Pennsylvania State Capitol. Pennsylvania State Capitol. Photo credit: Zack Frank/

A member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives said he plans to introduce legislation that would set a $15-an-hour minimum base pay for state-financed higher education employees, revise unemployment compensation for teachers and professors of state-funded higher education institutions, and other provisions for full-time and part-time educators in higher education.

In the memo issued by Rep. Christopher M. Rabb, D-Philadelphia, he outlines two bills he is set to propose to address educators and other employees in higher education institutions. Under his proposed legislation, part-time and other nontenure-track faculty would be paid wages “equal, on a pro rata basis” to the pay of full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty.

Rabb said he would also revise Section 401.1 of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law to mandate that teachers and professors “be paid unemployment benefits between two successive academic years regardless of whether there is ‘reasonable assurance’ that they will perform services in a second academic year.”

Rabb’s legislation would also require higher education institutions to provide part-time and nontenure faculty with “timely notice and priority consideration” for part-time and nontenure-track teaching assignments and “full and fair consideration” for obtaining tenure-track positions.

The second piece of Rabb’s proposed bill would provide contracted labor and other service employees to state-funded higher education institutions with a base hourly wage of at least $15 an hour.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania is home to 14 state-owned universities, four “state-related” Pennsylvania universities and two affiliates, eight private state-aided institutions, and one state school of technology.

— Victoria Hudgins, of the Law Weekly •