Response to Inquiries Regarding Faculty Negotiations

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Posted 2/4/13

PASSHE, APSCUF agree on framework for new faculty contract

Harrisburg –The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) have agreed to the framework for a new contract with the approximately 5,500 faculty at the 14 state-owned universities. More information will be made available as the ratification process continues.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.

Posted 1/24/13

Millersville University continues to be hopeful that negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) office and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) will have a positive resolution. 

If a strike by the faculty union appears imminent, PASSHE and Millersville University will be in regular communication with students and University employees.  Even if there is a strike, Millersville University will remain open.  By law, individual faculty members have the right to decline to participate in a strike called by the union so individual classes could still be held. 

 Millersville has a contingency plan it would implement in the event of a strike. The goal of the plan is to keep the campus open, ensure students and employees are safe and to keep students on schedule toward the completion of their degrees.

 We will keep this area updated with any new information we receive.  

 

 Posted 1/24/13

PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman issues statement
on contract negotiations with faculty union

 Harrisburg – Guido M. Pichini, chairman of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, commented today on the status of contract negotiations between the State System and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the union that represents faculty at the 14 state-owned universities. Mr. Pichini made his remarks during the Board’s regular quarterly meeting.

Below is Mr. Pichini’s statement:

 “As we prepare collectively for the start of the spring semester, I feel it is imperative that I address the topic most on everyone’s mind today – negotiations with our faculty union. 

“First, let me reinforce the Board of Governors’ commitment to achieving a new collective bargaining agreement with APSCUF that is fair, that is affordable and that positions the State System to continue to provide a quality education to our students for years to come.

“That has been our goal throughout this unprecedented process, during which we have negotiated with all of our unions in a single cycle. That has never happened before, and it has been extremely difficult.

“However, as everyone in this room likely is aware, we have been successful in achieving that goal with all of our unions, with the exception of the APSCUF bargaining unit that represents our university faculty.

“All of the agreements that have been reached to date have included an array of cost savings – in many cases, concessions – that have helped to offset the cost of wage and salary increases included in them.

“I want to personally thank each of those unions – and, even more important, their members – for recognizing the enormous challenges facing the State System and for partnering with us to achieve this success. I truly believe the sacrifices you made were essential to the long-term stability of our universities.

“All of us must remember why we are here – our students.

“The simple fact is without the cost savings we already have achieved through the agreements we have reached to date – and the additional savings we are seeking through the negotiations with APSCUF – the ability of our universities to continue to offer quality, affordable education would be – and is – seriously threatened.

“As difficult as these negotiations have been, we have been able to come to agreement with APSCUF on a number of very important issues, including wage and salary increases for virtually all faculty this year and in each of the next two years. Usually, that is the last area of agreement.

“There are only a small number of issues that have yet to be resolved, but they are significant. We cannot continue to incur the kinds of cost increases we have been experiencing; we must have cost savings.

“Healthcare represents an area where both cost savings and greater fairness to our employees can be achieved – and have been with our other unions.

“PASSHE is seeking to more closely align its healthcare plan with the plan offered by the Commonwealth to nearly 80,000 state employees, including the Governor and his cabinet, as well as nearly one-third of all PASSHE employees.

“We have stated this goal repeatedly throughout these negotiations, and have been completely transparent on this matter, even placing a side-by-side comparison of the two plans on our public website.

“The unions representing both our university health center nurses and our campus police and security officers, whose members are covered by the PASSHE-run plan, have agreed to this concept; APSCUF continues to oppose it, without providing any response as to why this is not a reasonable request.

“The changes we have proposed not only would help ensure that virtually all PASSHE employees – including non-represented managers, administrators and executives – would receive the same level of benefits, but also would result in lower premiums for everyone in the plan.

“Most PASSHE employees covered by the plan – faculty, nurses, police and security officers and non-represented employees – pay either 15 percent or 25 percent of the total premium, depending on whether they participate in the System’s wellness plan.

