The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties’ (APSCUF) legislative assembly voted to put off a job-action vote that could mean a PASSHE-wide strike.
Negotiations between faculty and the State System so far have not been successful despite many heated debates in the General Assembly.
“The delegates discussed the possibility of a strike for about two hours during the assembly. Again and again, they mentioned concern for students,” said Kathryn Morton, associate director of communications for APSCUF.
Delegates in the legislative assembly had the power to hold a job-action vote which could have moved toward a strike, but the members expressed concern for how a late-semester strike would affect students and their families. This contract conflict comes after a year of state budget issues which have also affected students.
“It has been a difficult year for students with state budget issues, increased tuition and fees, and more. The delegates concluded that striking this semester would be an unfair burden on students and their families,” said Morton. The relations between the faculty and State System have been tense. A delegate’s proclamation of “talk or we walk,” was loudly applauded by the other members.
If a strike does occur, faculty will not receive pay or benefits and will be unable to perform duties including responding to campus email or writing letters of recommendation which could affect many Millersville students.]
Michael Brockett, Millersville University junior, is concerned about how a potential strike could affect his graduation plan. “Next year as I’m applying to graduate school, I will need letters of recommendation from my professors to make deadlines.”
“This is the second time since I’ve been at Millersville that they have threatened to strike.”
The delegates may hold an emergency legislative assembly this summer, but if not they will take a strike-authorization vote in September. There are additional steps after this vote before a strike would begin and a contract negotiation would stop the potential strike altogether.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for April 28.
APSCUF will be updating their blog at APSCUF.org