Point Park Globe

Point Park and adjunct union reach tentative agreement

Written By Anthony Mendicino

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After 10 months of negotiation, the United Steelworkers (USW) adjunct union and Point Park have reached a tentative agreement on a first contract. 

The contract will affect over 300 part-time faculty members and school officials. According to a University press release, the deal would provide “significant wage increases and improved job security for part-time instructors through its Aug. 1, 2019, expiration.”

The deal awaits ratification from the union’s side, likely to be completed in October via mail-in ballots. Specifics of the deal won’t be released until the ratification process is complete. 

“We are very proud of the tentative contract we were able to bargain with Point Park University,” said Daniel Kovalik, USW Associate General Counsel in an emailed statement. Kovalik went on to praise the “significant salary increases” and “job security” aspects of the deal. 

Talks between the two sides began last December, shortly after adjunct faculty voted to unionize under The Adjunct Faculty Association, an affiliate of the USW. 

Both sides believe the deal will lead to better working conditions for part-time faculty and staff.  

USW International President Leo W. Gerard noted that the deal addresses many important issues brought up during the collective bargaining process. “In so doing, we have built a more secure future for the instructors, their students and the university as a whole,” Gerard said. 

President Paul Hennigan reiterated Gerard’s sentiment saying in a statement, “This agreement is a reflection of the entire University community’s focus on teaching, learning and student success.”

Kovalik also added that the new contract “serves the interests of the adjuncts, the university and students alike.”

The tentative agreement comes after Point Park dropped its 11-year-old fight against its full-time faculty’s unionization effort. 

“Point Park University maintains great respect for its part-time faculty and fully appreciates their strong commitment to academic excellence,” Hennigan said. 

The deal could have ripple effects throughout the Pittsburgh region, too. The USW is currently working on organizing and bargaining with Duquesne, Robert Morris and Chatham Universities. 

But for Point Park’s part-time faculty and staff the new tentative contract is a good start.

 “We are gratified to have addressed many important issues through the collective bargaining process,” Gerard said.

Each side mentioned the tenacity of the bargaining process in their respective statements.

“The USW and Point Park worked diligently and creatively in an effort to address each party’s interests,” the University said in its statement. 

Kovalik agreed with the school’s statement saying that the two sides “worked very hard over 10 months,” to get the deal done. 

“We look forward to continuing working with PPU to advance these interests going forward,” Kovalik said. 

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