The managers of the 14 state universities, including Shippensburg and Millersville, have refused a request by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's faculty union to take their nearly two year contract dispute to binding arbitration.
In a letter to Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties President Steve Hicks, system Chancellor John Cavanaugh said, "We believe it would be improper to delegate those responsibilities to a third party arbitrator who does not have the responsibility or duty to consider the financial implications of their decisions and who is not obligated to take into account the interests of Pennsylvania taxpayers or the long-term effects of those decisions on the Commonwealth or PASSHE."
The letter also points out that the system has managed to reach agreement through bargaining with five other unions as well as achieve some progress in the talks with faculty. Cavanaugh also said he believes its best to keep working at the bargaining table to achieve a settlement.
The union, which represents more than 5,000 professors, has been working without a contract since June 30, 2011. At present, there is a general agreement around salary terms in a proposed contract but sticking points exist when it comes to temporary faculty pay, health benefits and distance education pay.