Pennsylvania: The fourteen state universities in Pennsylvania (incl. Millersville University) are initiating criminal background checks to all professors. However the majority don’t teach minors, states the faculty union, so are exempt from criminal background checks as per the states child protection laws.
The Faculties Union has now made advances towards Commonwealth Court for and on behalf of it’s 6000 members. The union seeks an injunction against the criminal background checks program implementation. The program though is within a broader state system (Higher Education) which takes in fourteen member campuses requiring child abuse clearance and criminal background checks on all workers.
Initial costings for the criminal background checks are estimated to be around $4 million, taking in 43,000 employees, volunteers and student workers. Officials state that a large number of minors who frequent the fourteen campuses than those minors already enrolled. Those in Summer camps, other activities and cultural events. A spokesperson has confirmed Millersville University will conduct the criminal background checks till it hears to the contrary from the state. Initial projections by the university has costs around $250,000 to check around two thousand student employees and 1000 staff and faculty.
An unfair labor practice charge has been filed by APSCUF on Tuesday. The union has stated that prior to the implementation of any criminal background checks within the scope of child protection service laws management should enter in to negotiations. The law, amended in July, gives exemption to college campus employees if direct contact with under 18’s is restricted to enrolled students and visiting prospective students as put forward in the court petition. The APSCUF president said the procedure was unwise to allocate funds mindful of faculty lay offs and budgets being cut.
The injunction states that the number of students within the 14 universities during 2014/2015 taking courses was less than 760. This information taken from the student system confirming numbers of 109,600. APSCUF’s members taught less than 10% of these students.
A state spokesperson confirmed that minors spending time on campus were many thousands as either visitors or students. The new criminal background checks were initiated prior to the change of law in July. The state system had conducted over 6000 checks to date.
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