We have been following the ongoing negotiations between APSCUF and PASSHE all semester now. After weeks of reporting on the battle that has now been going on for over two years, it seems the two sides are still miles apart.
Now, APSCUF is finishing up a strike authorization vote that will allow the faculty to go on strike at any time. While it is likely just a bargaining tool to get PASSHE to loosen up their demands, until the two sides come to some sort of an agreement, it will remain a threat to students.
That’s something students don’t deserve to have to deal with.
Upperclassmen close to graduation should be particularly worried of a strike, as it would obviously delay plans for their post graduation lives. Those plans, many times, are on a tight schedule.
Granted, students should have some sympathy for both sides in the dispute. It would be tough to represent the state system during the troubling economic and political times the state is experiencing with education, and would be even harder to be a faculty member facing cuts to their contract that their livelihoods depend upon. It is a difficult situation for both sides and both sides are passionately, maybe even stubbornly, fighting to try to get their point of view across.
But enough is enough. Both parties need to come up with some sort of compromise that works for everyone. The students cannot have strike threats hanging over their academic future.
We’re not saying APSCUF was wrong to authorize a strike, but let’s have this possible strike be the jolt to these negotiations that has to bring the two sides together in some way.
We don’t need months more of wasted meetings or tactical bargaining ploys.
We don’t know what the final solution to the negotiations should be, or what it is going to be. If we did we could get paid a lot more money working as student arbitrators than student journalists. But what we do know is that the two sides need to come to an agreement so we can focus on getting an education.
Judging from the way things have been going recently, there is some hostility between the two sides. That is to be expected, but needs to end.
Both sides need to compromise on things that may go against their best interests. That’s unfortunately the way it is. Neither side is going to be really happy after negotiations end, but that is the case when two parties have opposite desires.
Education is a tough business to be involved in, especially when the climate around funding is not great at the moment. But working through those conditions to ensure quality education is passed along is exactly what everyone involved needs to strive to do.
Sacrifices need to be made. We know that. PASSHE knows that. APSCUF knows that. It is time action is taken.Hopefully our education is not impacted too much before progress is made.