APSCUF President Kenneth M. Mash announced via a Facebook Live stream in Harrisburg today that APSCUF will go on strike by Oct. 19 if no contract is made.
The announcement came from the Red Lion Hotel in Harrisburg , with the live stream starting at 10:30 a.m.
“I say with a heavy heart that we have what we feel is no choice but to say that by Oct. 19 if we don’t have a contract, all the faculty at all 14 of our universities will be on strike,” Mash said.
Mash said this date was agreed upon by APSCUF chapter presidents and still provides time for both sides to go to the negotiation table again.
“It is not reasonable for the state system to show up at the negotiation table, demand that they get what they want and that there will be no give and take,” Mash said. “We believe they have not bargained fairly.”
Mash that the state system did not respond to APSCUF’s offer of binding arbitration. He also said that the fact-finding asked for by PASSHE was denied by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.
Mash said that APSCUF was disappointed by the press releases released from the state system, with the releases spreading an untruth saying that APSCUF refused to meet with them. APSCUF was unable to meet due to legislative assembly, which had been planned for some time.
“We told them months ago that we would not be available to meet,” Mash said. “Those are the dates they purposely gave and then they let it out there that we refused to meet.”
Mash said that APSCUF is filing an unfair labor practice charge with the labor board in Pennsylvania.
Mash stressed that the faculty does not want to go on strike.
“We are going to the table as often as we can,” Mash said. “Our goal is always to achieve a fair contract that preserves quality.”
Mash said students can write to PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan, their university president and APSCUF and say that there needs to be a contract. APSCUF does not necessarily ask that students take their side, but wants them to get involved.
Mash said he welcomes feedback from students and said the current proposals from PASSHE are not in the best interest of students. Mash said APSCUF faculty realized this and that if they don’t stand up for students no one will.
“Our hope is to never get to the point of being on strike,” Mash said.
The live stream can be viewed on APSCUF’s Facebook page. APSCUF’s next order of business is a strike workshop after which negotiations will continue.