Deadline Passes, First Faculty Strike Begins at State-Owned Universities

fullsizeoutput_21b2-1024x768CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Faculty at the fourteen state-owned universities took to the streets Wednesday morning, marking the first strike in the State System’s 34-year history.

(Clarion University faculty members picket along 8th Avenue near campus on Wednesday morning. Photo by Ron Wilshire.)

The strike announcement was made on APSCUF’s Twitter account at 5:02 a.m.

“At 11:35 p.m., we made a last attempt to negotiate through back channels,” Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. “We waited until 5 a.m. We are headed to the picket lines, but even on the picket lines, our phones will be on, should the State System decide it doesn’t want to abandon its students. They’ll know where to find me at 5:30 a.m. I’ll be outside the chancellor’s office at the Dixon Center on the picket line.”

“Until the State System negotiates a contract APSCUF believes is fair to students and to faculty, faculty members will be on strike, starting 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. The strike will end when negotiators reach a contract.”

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education handed APSCUF a final offer Tuesday night and said that they are done negotiating.

The following is an excerpt from the State System’s Current Economic Proposals Offered to APSCUF Faculty

Base Salary Adjustments

Regular Faculty

Fall 2016 — General Pay Increase (GPI) of 2.75%
Spring 2017 — One-time cash payment of $1,000 for full-time; prorated for part-time
Fall 2017 — GPI of 2.0%
Spring 2018 — Step or Cash (2.5%) for those at top of pay scale
Fall 2018 – GPI of 2.5%
Fall 2018 – Step or Cash (2.5%) for those at top of pay scale

Temporary Faculty

Fall 2016 — General Pay Increase (GPI) of 1.0%
Fall 2017 — General Pay Increase (GPI) of 1.0%
Fall 2018 — General Pay Increase (GPI) of 1.0%

Negotations between the two sides ended around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The union rejected the System’s offer to provide raises to all permanent and temporary faculty and the identical healthcare package that other System employees have,”

The faculty contract expired June 30, 2015, and negotiations have been ongoing since late 2014.

APSCUF represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at the State System universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.

Per the State System, students should report to their scheduled classes unless the university indicates otherwise.

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