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Board Oks Pacts With Pa. University Faculty Raises

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The board that oversees Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities gave the green light Wednesday to new contracts for thousands of faculty members and hundreds of sports coaches.

The State System of Higher Education board of governors ratified the four-year pacts, which are retroactive to July 2011.

They provide annual pay raises of between 3.5 and 7 percent for the 5,500 faculty members over the last three years of the contract. The 600 coaches will get raises totaling 4.75 percent, plus potential increases averaging 6 percent through performance-based merit pools in the last two contract years.

Faculty members will have to pay higher co-payments for prescription drugs and some office and emergency-room visits under their contract, while coaches will have to contribute more toward their health care premiums. The faculty contract also includes $400,000 a year for faculty members’ professional development.

The faculty members and coaches are represented by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. They previously ratified their contracts.

Board chairman Guido M. Pichini said Wednesday’s action culminated more than two years of negotiations.

“Throughout the process, we have been guided by our mission to continue to offer high quality, affordable education to our students,” he said.

Also Wednesday, the board approved a merit pool to cover potential raises for 1,400 nonunion employees in the fiscal year that started July 1 and the next two years. Any increases will be based on their job-performance evaluations, officials said.

The state system universities enroll about 115,000 students.

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