APSCUF faculty members at each of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities will participate in a strike-authorization vote Sept. 7–9, after delegates agreed to move the vote to union membership. Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties coaches will participate in a strike-authorization vote Sept. 14–15, after APSCUF’s Executive Council approved a request by the coaches’ leadership.
APSCUF’s legislative assembly convened this morning for an emergency conference call, during which delegates agreed unanimously to forward a strike-authorization vote to all 14 campuses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Today’s call is the second of multiple steps before a faculty or coach job action could commence. Those steps could not be completed before classes begin Aug. 29.
“Our faculty and coaches clearly feel that the State System has not negotiated fairly; they are more interested in playing games than negotiating seriously,” APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. “It is completely unfair to our students for the State System to continue to drag this process out. Eventually, there will be a contract. We don’t know what the State System gains by continually creating distractions.”
Following the vote, teams began a two-day contract-negotiation session at the APSCUF office in Harrisburg. APSCUF will issue a press release at the conclusion of talks tomorrow.
APSCUF scheduled today’s call in June after contract negotiations remained stagnant. Negotiation teams have met four times since then and agreed on minor issues, but they have not made major progress toward a contract APSCUF feels preserves quality and is fair to faculty.
“The State System wants to have graduate students teach, increase the use of temporary faculty, force students into distance-education courses, and cut the pay for those at the very bottom of the pay scale,” Mash said, “We will, if the System gives us no other option, stand up for our students, our universities, and ourselves.”
Faculty and coaches are separate bargaining units, and they must act independently. Both APSCUF’s faculty and coach contracts expired June 30, 2015, and negotiations began in late 2014.
APSCUF represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at the State System universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.