While the faculty of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools have been the focus of recent strike talks, coaches employed by those 14 schools have been affected in practically the same way.
Like the faculty, coaches employed by PASSHE schools have been working without a contract for 458 days and have already voted to authorize Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF) leaders to call a strike. Earlier this month APSCUF announced that the faculty strike would start on Oct. 19. The coaches have yet to announce a strike date.
It is unknown how the potential coaches’ strike would affect the fall sports already in season or any of the winter sports preparing to start their season. All 14 PASSHE schools compete in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) along with non-PASSHE schools Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, University of Pitt-Johnstown and Seton Hill University.
A strike by the coaches could potentially call into question any remaining games left on the fall schedule.
At Slippery Rock, the fall sports that could be affected are football, men and women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball, women’s tennis and men and women’s cross-country.
The president of the coaches’ union for SRU is men’s basketball coach Kevin Reynolds. Reynolds declined to comment for this article, wishing to wait to speak until negotiations between the union and the state are completed. Part of the coaches’ negotiation team is SRU volleyball coach Laurie Lokash.
The two sides had a negotiation session on Sept. 26 and the next negotiation session is set for Oct. 3.