Faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state universities will get two retroactive salary increases immediately and a third increase in the fall under a three-year contract approved by the system's board of governors Tuesday.

The contract, which was reached to end a three-day strike in October, also includes health-care concessions that the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education said it needed to achieve cost savings.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties had previously ratified the agreement, which runs through June 2018. The contract covers faculty at Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities.

The labor peace could be relatively short-lived. Bargaining on the next contract is due to begin in August.

Under the contract, faculty who are not yet at the top of the pay scale will get a 2.5 or 5 percent raise, depending on where they fall on the scale, retroactive to January 2016. Those at top scale will get a one-time cash payment equivalent to 2.5 percent of their salary.

All faculty will receive a 2.75 percent increase retroactive to August and another 2 percent increase in fall 2017, the system said.

The current starting salary for a full-time instructor is $46,609, with the top scale at $112,238 for an experienced full professor.

Faculty will pay 18 percent of their health insurance premium, up from 15 percent, as well as deductibles and higher co-payments for some medical services and prescription drugs, said Kenn Marshall, system spokesman.

"We are pleased to have reached a successful conclusion to this process and look forward to working together to ensure our more than 100,000 students have continued access to educational opportunities that are of the highest quality at the best value for their investment," State System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan said.

Kenneth M. Mash, president of the faculty union that represents 5,500 faculty and coaches, said he looked forward to the next round of negotiations.

"We are glad this process is complete so our faculty and coaches can begin the new year focused on their students and doing what they do best," Mash said. "Our next step is to determine how our future negotiations can be more constructive and efficient."

The board also approved new agreements with coaches and nurses, and a two-year merit pool for nonunion employee raises.


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