State universities, faculty union blackout media for talks

    The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union have agreed to a media blackout while they try to negotiate a contract before Wednesday’s strike deadline.

    The state system and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties jointly announced the blackout on Saturday. Both sides say they’re hopeful that minimizing distractions will help them reach a new deal.

    The union says about 5,500 faculty and coaches at 14 state-owned universities will strike Wednesday at 5 a.m. if they don’t reach a deal.

    The last faculty contract expired June 30, 2015.

    The key issues appear to be proposed health insurance cost increases and the schools’ greater use of temporary faculty.

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