“PASSHE currently pays more than $15,000 a year for family coverage under this plan, compared to $10,140 for family coverage under the Commonwealth’s plan. We must address that disparity, and we can begin to do so while ensuring greater fairness for all of our employees.

“We also must address the enormous financial obligation facing PASSHE in the area of annuitant healthcare, which, if allowed to continue unchecked, threatens the System’s viability. That obligation currently stands in excess of $1.4 billion, nearly the equivalent of PASSHE’s annual operating budget.

“The Board of Governors has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the fiscal integrity of the System. The vast majority of our costs – nearly 75 percent – are borne by our students and their families. I believe there is a limit to the amount of costs we can ask our students to absorb, especially in areas that are not directly related to the classroom.

“The change we have proposed in annuitant healthcare would begin to address these costs while providing future employees the option of choosing a defined contribution plan to cover their future healthcare expenses. Those employees – anyone hired after July 1, 2013 – still could choose the defined benefit plan, which currently is provided to all eligible retirees.

“The employee would have a choice of either plan, similar to the choice they have now when selecting a pension plan. APSCUF opposes this proposed change too, even though it would impact only future employees, and would provide those employees an additional choice while taking nothing away.

“These and other costs not related to the classroom are threatening to strip the universities of their ability to develop and offer the types of new programs students need – and even to maintain the ones they have now – and to modernize their academic facilities to ensure students receive the kinds of educational experiences necessary to assure their success.

“We must resolve these issues quickly and fairly so that we can get back to working together on what matters most – continuously enhancing the quality of education our students receive.”

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.

 

Posted 1/23/13

Information on faculty negotiations can be found on the PASSHE website at:  http://www.passhe.edu/inside/ne/Pages/News-Home.aspx  and on the APSCUF website at: http://www.apscuf.com/.

 

Posted 1/23/13 

The Office of the Chancellor, Dr. John Cavanaugh, has requested that the following communication be shared with Millersville University students and be posted on the University’s negotiation website.

“As we get set to welcome our students back to campus for the start of spring semester, I am sure they are occupied with thoughts of their upcoming class schedule, reuniting with fellow classmates and getting back to achieving their educational goals.  Unfortunately, one other item might be on their mind: whether their professors will be there to greet them.

Understandably, the status of negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) has drawn increased attention from students and their families.  First and foremost, students should know that we have a plan in place should a faculty strike occur.  For details on this plan as well as the latest information on the status of negotiations, students should visit www.millersville.edu

Students and their families should also know that PASSHE is committed to achieving a new collective bargaining agreement with APSCUF that is fair, that is affordable and that positions the State System to continue to provide an affordable, quality education for years to come.  PASSHE leadership has made it clear throughout these negotiations that its number one focus is representing the interests of students and their families who provide nearly three-fourths of the revenue needed to operate the universities.

PASSHE has put a very reasonable compensation package for faculty on the table while also making it clear that it needs savings to offset the increased costs to the universities and, ultimately, to our students and their families.  Two major cost drivers for our universities are the health care benefits we provide to both active and retired employees.  If these aren’t addressed, these costs threaten to overwhelm the system and take away resources that could otherwise be used to improve and modernize our educational offerings to ensure students succeed.

PASSHE has offered a number of health care plan options with the goal of more closely aligning the system with the same health care plan that the Commonwealth’s 80,000 employees – including the Governor and his cabinet – all have.  The changes could result in lower premiums while ensuring that all PASSHE employees  receive benefits comparable to those received by other state employees.

For future, not current, employees,  PASSHE has proposed to offer an optional health care account similar to the current option available for a retirement account.   The change, which would begin to address a more than $1.4 billion outstanding financial obligation in this area, would apply only to employees hired after July 1, 2013.

The bottom line is that PASSHE and APSCUF must resolve these issues quickly and fairly so that we can get back to focusing on how best to continuously enhance the quality of our academic programs as well as the educational experience of our students.  There are far more important things for our students to be focused on when they return on January 28.”

