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Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

Here is the latest round of back-and-forth regarding the retirement incentives for APSCUF faculty.  You’ll recall that APSCUF was the only one of the PASSHE unions to not jump at PASSHE’s offer.  Here’s an article from yesterday’s Patriot News:

State System of Higher Education refuses talks over retiree buyouts

By JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News

April 11, 2010, 9:33PM

Seeking to cut costs, the State System of Higher Education is offering its unions financial incentives for some members to retire, and all but one union has accepted.

Five labor unions at the 14 state universities have accepted the offer that pays those who qualify as much $30,000 to leave this summer.

However, the leader of the faculty union has rejected the incentive. Steve Hicks, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, said he wants to pursue talks with system officials in hopes of finding a deal both can accept.

Ken Jarin, chairman of the state system’s board of directors, said he had no interest in discussing the matter with the faculty union.

“We made our proposal and every other union agreed to it and APSCUF chose not to. We’re disappointed by that,” Jarin said after Thursday’s meeting of the state system’s board.

The system, which serves 117,000 students, faces serious financial challenges, including an anticipated spike in costs for pension systems and the eventual disappearance of federal stimulus money.

The system includes Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities.

Kutztown University has already begun discussing faculty layoffs, and faculty anticipate other system universities will soon follow suit.

Hicks said the union, which represents 7,000 faculty and coaches, turned down the retirement incentive because it worries about the rising workload for the teachers who stay on.

He said the union thought it was worthwhile to pursue financial security for its members not eligible to retire, since no assurances were given about replacements or position transfers. So it sought a two-year extension to its contract, which expires June 30, 2011.

System officials showed no interest. They said the retirement incentive was a standalone offer.

System officials said the five unions that accepted the retirement incentive could produce several million dollars in savings if all 400 of their eligible employees took it.

Hicks said the savings that the system stood to derive from the faculty and coaches’ union accepting the offer could amount to as much as $35 million. He compared that to the $4 million that he said it costs for every 1 percent increase in faculty salaries.

The union’s contract extension offer sought 3 percent across-the-board increases, plus the 2.5 and 5 percent step increases for eligible faculty for 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Hicks said the two sides have the rest of this month to negotiate and still leave a 60-day window for possible retirees to decide by the end of June.

“So, let’s have that conversation and see if we can reach something of mutual benefit,” Hicks said.

Jarin emphatically refused.

“We’ll deal with the circumstances as we see them including whatever economic situation we’re in at the time,” he said.

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Last night I posted an article from the  Philadelphia Business Journal that reported that PASSHE is offering a retirement incentive as part of an agreement with five (5) unions.  I want to thank Rob Mutchnik for following up on this.  Rob posted a link to the XChange facebook site to the PASSHE statement about the agreement.

In short, APSCUF is NOT part of the retirement incentive package.  It seems that PASSHE kept its March 19th deadline.  Here’s the PASSHE news release:

Board of Governors approves voluntary retirement incentive program

Part of larger workforce planning process to assure students receive high quality education at an affordable cost

Friday, March 19, 2010
Harrisburg – The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education today approved a voluntary retirement incentive program as part of a broader, ongoing workforce planning effort involving the 14 PASSHE universities and the Office of the Chancellor.

The retirement incentive will be available to full-time, permanent employees – both union and management – who are at least 60 years of age or have 35 years of service and are eligible to receive annuitant health care benefits. The program will not create an additional liability for the state-employee pension funds.

“We are facing very difficult financial challenges, just like every other higher education institution in America,” said PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Kenneth Jarin. “Students will always be our top priority. We are committed to providing them with quality education that is affordable. We will take whatever difficult steps are necessary to accomplish that.”

Agreements to authorize the incentive are being finalized with five separate labor unions:  the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA); Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA), Office of Professional Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania (OPEIU); and the Pennsylvania Social Services Union (PSSU). PASSHE employees who are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement also will be able to participate in the voluntary program.

“The conversations we had with our unions were frank and very productive,” said PASSHE Chancellor John C. Cavanaugh. “Both sides learned a lot. These five unions understand the financial situation the State System faces. We all agreed to keep the main focus of providing a great education to students as our top priority.”

