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Hoping to avoid strike, State System, faculty reach tentative contract

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A year ago this week, teachers walked the picket line at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities during a three-day strike – but that likely won't be the case next year.

Leaders of the State System of Higher Education and the union representing faculty members and coaches announced Tuesday they have tentatively agreed to a new contract that would run through June 30, 2019.

The tentative agreement, if approved, would take effect at the conclusion of the current contract, which expires June 30, 2018, the union and the State System said in a joint news release.

More than eight months remain on the current collective-bargaining agreement between the state system and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), a pact that brought last October’s strike to an end.

"We have been committed to working together to achieve a new agreement in a collaborative manner," Karen Whitney, the state system’s interim chancellor, said in the statement.

Said APSCUF’s president, Kenneth Mash, "After our previous contract negotiations, we were determined to improve the overall negotiations process, and I am happy to report that our communication with the system vastly improved with these talks."

Details of the new agreement will be released upon ratification by the APSCUF membership and approval by the state system’s Board of Governors, the two sides said.

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David O'Connor

David O'Connor

Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at doconnor@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DaveOC_CPBJ.

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