By Andrew Kutzer
After three days of voting, members of APSCUF voted in favor of a strike authorization. Over 93 percent of faculty approved the authorization, according to an APSCUF press release posted on Monday.
“The vast majority of faculty clearly grasp the seriousness of the situation,” said APSCUF President Kenneth M. Mash in the release. “Chancellor Frank Brogan and the State System need to get serious very quickly.”
“While we understand the latest APSCUF vote moves the faculty union one step closer to being able to call a potential strike, we remain committed to bargaining with APSCUF to achieve an agreement that is fair to everyone,” said Kenn Marshall, PASSHE media relations manager, in response to the authorization.
According to the release, the authorization is the third step in the process of moving toward a “job action” with committee approvals and setting a date before any action could proceed.
“We will not set a date until we have at least one more chance to go to the negotiations table to ensure that we are doing everything we can do,” Mash said. “A strike remains the last resort.”
According to the release, faculty are opposed to proposals from PASSHE that include an increase in the number of courses required for adjunct teachers, increasing the amount of temporary faculty, using graduate students to teach courses and putting and end to funding for professional research and development.
“Even during a time the State System and our universities are facing severe fiscal challenges, we remain determined to stay at the table with APSCUF to resolve the issues involved in these negotiations so that we can make additional progress toward a settlement that will assure our students have uninterrupted access to a high-quality, affordable education,” said Marshall.
The next scheduled meeting between PASSHE and APSCUF will be held Sept. 16.
A strike authorization vote for APSCU coaches is scheduled for Sept. 14-15.