 

Posted 12/19/12

PASSHE, APSCUF cancel bargaining session

 Harrisburg – The bargaining session scheduled for today between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) has been canceled by mutual agreement. The two sides plan to resume talks on January 4, with additional scheduled negotiations to follow.

 “Our overriding concern, as it has been throughout these negotiations, is the cost to our students and their families,” said PASSHE Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Labor Relations Gary Dent. “Our students pay approximately 73 percent of the costs necessary to operate our universities through tuition and fees. Seventy-three cents of every $1 in increased costs resulting from this agreement would be borne by students and their families.

 “We have made clear the essential elements we need in this agreement, which include cost savings to offset proposed salary increases; redesign of our health care plan to more closely align it with that offered to more than 80,000 state employees, including the Governor and his cabinet; and a plan to begin to address our annuitant health care costs.  In its latest response, APSCUF rejected almost every element with the exception of levels of compensation.”

 The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

 The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.

 

Posted 11/28/12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - FROM APSCUF

November 27, 2012

 For more information

Contact: Lauren Gutshall

717-579-5359

 APSCUF LEADERSHIP TO POSTPONE STRIKE CONSIDERATION UNTIL SPRING SEMESTER

 Below is the text from an open letter from APSCUF President Steve Hicks to students at the fourteen state-owned universities:

Faculty know you are worried that your professors will go on strike. We know you are concerned about the impact a strike would have on your classes, your finals, and your tuition dollars. After thoughtful deliberation and consideration about how a strike at this time would affect our students, we have decided to postpone consideration of a strike for the rest of this semester.

APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties) and PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) leaders have negotiations sessions scheduled for December. However, there is still a gulf between your faculty and the Chancellor.  He still wants a separate pay scale for some temporary faculty.  He is still proposing increases in payments for reduced health care benefits.   He wants to cut our retirement health care and stop offering those benefits to new faculty.  He wants to stop payments for distance education, but has not addressed our concerns about growing class sizes. The Chancellor continues to demand more concessions from your faculty than the Governor asked from our campuses’ hardworking secretaries, groundskeepers and custodians.  These negotiations remain about simple fairness. 

All of the outstanding issues have a direct effect on the quality of education we provide, as all will impact who is in the classroom and the type of classes that are offered. We know that you understand that the conditions under which faculty work are the conditions under which you learn. We know that you want your university to continue to attract and retain the quality faculty you deserve.

We have done our best to try to avoid a strike.  We waited over a year and a half before even uttering the word.  We gave the Chancellor several opportunities to settle a fair contract, including a two-year extension proposal and the offer of binding arbitration. We offered to pay more for health care and suggested ways for Chancellor to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care costs.

He rejected them all.

We do not want to go on strike.  We want to educate our students.  However, the core meaning of “union” is one, and we cannot accept the Chancellor’s unsubtle attempts to divide and exploit segments of our faculty union. 

The interests of our students are always on our minds.  It is why we have waited and hoped that with time we could convince the Chancellor to be fair.  With higher education comes the understanding that there are times when people must stand up for themselves.  If the only way we can convince the Chancellor to be fair is to go on strike, then we must stand up for ourselves.  It is what we would expect of you in the pursuit of fairness. But know that your faculty will only strike as a last resort.  You can count on us to continue do all we can to reach a fair agreement.

The last two years, faculty and students worked together to turn back Governor Corbett’s historic budget cuts for our universities.  We held rallies and met with legislators who know the value of public higher education.  We have stood together for quality education. We can now use your help to avert a strike. 

Please write to the Chancellor at jcavanaugh@passhe.edu and tell him to settle a fair contract with the faculty.  You do not have to argue our side.  Just tell him to be fair.  The more he hears from you, the more likely he is to change the proposals even he knows APSCUF cannot in wisdom accept. We appreciate your support.

