It has been over 200 days, and the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA) are still working without contracts because of a lack of negotiation. SCUPA members, who include financial aid counselors, admission counselors and career counselors, also called State University Administrators, are ready for a change. The members have not seen a salary increase since July of 2003 and are having their first negotiation meeting since October on Feb. 2. Phil Tripp, assistant director for the Career Development Center and president of SCUPA on campus, is hoping that the February negotiation will be face to face unlike the last meeting,which involved separate rooms and a mediator.
Tripp said that the major issue for SCUPA centers around the state system wanting to include outsourcing of professional work that SCUPA members do in the contracts.
Tripp said, “We are not looking for a strike” but that many of those involved with SCUPA are not feeling rewarded. “They are not talking about issues,” Tripp said about the state chancellors. Until they can come to an agreement, SCUPA members will continue to work without contracts.
Because of not having contracts, SCUPA members have been working with the same salaries since July 2003. They also have lost nearly $10,000 in Professional Development Funds, that allowed members to attend conferences, graduate work and professional activities. “We are not going to disrupt students? lives,” said Tripp.
SCUPA doesn?t want to interfere with students and their pursuits, and will continue to remain active on campus. There are over 50 SCUPA members on campus and 500 statewide that want to see contracts in place.
Tripp said that a team of five negotiators is planning to attend the meeting on Feb. 2, including West Chester University representative Angela Howard.
Tripp said that he wants students to get to know who the SCUPA members are because they are what he calls “direct providers to students.” He said that often times SCUPA members get taken for granted. They are a huge part of the campus andprovide aid for the student body.
Tripp encourages students to become involved, and wants to help students become aware of SCUPA and their issues. He said that students could write their state legislators and campus leaders to help members of SCUPA to obtain contracts. He said that he wants students to “get to know some of our professional needs.”
SCUPA members are not the only ones on campus working without a contract. According to Tripp, the coaches on campus are in need of contracts as well, leaving a large number of West Chester staff without reliable contracts.
The SCUPA Web site, www.homestead.com/scupa, holds a wealth of information on the association and how they plan to continue their fight for con SCUPA.
The purpose of SCUPA is to promote the general education welfare of the State System of Higher Education, to advance the interest of its members, to foster professionalism, and to advance its members educational, economic and professional standards.