APSCUF announces possible strike before end of October

Category:  News
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 at 7:08 AM
APSCUF announces possible strike before end of October by Macala Leigey

Update 9/23, 10:41 a.m.: According to APSCUF President Kenneth Mash, October 19th will be the date the strike will happen unless negotiations are complete 

Original Article

After the fourth consecutive day of bargaining, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) still have not reached an agreement with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), and have announced that if an agreement is not soon reached, faculty will strike by Oct. 30.

“This is not a specific strike date,” said APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash in APSCUF’s most recent press release.

Mash continued, “We shared this parameter with the State System because it is information we must transmit to the commissioners on the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board as they consider whether to initiate fact-finding.”

During Tuesday’s negotiations session, APSCUF requested the State System to enter binding arbitration, which would consist of a three-person panel that would conclude the contract dispute. The faculty union requests PASSHE acknowledges the binding arbitration process by 9 a.m. Friday.

APSCUF’s wish to undergo binding arbitration stems from a formal announcement sent by PASSHE on Monday, requesting to undergo nonbinding fact-finding with a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board arbitrator. The union’s board has not given a final decision as to whether or not it will grant the State System’s request.

Mash expressed that APSCUF prefers binding arbitration because it will bring the entire matter to a conclusion.

“Our negotiations team is convinced that the state system leadership wants a strike,” said Mash.

“What else could possibly explain the fact that they would continue to put on the table proposals that my members [APSCUF members] will find incendiary? They just do not seem to care if they diminish our universities and if our students suffer.”

Later this week, APSCUF leaders will join delegate members from all 14 State System campuses for the organization’s regularly scheduled legislative assembly in Harrisburg.  A strike-training workshop is scheduled to follow the legislative assembly on Saturday afternoon.

“We will continue to go to the table as often as possible to avoid a strike, but it is hard to imagine that we will emerge from this weekend without a strike date – unless the State System agrees to binding arbitration,” said Mash.

Macala Leigey is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

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