November 19, 2011: Imagine two parents each working to save enough money to help send a son or daughter to college in Pennsylvania.
Assuming they choose a state supported university like Shippensburg, West Chester, etc. the eager young student who worked summer jobs, spring and fall break jobs saving their dimes to go to college. At this point in the semester, they’ve finally get settled into the work/study environment at school…
And, out go the lights, down go the shades and off go the students back home to see how much the next tuition increase will be.
Last week members of the Association of Pennsylvania State University Professors and Faculty (APSCUF) voted to authorize union negotiators to call a strike.
APSCUF and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have been wrangling back and forth for almost two years on a new contract.
The main sticking points are salary for part-time temporary faculty and health benefits. For the part time faculty, the PASSHE wants to freeze pay-rates for the term of the next contract. No reductions, no additional work requirements just a pay freeze.
On the health care front, the PASSHE is proposing that faculty be moved into the same system as 80,000 other state employees. Yes, this would result in increased costs for faculty but it would save the universities $10 million per year.
Most of the professors and faculty already enjoy far better fringe benefit and pension plans than most of the parents who struggle to pay for school tuition.
Students who graduate from Pennsylvania colleges have the second highest level of debt in the country!
But, here is a union of faculty members who are demanding more. Meanwhile, mothers and fathers have to work second jobs in order to pick up the difference in tuition.
Sadly, the academics charged with molding the minds of our future leaders don’t seem to care that they are moving college out of reach for more families. Even more unfortunately, they are willing to disrupt college educations to get what they want.