Faculty at Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities appear headed for four more years of labor peace.
Their union and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which oversees the universities, announced Thursday that the sides had reached an “agreement in principle” on a new deal. The previous contract expired June 30.
Neither side would release details pending the development of final language and ratification.
The agreement was reached late Wednesday, following five marathon days of bargaining.
“I believe that the agreement in principle represents a historic advance in the process of creating a shared vision of how our universities should operate to best serve our students,” said Kenneth M. Mash, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, which represents more than 5,000 faculty. “The principal components are fair, they address a number of faculty concerns, and they establish a solid foundation for the future of public higher education in Pennsylvania."
The agreement followed “interest-based bargaining," which advocates a collaborative approach rather than the exchanging of proposals. Talks started in mid-May.
"By engaging deeply with each other from the start, the negotiating teams achieved a result that puts students first, honors the important work of our dedicated faculty, and takes another important step toward overcoming our financial challenges,” system chancellor Daniel Greenstein said in a statement.
Faculty last went on strike in 2016. The strike lasted three days.