Long-awaited contract nearly finalized for Pa. profs

(Image via http://www.passhe.edu/)

(Image via http://www.passhe.edu/)

Professors at Pennsylvania’s 14 state colleges and universities have voted to approve a contract agreement between the union that represents them and the state school system that employs them.

That contract was hard-fought — a standoff over its terms culminated in a three-day faculty strike in October.

In the nearly two months since Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties members ended their strike and agreed to a new three-year contract for its faculty, union president Ken Mash said he’s been busy informing professors about the new terms.

“We had to do some explaining to people,” he said. “Not everyone was thrilled about it, but, overall, an overwhelming majority approved it.”

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Ninety-four percent of the faculty ultimately approved the contract that gives them raises at varying levels, retroactive to last spring.

Health care premiums will also go up — a concession that school officials insisted on in order to save money.

Mash said he is already thinking about negotiating the next agreement.

“Hopefully, it’ll just be a smooth conversation and we’ll be able to do what we haven’t been able to do in a number of years, which is, come to a contract conclusion relatively soon after the contract expires,” he said.

The full details of the new contract will come out after the school system’s board of governors officially ratifies it. They’re slated to meet on Dec. 20.

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