Strike ends for faculty at 14 PA state universities

The strike is over.

Faculty negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with Pennsylvania's State System of High Education.

The three-year deal will end on June 30, 2018, and it ends a strike that began at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.

According to a press release, faculty members will leave the picket lines immediately.
In order to preserve quality education, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties accepted concessions to salary and benefits in exchange for getting rid of most of the 249 changes the State System proposed in June.

Also, the press release states, the APSCUF agreed to a salary package that was significantly lower than that of the other unions for the sake of the students.

"Our primary goals were to preserve quality education for our students, protect our adjuncts from exploitation, and make sure the varieties of faculty work are respected," APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said. "We achieved every single one of those goals, and the faculty were willing to take less than every other bargaining unit in order to preserve those goals. We are relieved to have an agreement that preserves quality public higher education in Pennsylvania and allows our members to get back into the classroom where they belong.

"We are thankful to Gov. Tom Wolf for his commitment to reaching an agreement. We may never have received a deal if it were not for his committment to public higher education, our universities, and our students."

Professors manned the picket line at 14 Pennsylvania state universities earlier Friday.

Friday marks the third day since they walked off their jobs.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education previously said it didn't formally negotiate with its faculty union on Thursday, but was working to move toward a fair contract. The system said it was attempting to debunk untrue claims about negotiations.

Members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties first went on strike at 5 a.m. Wednesday after contract negotiations with the state stalled. The union represents more than 5,000 faculty and coaches.

The union said the strike will continue until a deal is reached.

Each university is providing specific instructions to the system's more than 100,000 students.