Just ten days from a union-imposed deadline for the State System of Higher Education to join APSCUF in binding arbitration to settle their labor contract, the two sides have a negotiating session planned for today in Harrisburg.
The last bargaining session was three weeks ago, when they failed to agree on retrenchment language. Last Wednesday, the union offered binding arbittration and set a deadline of October 15th for the State System to accept it. If it passes on binding arbitration, union leadership will meet October 20th to begin the strike authorization process.
At today’s meeting – if it happens – APSCUF is to present its proposals on curriculum, class size, and distance education. The next planned session is October 22nd, when the State System team will present on temporary faculty workload and concessions on retiree health care. That session, particularly, would certainly be affected by whatever happens with the binding arbitration offer and the possible strike authorization.
The State System has not officially responded to the request for binding arbitration, but spokesman Kenn Marshall has said it will respond by the deadline. Binding arbittration has been offered in past contract talks, but the State System has not agreed to it.