APSCUF members were in Harrisburg on Thursday to picket outside the Dixon University Center while the Pennsylvania Board of Governors had their meeting.
Colleen Cooke, vice president of the SRU chapter of APSCUF and recreational therapy professor, attended the rally in Harrisburg. She was one of 14 SRU professors who left at 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning, with the group stopping at Clarion University to pick up professors there.
Cooke said the message that APSCUF members wanted to send was to let PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan and the Pennsylvania Board of Governors know that the union is strong and united and not willing to accept the offer that has been put on the table in the contract negotiations. Cooke said over 400 APSCUF members attended the event.
“It was a really good event and the solidarity of our union was in full bloom,” Cooke said.
AFL-CIO, a federation of unions, was at the event and brought a truck with a speaker system. This truck played music and also allowed for APSCUF members to make speeches.
“It’s huge they turned up, it’s huge support,” Cooke said.
Cooke said people driving by would honk their car horns to show support for the union members with others stopping by to talk with the members picketing.
“It was good and I think we had a positive impact,” Cooke said. “It was good to be a part of.”
The members of APSCUF gathered outside of the meeting room that PASSHE members were in and chanted from the outside. Cooke said those who were inside said the chants were loud and clear and that PASSHE members were aware of the rally.
Cooke said some APSCUF members spoke during the public forum section of the board of governors meeting and that a group of students who were sided with APSCUF was also at the event.
Cooke said there was press coverage there and that upon the bus arrival to SRU at 5 p.m. she was interviewed by WPXI.
Cooke said that SRU APSCUF members will have informational picketing from 11-1 every day on campus during the negotiation process.
APSCUF is also hosting a rally at the gazebo in the squad on Oct. 18 and will have students sign a petition which the group will then march to Old Main to deliver it to President Norton.