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Some details emerge on union's contract agreement with State System


The state government’s unions don’t seem to be impressed by Governor Tom Corbett’s pension reform plans. 


APSCUF, the faculty union at the state-owned universities, says Corbett’s proposals may exacerbate the problem with unfunded pensions rather than improve them.  Laura Saccente, APSCUF’s director of government relations, says one aspect of the plan takes away a billion dollars that could be used to fix the pension funds, and she says creating a mandatory 401(k)-like plan to automatically apply to all hires after 2015 will destabilize the pension system enjoyed by current members and hinder future hiring and recruitment.


Meanwhile, a few details are beginning to emerge on the tentative contract agreed to by union and State System negotiators last weekend.  The union says that for the first time, class size is part of the collective bargaining process.  Also, the deal eliminates compensation for distance education course development – a key demand by the State System – but provides for technical support and instructional design professionals to assist faculty in developing distance education courses.


The union plans to have its legislative assembly vote on the new contract on Friday, and if approved, the rank and file will have the chance to vote on it.

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