 
Posted 11/19/12

Millersville University continues to be hopeful that negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) office and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) will have a positive resolution.  There are two more negotiation sessions scheduled; December 11 and December 19.  Although APSCUF membership has voted to authorize a strike this does not mean a strike will occur or is imminent.  Millersville University does have a contingency plan in place where it will remain open and campus operations will continue should a work stoppage take place.  Additional information can be found on the PASSHE website at:  http://www.passhe.edu/inside/ne/Pages/News-Home.aspx  and on the APSCUF website at: http://www.apscuf.com/.

 

Posted: 11/12/12

Please see the link below for an update on contract negotiations between PASSHE and its faculty union. This site will include regular updates as negotiations continue.  

http://www.passhe.edu/inside/ne/pnp/Pages/Negotiation_Updates.aspx

 Posted October 2012

In response to inquiries into faculty negotiations – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) office is continuing to negotiate a new contract with the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF).  PASSHE has already settled with five of its other bargaining units, including The American Federation of State College and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).   PASSHE and Millersville University officials are hopeful a settlement will be reached soon.  APSCUF has indicated that there may be a vote this weekend to authorize a strike. That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a strike but it gives the top union officials the ability to call a work stoppage at a later date.  Millersville University does have a contingency plan in place should a work stoppage authorization take place, and should faculty choose not to teach their assigned classes.  Even if there is a strike, the University will remain open and campus operations will continue.   Additional information can be found on the PASSHE website at:

http://www.passhe.edu/inside/ne/Pages/News-Home.aspx  and on the APSCUF website at: http://www.apscuf.com/.

 

Oct. 17 - Sent on Behalf of Karen Ball – TO:   Board of Student Government Presidents

I have heard from a number of you today requesting guidance on the status of negotiations between the State System and APSCUF, our faculty union.

First, please allow me to provide you with some background information. PASSHE employees are represented by seven separate labor unions. We have reached final or tentative agreements with six of them. In fact, we announced a tentative agreement with SCUPA today, the union which represents admissions, financial aid, residence life, and other student support services. Each of the settled contracts is structured to assure that any new costs incurred are offset as much as possible with savings through redesigned health care benefits or changes in how work is done.

APSCUF’s most recent contract with PASSHE expired on June 30, 2011. In the absence of a new contract, the faculty has been working under the terms of the old contract. That means no salary increases, changes in benefits, etc. There is no timeline on how long this situation can continue.

We are very mindful of the fact that nearly three-fourths of the revenues for your university come from tuition and fees, with the remainder covered by our annual state appropriation. We are also aware that many of our students and their families are finding it difficult to pay for increases in those costs.

APSCUF recently requested that we enter into binding arbitration to reach a final agreement on a new contract. What that would mean is a neutral third party would be appointed by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to decide the terms of the contract. We denied this request because of our major concern that the neutral party would not be bound to consider the financial ability of PASSHE to pay for its decisions. We also believe the negotiating process works.

That brings us to this week. You should have received a message from the Chancellor’s Office yesterday that contains information about the PASSHE and APSCUF current bargaining positions. Your university contact and/or the Office of the Chancellor will update you as events change.

We have asked the university presidents to designate a contact person to be available to answer questions. Please see a list of the university contacts at the end of this message. We will provide the remaining contact information as soon as it is available. I encourage you to reach out to these contacts to help you in responding to questions you might get from your fellow students. You also can refer other students to these individuals so they may speak with them directly.

The leadership of APSCUF is holding a legislative council meeting on Saturday. It is our understanding that there might be a strike authorization vote taken at that meeting. It is important for you to know that this is NOT A VOTE TO STRIKE. It is a step in the process that must be taken before a strike vote actually could be taken. The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for October 22, November 2, and November 9.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Karen Ball
Vice Chancellor for External Relations
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
717-720-4053
kball@passhe.edu

Millersville’s student contact – Dr. Aminta Breaux – VP for Student Affairs – aminta.breaux@millersville.edu

 

 10/17 news release from PASSHE:

PASSHE, SCUPA reach tentative agreement on new contract

 Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that would run through June 30, 2015.

