The Latest: Pennsylvania chancellor applauds faculty pact

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the contract dispute that led to a walkout by professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities (all times local):

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4:50 p.m.

The chancellor who oversees Pennsylvania's 14 state universities says a tentative contract agreement reached Friday with the faculty union is an opportunity for "a fresh start."

The deal brought an end to a strike by professors that lasted three days and disrupted classes for more than 100,000 students.

Chancellor Frank Brogan is thanking students for their patience. Like the union, he is also praising Gov. Tom Wolf for helping break the impasse.

Details on the new three-year contract were not released. But officials say it provides salary increases for the faculty while also requiring them to pay a greater share of their health care costs.

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The tentative contract agreement must now be ratified by the union membership before going to the state system's board of governors for final approval.

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4:15 p.m.

The union representing striking professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities says it has reached a tentative contract agreement and is ending its walkout, now in a third day.

The strike had disrupted classes for over 100,000 students.

Professors walked off the job Wednesday after the union turned down what the university said was its last contract offer.

Union spokeswoman Kathryn Morton said Friday it had made concessions on salary and benefits in return for the university system withdrawing proposed contract changes faculty had opposed.

The union represents more than 5,000 faculty and coaches.

It was the first strike in the system's 34-year history.

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2:45 p.m.

The union representing striking professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities says its president is in meetings aimed at ending a walkout now in its third day.

The strike has disrupted classes for over 100,000 students.

Professors walked off the job Wednesday after the union turned down what the university said was its last contract offer.

Union spokeswoman Kathryn Morton said Friday afternoon that union officials are working hard at reaching an agreement on a new contract and ending the strike.

She says union president Ken Mash has been in meetings to resolve the dispute, though the meetings have not been face to face with the university system.

The union represents more than 5,000 faculty and coaches.

It's the first strike in the system's 34-year history.

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6:30 a.m.

Professors are again manning the picket line at 14 Pennsylvania state universities.

Friday marks the third day since they walked off their jobs.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education says it didn't formally negotiate with its faculty union on Thursday, but is working to move toward a fair contract. The system says it's attempting to debunk untrue claims about negotiations.

Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties first went on strike at 5 a.m. Wednesday after contract negotiations with the state stalled. The union represents more than 5,000 faculty and coaches.

The union says the strike will continue until a deal is reached.

Each university is providing specific instructions to the system's more than 100,000 students.