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The Voice

Faculty votes on contract agreement

Walter Zilts helps with voting.

On April 3rd and 4th, faculty voted on the agreed upon employee agreement contract for the upcoming school years.

Voting took place in The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) union office.

APSCUF is the union that Commonwealth University and 13 other state chapters are members of. All 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) chapters followed the same process.

The contract faculty members voted on took  16 months to agree with. In January of 2024, the agreement between APSCUF and PASSHE was finalized. Some thought it would be on hold for a strike to make way throughout Bloomsburg and other PASSHE school campuses. However, an agreement was closed and a strike was not necessary.

“Effective at the beginning of the fall semester 2024, each professional employee covered by this agreement who is in an active pay status and whose salary is at or below the maximum of the professional employee’s applicable pay range shall receive a general pay increase of two percent,” according to the PASSHE website, PASSHE.edu.

The ratification vote is the final process for the contract to become eligible. The Board of Governors approved the ratification vote on April 11th after receiving signatures from APSCUF and the State System. The status of the contract will now be in effect until June of 2027.

“I am of the opinion that APSCUF did well with this proposed agreement,” Eric Hawrelak, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Commonwealth University- Bloomsburg Campus and APSCUF chapter president said back in late January when the agreement was made.

In 2027, the same process of contract negotiation will take place. The process follows as the state and faculty come to an agreement on a set of legally binding terms. Offers are passed back and forth until a tentative agreement is made. Once an agreement is made, in 2027, it must be presented yet again, to the APSCUF Legislative Assembly where it will be voted to move on to a ratification vote, the current one, with a positive, neutral or negative recommendation.

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Sydney Stokes, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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