HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Negotiators for Pennsylvania’s state university system and the union representing about 5,500 faculty members say they have reached “framework” for a new contract to resolve a prolonged dispute.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties said the accord with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was reached early Sunday after two full days of negotiating.
“This is a huge win, not only for us, not even for the state of Pennsylvania, but across nation,” said Dr. Michael Slavin, president of Cal U.’s faculty union. “If we caved in, it would’ve been a chink in armor of all unions. That’s what we were fighting for from the beginning and that’s why we wanted to stay strong.
“We did not want to strike. That’s why we’re breathing a sigh of relief.”
PASSE serves about 115,000 students and roughly 500,000 alumni from the 14 state-owned universities live and work in Pennsylvania.
The union said “the general framework largely mirrors” agreements with other statewide unions, and offered few details pending a Monday evening vote by its negotiations committee. The system said more information would be released “as the ratification process continues.”
Faculty members have been working without a contract since June 2011.
School officials had originally called for concessions on health coverage and other issues, but Slavin said many of the state’s demands had been pulled from the table.
Observer-Reporter staff writer Aaron J. Kendeall contributed to this story.