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Board OKs pacts with Pa. university faculty, coaches

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 01:14:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 01:17:55 PM CDT
Kutztown University campus - winter

Chad Blimline/69 News

HARRISBURG, Pa. -

The board that oversees Pennsylvania's state-owned universities has given the green light to new contracts for thousands of faculty members and hundreds of sports coaches.

The State System of Higher Education board of governors ratified the pacts Wednesday.

The four-year contracts 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 of 6 percent through performance-based merit pools in the last two years of their contract.

"The approval of these two contracts brings to a conclusion a more than two-year process, during which we successfully negotiated new agreements with all of our labor unions," said Guido M. Pichini, chairman of the board and president of Wyomissing, Berks Co.-based Security Guards Inc. "Throughout the process, we have been guided by our mission to continue to offer high quality, affordable education to our students.”

Faculty will have higher co-payments for prescription drugs, as well as for some office and emergency room visits, while coaches will make larger contributions to the cost of their health care premiums, officials said.

Both groups are represented by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. The union members previously ratified the contracts.

The state system comprises 14 universities, including East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Millersville and West Chester. They enroll about 115,000 students.