State univer­sity sys­tem wants to reach union deal at ta­ble

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

HARRISBURG >> The chan­cel­lor of the state higher ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem says it re­jected a union pro­posal to have a third party out­line manda­tory con­tract terms be­cause the sys­tem’s ne­go­tia­tors re­main ded­i­cated to reach­ing a deal at the bar­gain­ing ta­ble.

“That’s the way the process is sup­posed to play out,” state sys­tem Chan­cel­lor Frank Bro­gan said dur­ing a we­b­cast to stu­dents on Tues­day.

The fac­ulty union has called the de­nial dis­ap­point­ing.

The Penn­syl­va­nia State Sys­tem of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia State Col­lege and Univer­sity Fac­ul­ties are di­vided on a num­ber of key pro­pos­als, in­clud­ing fac­ulty work­loads, salary and health care.

Bro­gan said the sys­tem has pro­posed rais­ing fac­ulty pay by 12 per­cent while seek­ing other con­tract changes, like in­stalling a health plan al­ready ac­cepted by other unions. In a con­ces­sion, Bro­gan said, the sys­tem “chose grudg­ingly” to with­draw a pro­posal to have stu­dents go­ing for their mas­ter’s de­grees teach in labs.

Fac­ulty union pres­i­dent Ken Mash has said the raises wouldn’t cover the costly health care changes or ad­dress other work­load is­sues.

Union mem­bers have been work­ing un­der a oneyear con­tract ex­ten­sion that ex­pired on June 30. The union says its mem­bers at 14 state univer­si­ties in Penn­syl­va­nia will strike on Oct. 19 if they don’t reach a deal.

The union rep­re­sents about 5,500 fac­ulty mem­bers and coaches at univer­si­ties in­clud­ing Blooms­burg, East Strouds­burg, Kutz­town and Ship­pens­burg.

Last month, union lead­ers also filed a charge of un­fair prac­tice with the Penn­syl­va­nia La­bor Re­la­tions Board against the state sys­tem, claim­ing the sys­tem’s ne­go­tia­tors haven’t made a se­ri­ous ef­fort to reach com­mon ground, re­neged on agree­ments and used stall tac­tics.

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