Commencement ceremonies at IUP are just two days away. The ceremonies scheduled for Saturday are expected to include around 1,100 students. Meanwhile, negotiations continue between the union representing faculty at IUP and the 13 other state owned universities and the State System of Higher Education.
The two sides met for the second day this week yesterday, but there is still no agreement. The parties have agreed to met again for bargaining sessions on January 4th and 11th. Tuesday and Wednesday’s meetings were the first since the members of APSCUF voted to authorize a strike. Union leaders have since said that they won’t call a strike until the spring semester at the earliest. The union has been working under the terms of a contract that expired on June 30, 2011.
APSCUF President Steve Hicks says the union hasn’t received a substantive response to a new comprehensive proposal that it made last week. Hicks says the proposal included hundreds of thousands of dollars in concessions. As for the State System of Higher Education, spokesman Kenn Marshall says their management is still looking over the offer and the state system remains committed to their goal of having all employees receive the same healthcare benefits.