In the morning session of APSCUF’s Legislative Assembly meeting, faculty delegates received the unvarnished news about the state of negotiations from the union’s chief negotiator Stuart Davidson. Davidson emphasized that PASSHE’s behavior at the bargaining table indicates that they are not really serious about reaching an agreement.
“Do you remember the tapes of [Chancellor Frank Brogan] at the Senate Budget Committee? Do you remember when he sat quietly by when members of the legislature trashed our membership, trashed university professors?, Davidson asked the assembly? “He sat quietly by. The one thing he said was that it’s time to dismantle the collective bargaining agreement. He told you what he was going to do.”
On Friday, APSCUF president Ken Mash, announced that the union will go on strike on October 19th, if a fair settlement is not reached. “The State System has asked for tens of millions more in concessions from faculty than they have from anyone else,” Mash said.
Faculty offered a major healthcare concession, but the State System did not change their offer. We sat with them for days, and they gave us a proposal that purposely went backward. They are intent on hurting educational quality, rewarding themselves while simultaneously cutting the salaries of our lowest-paid members by 20 percent, and balancing their books off the backs of their students and our faculty. We will not be a party to it. Period.
You can watch the entire announcement here:
Davidson’s address to the assembly marked the close of APSCUF’s two day assembly and the beginning of a two-day strike workshop – what members are calling “Strike School.” The two-day workshop will further prepare members on the nut-and-bolts of striking.
APSCUF also rolled out an online petition to put pressure on PASSHE to negotiation a fair contract.
“We will do everything we can to make a strike unnecessary,” Davidson said. “But if the facts on the ground don’t change, then you will have to decide whether your futures and the future of the State System of Higher Education – that you build, that you make valuable, that you operate is worth saving.”