The 115,000 students attending Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities can rest easy that a potential strike by faculty will not interrupt classes or final exams -- at least this fall.
Steve Hicks, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, said Tuesday the union has decided to put off consideration of a possible strike until the spring semester. He made the remark in an open letter to students.
The decision comes two weeks before the scheduled start of final exams at the 14 schools, including California, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana and Slippery Rock universities in Western Pennsylvania. The State System of Higher Education and roughly 5,000 faculty represented by APSCUF are locked in a two-year labor dispute that is the longest in the system's three-decade history.
"Faculty know you are worried that your professors will go on strike. We know you are concerned about the impact a strike would have on your classes, your finals, and your tuition dollars," Mr. Hicks wrote. "After thoughtful deliberation and consideration about how a strike at this time would affect our students, we have decided to postpone consideration of a strike for the rest of this semester."