Faculty at Pa.’s state-owned colleges consider hitting picket line

    Faculty at Millersville University and the 13 other colleges in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have authorized a strike over stagnant wages. (PASSHE.edu)

    Faculty at Millersville University and the 13 other colleges in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have authorized a strike over stagnant wages. (PASSHE.edu)

    Unionized professors at Pennsylvania’s 14 state owned colleges have been working without a contract for more than a year.

    After authorizing a strike this week, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties union met with State System of Higher Education representatives Friday. They’re also planning talks for Sunday and early next week.

    But union president Ken Mash said negotiations with the education system still aren’t yielding any agreements.

    “It’s fair to say we’re still very frustrated with what’s going on,” Mash said. “We’re still very far apart.”

    A strike workshop for faculty is planned for next weekend. Mash said that’s a sign things are getting serious.

    Coaches at the schools have also voted to call for a strike.

    The union represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester universities.

    Members have been working under contracts that expired June 30 of last year.

    Thomas Smith, a freshman at  Shippensburg, said he’s hoping the faculty doesn’t follow through with the walkout.

    “I mean, obviously, I don’t want it to happen,” he said. “I’m here for an education.”

     

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