University professors have tentative deal, end strike

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The union representing striking professors at 14 state-owned universities has announced that negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to a three-year deal.

Faculty members will leave the picket lines immediately.

APSCUF says it will release details of the agreement at a later time.

“Our primary goals were to preserve quality education for our students, protect our adjuncts from exploitation, and make sure the varieties of faculty work are respected,” APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said in a release. “We achieved every single one of those goals, and the faculty were willing to take less than every other bargaining unit in order to preserve those goals. We are relieved to have an agreement that preserves quality public higher education in Pennsylvania and allows our members to get back into the classroom where they belong.

“We are thankful to Gov. Tom Wolf for his commitment to reaching an agreement. We may never have received a deal if it were not for his commitment to public higher education, our universities, and our students.”

The strike, which began Wednesday at 5 a.m., was the first in APSCUF’s history. The previous faculty contract expired June 30, 2015.

Upon agreement of final language, the new contract, which would run through June 30, 2018, will go to the full APSCUF membership for a ratification vote. The tentative agreement, if ratified, will then go to the State System’s Board of Governors for final approval.

“Today is an opportunity for a fresh start,” State System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan said in a release. “Throughout this process, our students have been remarkably patient, and they should be applauded. Now, we look forward to making sure the rest of the year ends strong for them and for our talented faculty.”

APSCUF represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches.

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