WEST CHESTER, PA - Faculty members at 14 Pennsylvania State universities went on strike at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, after contract negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union could not reach an agreement.
The strike impacts over 5,500 faculty members and over 105,000 students.
The walkout affects students who attend Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester universities as their classrooms will likely be without an instructor.
The faculty called the strike after five days of negotiations could not wield a compromise of contract regarding pay and healthcare.
“At 11:35 p.m., we made a last attempt to negotiate through back channels,” Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. “We waited until 5 a.m. We are headed to the picket lines, but even on the picket lines, our phones will be on, should the State System decide it doesn’t want to abandon its students. They'll know where to find me at 5:30 a.m. I'll be outside the chancellor's office at the Dixon Center on the picket line."
Until the State System negotiates a contract APSCUF believes is fair to students and to faculty, faculty members will be on strike, starting 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. The strike will end when negotiators reach a contract.
The faculty contract expired June 30, 2015, and negotiations have been ongoing since late 2014.