Pa. university faculty take 1st step toward strike

    The union representing faculty at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities is taking the first step toward a possible strike.

    Union officials say delegates from each campus will meet Saturday in State College for a strike authorization vote.

     

    The move was announced amid stalled contract negotiations. On Monday, state higher education officials declined the union’s offer for binding arbitration.

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    The two sides disagree on pay, health care and retiree benefits. Faculty members have been working without a contract since June 2011.

    The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents more than 6,000 faculty and coaches.

    The union’s general membership also must vote to authorize a strike before one can be called. That vote has not been scheduled.

    The universities serve about 120,000 students. There has never been a faculty strike.

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