Disconcerting as it might be for the 115,000 students attending the state universities, including Shippensburg and Millersville, the word “strike” is being used more frequently in reference to the status of contract talks with the faculty.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union representing 5,500 professors, appears to be getting impatient with the failure to achieve a settlement after two years of talks with managers at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
They have worked since June 30, 2011, without a contract. In November, the union voted overwhelmingly to give their leaders the authority to call a strike to gain leverage in the talks.
State universities have began posting frequently asked questions about a potential strike on their website to give students some guidance about what would happen should one occur. (Examples of them are provided at the bottom of this post.)
APSCUF President Steve Hicks indicated union officials are discussing when a potential strike would be most effective. He said calling one for Jan. 28, the start of the spring semester, would not carry much impact.
“If students really think we’re going to strike on the 28th, they won’t bother coming back,” he said. “Waiting a few days or into the second week would be the most effective thing for us to do.”