Both parties said they believe the tentative agreement, which was reached yesterday, is a fair one and will recommend its ratification. SCUPA members will vote on the tentative agreement first, followed by the PASSHE Board of Governors.

Once ratified by each side, the agreement will allow PASSHE and its employees to continue to provide high quality support and services to the State System’s nearly 115,000 students, officials said. In announcing the tentative agreement, SCUPA leaders recognized the prior work done by the late Marc Kornfeld on the negotiations that led up to their successful conclusion.

SCUPA represents approximately 600 admissions, financial aid, residence life and other student support services officers on the 14 PASSHE campuses.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study.  About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.  The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.

 

10/15 Letter from the Chancellor

October 15, 2012

 Dear Dr. Hicks:

Thank you for your letter of September 25, 2012. After a review of your request for binding arbitration, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) must decline your offer. Under the provisions of PASSHE’s enabling legislation, Act 188, the Board of Governors and I have fiduciary and legal duties to assure that the system is operated in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner. We believe it would be improper to delegate those responsibilities to a third party arbitrator who does not have the responsibility or duty to consider the financial implications of their decisions and who is not obligated to take into account the interests of Pennsylvania taxpayers or the long-term effects of those decisions on the Commonwealth or PASSHE.

We also considered the following in making our decision: 

  • Based on our ability to reach agreements with five of our bargaining units, we remain committed to the negotiating process.
  • We fully endorse our proposal presented at the October 5th bargaining session which contains the following elements:
  • Salary increases consistent with the Commonwealth pattern established with the AFSCME bargaining unit as well as step increments for faculty moving up the salary schedule, annual cash payments for faculty at the top of the pay range, and an increase in compensation for summer employment. In addition, the proposal provides summer, winter and overload compensation tied to the current academic year’s salary structure.
  • Modifications to the PASSHE health care plan to make it more aligned with the PEBTF benefit plan. Membership in PEBTF includes 80,000 Commonwealth employees including the Governor and other executive branch personnel and almost 4,300 of 12,700 PASSHE employees.
  • Realignment of pay for temporary faculty to better reflect regional rates at other higher education institutions while assuring that PASSHE universities remain competitive employers.
  • Final phase-out of the distance education incentive payments originally inserted into an agreement in 1999. PASSHE distance education programs and online courses have significantly grown since that time, and far more faculty have the requisite skills to revise a course, which negate the need for the original concept.
  • A proposal to shift to a defined contribution model of funding retiree health benefits for future new hires only, similar to the model recently adopted by Penn State. This is necessary to begin to address the growing retiree health care liability which currently is $1.4 billion.
  • Offer to reopen the one-time retirement incentive program offered to eligible employees in 2010 if the successor collective bargaining agreement is ratified by APSCUF members by December 31, 2012.

 PASSHE believes that the collective bargaining process is the best way to reach an agreement and we remain committed to reaching a fair and affordable contract.  

Dr. John C. Cavanaugh

Chancellor

 

 

  1. Lauren Wilson says:

    This is ridiculous. The students that go to the PA state school could have chosen other schools in the country to attend. We choose to attend the state schools and we put thousands and thousands of our own money and family’s money toward our education. Without our actions to attend these schools, there would be no need for the faculty and no need for PASSHE. If this is how we will be affected, the largest party of all involved, then we shall all regret deciding to be apart of the PA school system. In the future, students will choose to go elsewhere as a result of any future penalty on the students, who in no way deserve the potential backlash from a strike and having to set back our education, our future. Those employed at the PA schools and at PASSHE will not find new jobs as quickly as the students will find new schools due to foul treatment and the potential for no class this upcoming semester. The largest of the parties involved is us, and this must be settled for us. A company does not last without its customers.

