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November 15, 2012

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Contact: Lauren Gutshall
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Vote empowers association leadership to call a strike

Harrisburg – Today, faculty members at the 14 state-owned universities enabled the leaders of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) to call a strike if one is necessary.

Ninety-five percent of the faculty who voted supported the strike authorization. Over 86 percent of the APSCUF membership cast ballots. A simple majority vote was needed to empower APSCUF’s negotiations committee to call a strike.

“The overwhelming support for our negotiations committee and our negotiations team sends a strong message to the State System,” Dr. Steve Hicks, president of APSCUF, stated. “Our members are united for a fair contract that benefits all faculty and students by maintaining quality education.”

APSCUF has been fighting for a fair contract for almost two years, and faculty members have been working without a contract for 16 months.

“APSCUF has been working diligently to settle a contract with the State System,” Hicks said, “We will continue to do everything we can to reach an agreement. A strike is truly a last resort.”

Outstanding issues include pay for part-time temporary faculty members, health care for active members and retirees, and distance education compensation.

“This vote shows our faculty understand that the Chancellor’s insistence on a concessionary contract is not in the best interests of our faculty, our universities, or our students and their families,” Hicks pointed out.

The negotiations committee is planning to meet within the next ten days to discuss the implications of the strike authorization vote and a potential strike date.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents over 6,000 faculty and coaches at the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).