Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: State university faculty union on possible strike; Landowners complain about gas royalties

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 20, 2016 9:59 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, September 20, 2016:

Educators with the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which includes instructors and athletic coaches at all levels, have been working without a contract for more than a year.  Negotiations are held up over several concerns.  Many full time instructors are concerned about being displaced by the increasing use of temporary faculty.  Research funding is being greatly reduced.  Pay scale for the lowest pay grade would take a 20% hit.  Faculty would see an increase in health benefit contributions.  There are many grievances.

Last week, the union voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike if conditions are not met.  The negotiations, which have been continuing since late 2014, are scheduled through Wednesday.  Faculty at the fourteen schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are soldiering through until the union tells them otherwise and more than 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students are on edge awaiting the outcome.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk, we'll speak with Ken Mash, President of APSCUF, about the negotiations and what the students and faculty of the state's colleges can expect over the course of the coming weeks.

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Dr. Ken Marsh, President, APSCUF / Dr. Thomas Boyle, APSCUF Delegate to the Legislative Assembly, Millersville University

Also, since drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale took off in Pennsylvania eight years ago, thousands of landowners have leased their properties to gas companies and have been paid billions of dollars in royalties.  But now there are landowners in northern Pennsylvania's Bradford County that say some drilling companies charge exorbitant, and possibly fraudulent fees for processing gas- leasing landowners with little to no royalty money.

Last Wednesday, a protest was held in Bradford County to rally support for landowners who feel they have been fleeced by Chesapeake Energy.  Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko is concerned that industry lobbyists are blocking efforts by the state legislature to address the problem, by amending the state's guaranteed minimum royalty law.

McLinko will join Smart Talk to discuss the concerns of Pennsylvania landowners, along with WITF's StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick who has covered gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale  since 2011.

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Doug McLinko, Bradford County Commissioner / Marie Cusick, Reporter, StateImpact Pennsylvania


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