With contract talks stalled, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, which represents more than 6,000 faculty members at Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities, has scheduled an emergency legislative assembly in August to determine whether a strike authorization vote will be taken by its members. The faculty have been working without a new contract since the last agreement expired in June 2015. The union represents faculty and coaches at Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester universities.
The major issues are proposed increases in employee healthcare contributions, elimination of heathcare coverage for future retirees, and increased courseloads for non-tenure-eligible faculty. Salary proposals have not even been put on the table.
According to the Harrisburg Times-Leader, “Union officials said the state system is proposing 249 contract changes, so many that ‘it all just collectively seems like noise,’” according to union president Ken Mash. He added, “’The one thing that rings out is that these changes would turn our universities into degree factories, not places for our students to earn a quality education.’”.