PA University faculty agree to end strike

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WILKES BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – 5,500 striking faculty at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities and colleges agreed late Friday to a new contract, ending a three day walkout.

Faculty negotiators say they reached a tentative agreement with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education on a new three-year contract, which still needs to be approved by the rank and file of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties union.

The union, in announcing the agreement says that “To preserve quality education (the union) accepted concessions to salary and benefits in exchange for eliminating most of the 249 changes the State System proposed in June.”

The union says it also agreed to a salary package significantly lower than that of other unions “…for the sake of students.”

Faculty walked out at 14 state owned universities and colleges at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, and pickets will now leave the picket lines.

It was the first strike in the union’s history, despite threats to do so during three previous contract disputes.

“We are pleased to get to this point and look forward to the conclusion of the process,” said Board Chair Cynthia D. Shapira. “Once again, everyone can focus on what matters most—teaching and learning.”
 
Among other things, the agreement would provide faculty with pay increases and would allow the State System to realize important healthcare cost savings. Details of the agreement will be available upon final approval.

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