Faculties at Pennsylvania state universities overwhelmingly say they'll strike if necessary
By DAVID WENNER, The Patriot-News
on November 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM, updated November 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM
At Shippensburg University on Friday, students crisscrossed the campus on their way to class, to study, to workout or do laundry. In Harrisburg, the union representing their professors counted up votes that might bring education to a halt at Shippensburg, Millersville and the 12 other state universities.
In the end, 95 percent of the faculty members authorized their union to call a strike if necessary. It would the first strike in the history of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which has 120,000 students. It’s unknown if or when a strike will occur.
The 6,000 faculty members and coaches, who are represented by the Association of State College and University Faculties, have been working without a contract since June, 2011. Union representatives from each of the 14 schools will meet during the next ten days to decide the next step. For a strike to take place, at least ten of the 14 representatives must vote in favor.
“We made a commitment to everyone that we’re only going to do this as a last resort. If we think there’s any hope of getting a deal done at the table, we’re not going to go down that road,” union President Steve Hicks said shortly after the vote count was announced Friday afternoon.