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14 Years After Voting To Unionize, Point Park Faculty Have First Tentative Contract Agreement

Point Park University
Point Park University's fall semester begins Monday.

The faculty of Point Park University have reached a tentative agreement for their first ever union contract.

Faculty voted to join the Communication Workers of America, or CWA, in 2003, a decision which the university continued to appeal until 2015.

“This case started ... under a different administration,” said Point Park president Paul Hennigan in July 2015.  “This administration is just not interested in a fight.”

Contract negotiations began in March 2016.

The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, a local of the CWA, represents 140 full-time faculty members. Guild president Michael Fuoco said the negotiation committee vote was unanimous.

“We unanimously voted to accept it as a tentative agreement and to recommend it to the membership, we think it’s a fantastic foundation, we think it’s a great first contract, and it’s something for years and years and years full time faculty at point park university will be able to build on.”

Fuoco said the tentative agreement includes improvements in salary benefits, working conditions and shared governance. The five-year contract is retroactive, beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

“The University believes it is a fair agreement for all parties,” said Point Park spokesperson Lou Corsaro in a statement.

Union membership will vote on ratification Friday, avoiding a possible strike. Point Park’s fall semester begins Monday. 

Liz Reid began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor.