(Harrisburg) -- Professors and coaches at state-owned universities are taking the first step toward a possible strike.
Members of the union representing the faculty at the schools like Millersville, Shippensburg, Kutztown and Bloomsburg say delegates from each of the state system's 14 campuses will meet Saturday for a strike authorization vote.
The meeting in State College comes after the administration rejected the union's offer for binding arbitration.
State system spokesman Kenn Marshall says it would be "inappropriate" to "turn over essentially the responsibility for determining the terms of a contract to a third party who would have no responsibility for the impact of their decision."
Union president Steve Hicks says he's disappointed by the move.
"This would have provided a quick resolution to our differences," Hicks explains. "We could have gotten back to focusing on educating," he says.
Union professors and coaches have been working without a contract since the end of June 2011.
There has never been a faculty strike at the schools that serve some 115,000 students.
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