In an unanimous 72-0 vote, members of the Point Park full-time faculty union, affiliated with the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh Local 38061, ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Point Park University.
Members of the faculty union — which gained a tentative agreement with university administration on Oct. 30 — officially ratified the union’s second CBA on Wednesday. The three-year deal includes minimum salary increases, progressive yearly salary increases for all faculty over the course of the agreement, new policies on leave for the Juneteenth federal holiday and other religious observances, and the addition of paid time off for parental leave.
“This is a good deal for Point Park University; it improves significant elements of our full-time faculty’s compensation and working conditions, and provides an important measure of stability to those who continue to labor mightily to help the institution adjust to the difficult circumstances resulting from COVID-19,” said full-time faculty union chair J. Dwight Hines.
“We now call upon the administration to rescind the austerity that was visited upon the University’s staff under the guise of the pandemic and to extend similar benefits, especially retirement and parental leave, to our colleagues.
The previous agreement expired on June 30, and, from June through October, the faculty union’s bargaining committee met 25 times with university administration to negotiate. NewsGuild-CWA, under which the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh is affiliated, submitted its endorsement of the tentative agreement on Monday. The Local’s Executive Committee unanimously passed a motion approving it on Tuesday.
The new CBA, which goes into effect as of ratification and is in effect through June 30, 2024, provides full-time faculty members with pay increases retroactive to the start of the fall semester, and will see those raises paid out just in time for the holiday season.
Key provisions of the three-year agreement include annual salary increases of 3.5%-4.25% percent; increases in the minimum salaries for all full-time faculty positions, with lecturers’ minimum salaries increasing by 12-15% this academic year; and four weeks of parental leave with 100% pay, with parents who give birth continuing to be eligible for short-term disability beyond four weeks if they are unable to work.
“The faculty union’s bargaining team worked very hard these last few months to reach this agreement,” said Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh President Lacretia Wimbley. “We came out with a CBA that is much better than anticipated. Faculty members gained progressive wage increases each year of the deal and for the first time, obtained paid parental leave. The team also fought to have Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday at the University.
“I say this often, but I couldn’t be more proud. Faculty union members, along with all the passionate students, allies and supporters, have truly exemplified what it means to stand in solidarity in the fight to be recognized, valued and respected by the administration.
“This CBA proves what can happen when you stand together and refuse to relent. Hats off to the administration for working with us to accomplish this.”
In addition to the gains listed above, the newly ratified CBA gives faculty a greater role in shared governance at the university, as well as more input into health and safety matters.
The union’s bargaining committee consists of full-time faculty union Unit Chair Dwight Hines, faculty member Bob Ross, the Local’s Second Vice President Karen Dwyer, faculty member and former Faculty Union Delegate Ben Schonberger, faculty union Delegate Kirstin Hanley, faculty union Treasurer Bill Breslove, faculty member and former faculty union Secretary Barbara Barrow, attorney Steve Winslow of Jubelirer, Pass & Intrieri, P.C., PG Unit Chair Zack Tanner and Local President Lacretia Wimbley.
CONTACTS: DWIGHT HINES