Faculty prep for strike votes at 14 PSSHE schools
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities start strike authorization votes Monday amid discussions for a new contract deal.
The voting is scheduled through Wednesday for faculty and coaches at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools. If passed, the vote empowers union chapter presidents at every school to call a strike; 10 of the 14 must approve a walkout.
A union committee will meet Nov. 16 in Harrisburg to count ballots from the strike authorization votes. The union represents more than 6,000 faculty and coaches. There has never been a faculty strike in the state system.
Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties have been working without a contract since June 2011.
Among the issues separating both sides are higher health care deductibles and co-payments as well as compensation for online education.
During talks in Harrisburg last Friday, negotiators for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education withdrew a proposal for a 35 percent salary cut for temporary, or adjunct, faculty. Instead, they proposed no change in full-time adjunct salaries while freezing the pay of part-time temporary faculty for the life of the contract.
Another negotiating session is set for Dec. 11.
About 120,000 students attend the state universities in Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
Classes for the fall semester are set to end Dec. 7, with finals beginning on Dec. 10.