Eligible PASSHE employees will have a two-month period – from March 29 through May 28, 2010 – to decide whether to accept the retirement incentive. Informational meetings will be held on all of the campuses to explain the program and to answer any questions employees might have.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with nearly 117,000 students.  The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study.  Approximately 454,000 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.

– – –

Contact : Kenn Marshall, (717) 720-4054 or (717) 329-0809

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OK.  I need to preface this post.  The full story of what I’m posting below has not been established yet.  However, I think you’ll see why I’m posting it.  Please read knowing that I cannot absolutely confirm this is actually what happened at last weeks negotiations regarding the potential of a retirement incentive.

In any case, we got our hands on an email sent by PASSHE Chancellor Cavanaugh regarding the talks with APSCUF about the retirement incentive.  We do not know all of the people who actually received this email.  In any case, here’s the piece of the email that was sent to us:

—— Forwarded Message

I want to apprise you of a few things as a heads up.

•        APSCUF has decided to not participate any further in the negotiations regarding the voluntary retirement incentive program because they want it linked to a 3-year contract extension with significant pay increases and a new step. The BOG Executive Committee said no to the extension, and we agree. We have told them that they are welcome to come back to the table before the window closes. Negotiations with the other unions and plans for management will continue.

•        We are adding the topic “Retrenchment” to the statewide meet and Discuss agenda next week. We will tell APSCUF that we are beginning to plan for retrenchment as a financial issue due to budget pressures. We will be talking with you in more detail about the various ways this can play out across the campuses. However, we need to put this item on the table with the union now.

•        Discussions and planning regarding low enrolled programs continues. Information to that effect has been sent this week to your CAO and a copy to you.

We will stay in touch.

John

John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Chancellor
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Dixon University Center
2986 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

t: (717) 720-4010
f: (717) 720-4011
e: jcavanaugh@passhe.edu
w: http://www.passhe.edu

P As part of PASSHE’s Green Technology Initiative, save a tree. Print only when necessary.

From: Westhafer, Bonnie
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:50 PM
To: DUC – Chief Academic Officers
Cc: DUC – Presidents
Subject: Lower Enrolled Program Procedures

Transmitted on Behalf of Dr. Jim Moran

Colleagues:

Attached are the revised plan of action for addressing lower enrolled programs and the current list of programs under consideration. Some notations regarding programs (e.g., in moratorium) reflect status as of November 1, 2009 and not subsequent to that date.  If this information is incorrect please let us know. This information is to be distributed to APSCUF for the February 26 statewide M&D meeting.

This is is the whole of what I have in my possession.  There is a ton to say about this email.  Let me try to point to a couple of things before I have to go to a meeting.

Retirement Incentive:

The Chancellor’s email states: “APSCUF has decided to not participate any further in the negotiations regarding the voluntary retirement incentive program because they want it linked to a 3-year contract extension with significant pay increases and a new step.”  I DO NOT know if this is accurate.  However, if it is we have some serious problems.  The most pressing problem being that at the last Legislative Assembly there was no discussion of a 3 year extension.  And I know for a FACT that at three year contract extension wasNOT a demand of the Chapter Presidents–and it was ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that Assembly did not tell APSCUF to walk away from the table if PASSHE didn’t agree to a 3 year contract extension.  And I know for a FACT that a 3 year extension of the contract was NEVER discussed on the floor of Legislative Assembly.  If it is true that discussions around a retirement incentive broke down because APSCUF refused to budge from a 3 year contract extension, then I have some SERIOUS questions for the APSCUF State APSCUF president about what the hell happened.  If the Chancellor misrepresented what happened, then there are some serious questions about just what the hell he is trying to pull over here.

Retrenchment:

There it is folks: PASSHE is putting a retrenchment plan together for this Friday’s State Meet and Discuss.  We don’t know what the plan is or how it will affect Kutztown in particular.

I hate to do this, but I have got to get to a meeting…I wanted to get this little nugget out ASAP. More to come.

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Hey all,

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve posted two updates to the APSCUF-KU Delegates blog:

Let me know if you have any questions!

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