Pennsylvania faculty members prepare to strike
- The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties will soon announce a date for a state-wide work stoppage, expected before Oct. 30, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
- Union leaders say negotiations with the state's higher education system have broken off since the expiration of its contract last June, arguing talks for raises and increased benefits have yielded no progress.
- State officials say more than $150 million in salary increases have been proposed, against $70 million in reductions to healthcare and other benefits.
Earlier this month, faculty at Long Island University were locked out of campus after failed negotiations for higher salary and extended protections. Similar tensions are boiling for faculty at the City University of New York, and parties at both institutions say there is little room to budge, given tuition cannot increase and existing costs for operations and pensions will not soon decline.
College and union leaders must mutually decide how to balance fair treatment with the unfair shift in the higher education model. While the nation is steadily recovering from economic decline, higher ed spending has all new mandates to which both sides must adjust. Moreover, the public relations and financial hits taken by negotiations playing out in media can only do harm to public confidence among potential students, current donors and legislators who are eager to shave more expenses from higher education budgets.
- Philadelphia Inquirer State university faculty announce intent to strike by Oct. 30