State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Strike hangs over state colleges; students feel out of the loop

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 16, 2016 7:53 PM

Shippensburg University is one of 14 state schools whose faculty may go on strike. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

(Harrisburg) -- Unionized faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned are considering hitting the picket lines

The walkout isn't definite yet. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties union (or APSCUF) met with State System of Higher Education representatives Friday. They're also planning talks for Sunday, and other days early next week.

But APSCUF president Ken Mash said those negotiations haven't yielded any agreements.

"It's fair to say we're still very frustrated with what's going on," Mash said. "We're still very far apart."

A strike workshop for faculty is planned for next weekend. Mash said that's a sign things are getting serious.

In the meantime, students are stuck trying to figure out what's going on. Some said updates have been few and far between.

Jason Wigfall, a freshman at Shippensburg University, said he didn't even hear about the pending strike until recently, when his mom called and asked about it.

He said since then, one professor did tell him about a meeting where he could learn more about the situation. But, he added, there's still a lot of misinformation around campus.

"One day our teacher was really late and someone was like, I think the strike got her," he recalled. "And then she came in like ten minutes late and we were like ugh, god she's here."

Thomas Smith, another Shippensburg freshman, said he's hoping the faculty doesn't follow through with the walkout.

"I mean obviously I don't want it to happen," he said. "I'm here for an education."

Professors who belong to the union have been working without a contract for more than a year.

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