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Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:31PM - 123 Views

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PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania higher education officials took a contentious pay cut off the table in contract talks with state university faculty on Friday, but the union said it intends to press ahead with a strike authorization vote next week.


The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties said the two sides remain at odds on issues including compensation for temporary instructors, health care benefits and online education.


While there was movement in the new proposal, it was still overwhelmingly concessionary, the union said in a statement.


During talks in Harrisburg on Friday, negotiators for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education withdrew a proposal for a 35 percent salary cut for temporary, or adjunct, faculty. Instead, they proposed no change in full-time adjunct salaries while freezing the pay of part-time temporary faculty for the life of the contract.


Another negotiating session is set for Dec. 11.


We're committed to staying at the table as long as it takes to get a settlement — hopefully very soon, system spokesman Kenn Marshall said.


Union members have been working without a contract since June 2011. They are scheduled to hold strike authorization votes at each of the 14 state-owned universities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


If passed, the vote empowers union chapter presidents at every school to call a strike; 10 of the 14 must approve a walkout. There has never been a faculty strike.


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