Public Media for Central Pennsylvania
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Penn State and Teamsters reach deal on new contract; vote by union members to follow

A side angle of Penn State's Old Main building on its University Park campus.
Sydney Roach
Penn State's Old Main building on the University Park campus.

Penn State and the Teamsters Local 8 have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, just days after the unionized employees had voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, if needed, and just two days before the old contract expired on Sunday.

The Local 8 represents about 2,500 technical service workers at University Park and other Penn State campuses.

Workers are expected to vote on the new contract in coming weeks. It's a four-year contract and, once approved, will be retroactive to July 1. According to the university, more details will be available then.

The university did say the contract has pay raises similar to ones in agreements reached with state employees in the Service Employees International Union Local 668 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 13 union.

A post on the Teamsters Local 8’s Facebook page says the contract includes wage increases that add up to about 20% over four years.

The Local 8’s president and Penn State leaders expressed support for the deal.

In a news release, Jennifer Wilkes, Penn State’s chief HR officer, said the union employees "keep Penn State operational." And, she noted, some were essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic — "serving on the frontlines while the rest of the University was working remotely — and a portion of those technical service workers who didn’t have work during the pandemic were temporarily furloughed, receiving only 50% of their normal salary.”

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.