  2. Michael Abbott says:

    I would only hope that the occurence of PASSHE and ASPCEUF do not affect the students and those who have worked incredibly hard and have spent a great deal of money to graduate and complete their education on time and in 4 years. If the professors do not wish to strive to offer the students the continued ability to obtain what they deserve, which is to complete their education and not be set back a semester, then they should be ashamed of their educational abilities and of their educational reputation. The students understand the the professors may be fighting for the good of the students in some ways, but we also realize that there is selfishness involved as well. It is our right as Millersville students and as United States citizens to have the power to graduate from college and obtain a degree in a free manner, not in a manner that is affected negatively by other parties.

    If you do wish to ruin and delay the lives of thousands and thousands of students, please work to not engage in a strike and allow us the rights that we deserve, which is to attend classes and graduate in the manner that other students across the country have been able to do. I do not know one single person who would want their ability to obtain a college diploma to be set back due to the poor and selfish actions of conflicting organizations. Without the students, none of those in charge of the universities or in charge of proving the education to the students would be able to excel and sustain their careers and their families. We do not deserve this treatment, those who comprise of the largest party involved.

  3. Dr. Cavanaugh’s letter indicated that the contingency plan in the event of a strike would be detailed on the “(campus web site).” Where exactly is this plan? Would it be all online/distance learning courses?

  4. Caroline Dwyer says:

    That is a good question, Juluis. There are thousands and thousands of students who are to graduate in May. Thousands of students who are engaging in interviews and job application completitions in order to prepare themselved for after graduation, which they have worked INCREDIBLY HARD to reach. Many students already have jobs set up to start in JUNE. It would be a DISGRACE if these students have to say NO to the employers interested in them or the employers that have already hired them to begin their employment right after graduation. Like the faculty and like those apart of PASSHE, we students have worked our ENTIRE LIVES to reach the day of our graduation from college. We have gone through grade school, middle school, high school, and even those imperative years of preschool to get to where we are today, just like everyone else. How dare these organizations put OUR futures in jeopardy. How dare they potentially think to ruin the lives of the students, and the lives of the parents and families who have helped us all to get to where we are today. WE do not deserve this treatment, and we have rights to be able to graduate on time and not lose a semester or even a few weeks of chosen classes. We have given the faculty and PASSHE our time, our money, and it is THEY who promised to serve us after we choose to attend these PA schools. Do not set back our futures, do not go to Harrisburg and preach for your rights when our rights as students are far more important. Teachers have the ability to obtain jobs elsewhere and it was their choice to be a part of the PA school system. How dare these organizations put this stress and pain and selfishness into the lives of the students, who are only working to OBTAIN A DEGREE in order to live the rest of their lives in a knowledgeable manner and obtain reputable jobs and do so in the AMOUNT OF TIME they have planned to.

  5. Jonathan O'Brien says:

    How would you feel if someone held you back, even only for a week or so, from obtaining a college degree- the one key achievement a person needs to obtain in their lives to succeed, to support themselves, to feel like a truly accomplished and acceptable human being. The parents understand the teachers and that they have needs too in order to live well and support their familties. But please, do not allow this deman to impact the innocent students, who are working so hard to be able to get through these semesters in order to build a future. I have NEVER seen parents and students feel SO INCREDIBLY proud of themselves until I have been to graduation ceremonies. Please, teachers and PASSHE, resolve this issue so it is fair for all. Please keep the students in mind. You would never wish this upon your own children. It makes a parent so proud to see their student graduate in 4 years or in the amount of time they deserve. Please, this could truly impact not only the present time of their lives but their lives FOREVER. The teachers do have needs and it is important for those needs to be met. But they do have abilities to go elsewhere after they have finished teaching the semester. The students, who have not yet obtained a college degree, do not have this ability unless they are able to graduate and do so in at the colleges they chose to. With a strik in place, with classes that were not scheduled to take place, the lives of these students are FOREVER in danger. They DO NOT have the ability to get out of this mess unless an agreement is met. They cannot apply to another college mid semester and graduate on time. This is not fair. This is not right. Please look to the horrible events that have happened in present time and choose to not be the next bad guy.

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