After more than two years of negotiations and threat of a strike, faculty and coaches at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's 14 universities now have new contracts.
This morning, the PASSHE board of governors ratified the tentative agreements that more than 95 percent of the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties voting members supported.
The new agreement runs from July 2011 through the end of June 2015.
For faculty, it includes general pay increases of 1 percent each in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and 2 percent in 2014-15. Faculty also will receive either annual service increments of 2.5 or 5 percent in each of the three years as they move up the salary schedule or annual cash payments equivalent to 2.5 percent of their base salary if they already are at the top of the pay scale. About one-third of faculty receive the increments.
The new agreement with the coaches’ bargaining unit includes salary increases of 2.5 percent in 2012-13 and 2.25 percent in 2013-14, as well as performance-based merit pools of 3 percent each in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Coaches do not receive annual service increments. Minimum salaries for both head and assistant coaches will be increased effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Faculty will have higher co-payments for prescription drugs as well as for some office and emergency room visits, while coaches will make larger contributions to the cost of their health care premiums. PASSHE and APSCUF also will begin meeting no later than September to develop an optional defined contribution health care plan for future retirees.
The new contract eliminates the payments faculty currently receive for the development and redevelopment of distance education courses, including those offered online; PASSHE said it ensures that faculty have the technical support they need to make certain the courses are designed and delivered in a way that is most effective and best meets students’ needs.
The PASSHE board also approved a merit pool to cover potential increases for PASSHE’s approximately 1,400 nonrepresented employees in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Nonrepresented employees do not receive general pay increases. Any increases they receive are based on their job performance.
APSCUF said the contract’s compensation package is similar to the agreements reached by the governor and other statewide unions, and that this is the first time class size has been included in the collective bargaining agreement as an issue subject to faculty input and recommendations.