addresses, which set off another hail storm of confusion, mandates, complaints, anxieties, conflicting responses, and in some cases pleas for advice that never got answered. (I’ll admit, by the way, to overreacting publicly to that situation; I was ready to go hard against that guy, and then realized I’d rather he know how to find me so I could see what he was sending people. But by then enough people had heard me screeching bloody murder about it that I don’t blame them for hearing “the union” reacting that way.)

By the end of our lunch conversation, my colleague had also helped me realize one other important thing. Not so much the background checks policy, but most certainly with regard to the home address request, what that guy really wanted to do was create tension within APSCUF. It worked — to an extent. People were mad, and people were scared, and people were confused. More to the point, people (leaders and members) were vocal about all those anxieties, for months, trailing off only in time for contract negotiations (or the lack thereof) to take the stage. And while the long-timers who have been through negotiations cycles are used to hearing an increasingly aggressive voice from State APSCUF when the State System bides their time waiting for … never mind that. I understand why people who haven’t been through it before have heard a pretty continuous supply of angst for a while now.

Knowing that, I hope you’re willing to start reading material that comes from State APSCUF again, especially as we head into a new semester. Contract negotiations are not moving as quickly as they should be, and we need to convince the State System to pick up the pace. In order to do that, we almost certainly will have to let them know that we are, in fact, angry at the way things have gone (or haven’t gone). Like anyone else, I’d have preferred that we could focus on our negotiations and other positive union work instead of responding to oblique and clearly inflammatory mandates designed to prevent us from getting real work done. If we’re going to make real progress in negotiations, we all must get on the same page, and in order to do that, we need everyone to hear this: We don’t want to strike, but we’re resolute that we will not accept a contract that harms our students, our system, and us.

Seth Kahn is an English professor at West Chester University.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:45

Contract update: Coaches negotiations

Coaches negotiations

Negotiators for APSCUF coaches and the State System met June 27. Click here to read today's press release.

The next coach session is slated for June 30.

Members, click here to sign up for text-message alerts about future contract news.

 

June 24 contract update

Negotiators for APSCUF and the State System met June 24. Click here to read Friday's press release.

The next faculty negotiations session is scheduled for July 19. The next coach session is slated for June 27.

Members, click here to sign up for text-message alerts about future contract news.

 

Contract now

Negotiators for APSCUF and the State System met June 10. Click here to read Friday's press release.

The next faculty negotiations session is scheduled for June 24. The next coach session is slated for June 27.

Members, click here to sign up for text-message alerts about future contract news.

 

Click here to read APSCUF's press release about today's contract negotiations.

APSCUF issued the following release today:

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties' negotiation committee today voted to move a strike-authorization vote to the floor of Saturday morning's legislative assembly session. APSCUF delegates, who are meeting now in State College, will consider whether to authorize a strike before the end of the semester.

The action follows negative comments about APSCUF during last month's House and Senate budget-appropriations hearings, as well as a lack of progress during contract negotiations.

APSCUF members have been working under an expired contract for almost a year. The most recent negotiations session was Jan. 8, and the next negotiations session is slated for April 28. Neither the faculty nor the coaches at the State System universities have ever been on strike.

APSCUF issued the following response today after negotiations with the State System:

The State System today rejected the one-year compromise the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties proposed in mid-October.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education countered with a proposal that would cost faculty members thousands of dollars more for healthcare.

APSCUF, which represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at the State System universities, could not agree to such major changes, President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said.

Neither the contract deal Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf reached with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees nor the contract the State System reached with the State College and University Professional Association contained changes to healthcare costs. Earlier this week, the State System unilaterally increased healthcare costs and changed benefits for its managers.

“It is simply unacceptable for the State System to treat its faculty differently than other state employees,” Mash said. “We believe they wanted to sabotage our concessionary one-year offer with incendiary changes to our healthcare.

“We are a democratic organization, and we will go back to our members to see how they want us to proceed. It’s nothing short of absurd that amid an atmosphere of uncertainty, the System would act so provocatively toward its faculty.”

Without a contract, it becomes more difficult for faculty and coaches to provide a quality education for the more than 100,000 students enrolled in the commonwealth’s 14 publicly owned universities, Mash said.

The deal APSCUF offered in October was in line with the one negotiated between the governor and AFSCME. The System had reached similar agreements with its other unions. The offer included a one-year interim contract and a step increase effective in January. It also called for a continuation of monies for faculty research and for monthly reporting of membership data.

The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 13:34

APSCUF OFFERS CONTRACT COMPROMISE

As the budget impasse moves past the 100-day mark and several universities are poised to raise tuition substantially, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which represents almost 6,000 faculty and coaches at the State System universities, offered a contract compromise to ensure stability for students and their families. 

APSCUF has informed Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education that the faculty will accept an agreement in line with that the one negotiated between the governor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The State System has already reached similar agreements with its other unions. The details of the offer include a one-year interim contract and a step increase effective in January. APSCUF has also asked that the System provide updated financial information in a timely fashion. 

The contract compromise will help students deal with the uncertainty of tuition and the lack of state support. Last week the State System voted to significantly increase tuition at several universities.

“While this compromise does not begin to address our faculty members’ concerns, we believe it is most important to restore some stability for our universities while the General Assembly negotiates a budget,” APSCUF President Ken Mash said. “We all owe it to our students and their families to remove any concern about their faculty remaining in the classroom this academic year.”

APSCUF anticipates a quick and favorable response from the State System board.  In addition to the step increase, this offer calls on the System to continue to provide money for faculty research. 

The next round of negotiations between APSCUF and PASSHE is scheduled for Friday, November 6, following the System’s cancellation of a session on October 12.  APSCUF hopes to immediately begin negotiations on a new contract for the following year.

The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.  

The details of the proposal can be found here.

 

As the budget impasse moves past the 100-day mark and several universities are poised to raise tuition substantially, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which represents almost 6,000 faculty and coaches at the State System universities, offered a contract compromise to ensure stability for students and their families.

APSCUF has informed Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education that the faculty will accept an agreement in line with that the one negotiated between the governor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The State System has already reached similar agreements with its other unions. The details of the offer include a one-year interim contract and a step increase effective in January. APSCUF has also asked that the System provide updated financial information in a timely fashion.

The contract compromise will help students deal with the uncertainty of tuition and the lack of state support. Last week the State System voted to significantly increase tuition at several universities.

“While this compromise does not begin to address our faculty members’ concerns, we believe it is most important to restore some stability for our universities while the General Assembly negotiates a budget,” APSCUF President Ken Mash said. “We all owe it to our students and their families to remove any concern about their faculty remaining in the classroom this academic year.”

APSCUF anticipates a quick and favorable response from the State System board.  In addition to the step increase, this offer calls on the System to continue to provide money for faculty research.

The next round of negotiations between APSCUF and PASSHE is scheduled for Friday, November 6, following the System’s cancellation of a session on October 12.  APSCUF hopes to immediately begin negotiations on a new contract for the following year.

The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. 

The details of the proposal can be found here.

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Contact APSCUF

319 North Front Street
Harrisburg PA 17101
717-236-7486
or 800-932-0587
qualityeducation@apscuf.org
Click here for directions

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