Union halts talks with 14 Pa.-owned universities

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - August 8, 2012

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties said Tuesday that the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education isn't offering the kind of economic package given to other unions without "substantial" reductions to health care benefits and elimination of compensation for distance education courses.

The union, which represents about 6,000 faculty members, says the suspension is intended "to allow the parties the time to thoughtfully review their positions."

A spokesman for the 14 universities says the current fiscal challenges call for changes in the system's operations and cost structure. He said several other unions have already agreed to changes in health plans and work rules, and called that "the pattern" for all negotiations.

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