Last updated: March 09. 2013 12:20AM - 1743 Views

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Faculty at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities today approved a new four-year labor contract with the State System of Higher Education, the union announced today in Harrisburg after tallying the campus-by campus vote taken earlier this week.

More than 95 percent of the faculty who voted supported the contract, the union said. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents 5,500 faculty.

Faculty members voted by paper ballot Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Lauren Gutshall, spokeswoman for APSCUF, said the group is not releasing the number of members who voted.

The tentative pact, retroactive to July 1, 2011, still requires a vote by the State System’s board of governors. Officials have not said whether that will occur when the board meets in April or at a special meeting that could be called this month.

An affirmative vote by the board of governors would end what has been the longest faculty labor dispute in the State System’s three-decade history.

Officials have said the agreement mirrors contracts reached by the Corbett administration with other unions in the state. The contract calls for a salary freeze in the first year, then base salary increases of 1 percent, 1 percent and 2 percent over the remaining three years, along with other payments based on seniority.

Following the freeze in the contract’s first year, faculty at the top of the pay scale — $107,870 for full professors; $66,222 for instructors — would see their base salary increase the remaining three years by a total of 4 percent, along with yearly cash payments equivalent to 2.5 percent of their salary.

Base salaries would go up a total of 4 percent plus annual service increments of 2.5 percent or 5 percent yearly for faculty at all other scales, including the bottom scale that ranges from $44,795 for instructors to $72,967 for full professors, officials have said.

There are about 115,000 students attending the 14 universities, which include East Stroudsburg and Bloomsburg.

In western Pennsylvania they include California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana and Slippery Rock universities.

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