Harrisburg, Pa. – Negotiators from Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and the union that represents athletic coaches at the 14 state-owned universities continue to make progress toward a new agreement.
Over the last two bargaining sessions, the two sides have moved closer to an overall agreement on a new contract, essentially agreeing on a variety of issues, including a communications process when a university is considering eliminating a sports program and the payment process for interim coaches. The two sides are discussing additional meeting dates to continue the talks.
The State System on Monday announced it had reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract with the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA), the union that represents about 700 professional employees who provide a variety of student services, working on each of the campuses in admissions, financial aid, residence life and career services, and in the registrars’ offices. The System also is preparing to meet with separate unions that represent university health center nurses and campus police and security officers.
“There have been a number of positives at the bargaining table, with both APSCUF coaches, and, obviously, with our professional employees represented by SCUPA,” said State System spokesman Kenn Marshall. “We are hopeful we can keep the momentum going as we prepare to meet with our other employee groups.”
Seven separate unions represent State System employees. Combined, they cover about 85 percent of the System’s workforce, not including student workers. About 4,000 of those employees are represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which negotiated a contract with the Commonwealth earlier this year. The State System follows the terms of that contract for its employees who are represented by AFSCME.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more who are enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
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 universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.
Source: Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education