Category Archives: Office of the Chancellor

A raise by any other name

From an article published widely around PA today, attributed to the Associated Press:

Chancellor John Cavanaugh told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in downtown Harrisburg that university administrators hadn’t had a raise in two-and-a-half years. The average 3 percent merit raise went into effect Jan. 1 at a cost of about $6 million a year out of a $1.4 billion system budget, a system spokesman said.

To borrow a phrase from everybody’s favorite President, Ronald Reagan: Here we go again…

It’s become common, during negotiations years, for management to claim that they’ve forgone raises for years while those greedy faculty take huge raises at every opportunity. Chancellor Cavanaugh didn’t miss his opportunity to point this out:

Asked if he would return his raise or ask other administrators to do so, Cavanaugh said the system board of governors sets compensation levels. He also noted that the system’s unionized work force of about 12,000 received raises last year.

Of course, as he says this, he leaves out a handful of salient points:

1. I won’t speak for AFSCME (They’ve spoken for themselves here) or the other unions because I haven’t done the research, but I do know that APSCUF raises haven’t kept up with the pace of inflation for many, many years.

2.  Probably more important, the reason we got raises last year and the years before that is that HIS SIDE AGREED TO THEM TOO.  PASSHE had to sign the collective bargaining AGREEMENT just the same as we did.  For the Chancellor then to assert, no matter how tacitly, that we’d somehow have gamed the system if we got raises and they didn’t is absurd.

3.  Along similar lines: we (all the unions) negotiate our raises with management.  But we get nothing to say about management raises!  If they’ve chosen not to give themselves raises, then fine–but to make us complicit in that is misleading at best.

There’s a lot more to say about this, and I’m sure the Office of the Chancellor will provide opportunities to say it.

REMINDER: Rally for Public Education! April 27, 7 pm, Chester County Courthouse!

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, Office of the Chancellor, PASSHE, Rally, Uncategorized

Er, just in case you missed it…

Folks, this email from Cliff, originally a memo from State APSCUF President Hicks, was in your email Monday.  Given the lack of buzz it generated, I figure some of you just missed it, so I’m reposting it here. I frankly can’t understand why there’s not more vocal anger at this announcement.  If you don’t believe the Chancellor really means the threat on our campus, then you should be furious at him for lobbing this kind of grenade into contract negotiations while we’re supposed to be fighting side-by-side for our budgetary lives in the Legislature.  If you do believe he really means it, you should be fighting like all bloody hell to save the jobs of your sisters and brothers, if not your own.  –Seth
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Please forward this email to all members.  Steve

Colleagues,

We knew it was coming, but that still did not soften the blow last Friday when, at the negotiations table, the Chancellor’s Office confirmed the rumor that all fourteen of our universities would be sending out retrenchment notices for the 2012-13 academic year.

One might have reasonably expected that, given the context of Governor Corbett’s budget cuts and the need for all in our system to work together, that the Chancellor might, at least, delay this divisive and dispiriting initiative until the fog of the budget battle had cleared.   This would have been the rational path, the politically astute path, and the empathetic path for our students and the faculty.   They have, instead, moved precipitously.

Fortunately, our Association negotiated a CBA that protects us from impetuous administrative action.  The retrenchment notices do not mean that there will, necessarily, be retrenchment.  Under both Article 29 of our collective bargaining agreement and PASSHE’s internal guidelines, campus administrations (and the Office of the Chancellor [OOC]) are to begin the process by notifying the union of “any changes, including those involving curriculum and programs, which will lead to retrenchment.”  These notices fulfill these requirements.  We have been notified as to the possibility of retrenchment.


Thus, colleagues, we must fight on another front.  Amid the budget battle and negotiations, both on your campus and in Harrisburg, we will fight on another front.  There is no time to be panicked or discouraged.  Our state meet and discuss teams and your local meet and discuss teams are ready for these battles.  Our staff is ready.


With record enrollments for thirteen years, and years of budget surpluses, the universities are in a poor position to argue very vehemently that they need fewer faculty.  It belies logic and calculation.  The faculty is at the core of any serious academic mission, and we will never let them forget it.


We must remain diligent, steadfast, and united.  We will fight any attempt to retrench faculty with all the tools at our disposal, but our most effective resource continues to be our ability to stand together with our students in support of quality public higher education.  And, that we will do.


In Solidarity,


Steve

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, Office of the Chancellor, PASSHE, Retrenchment, West Chester University