Ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tinue as dead­line looms

Fac­ulty across state sys­tem, in­clud­ing WCU, will strike at 5 a.m. to­day un­less deal is reached

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

WEST CHESTER >> Fac­ulty across the state sys­tem of higher ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing West Chester Univer­sity, will strike and picket at 5 a.m. to­day un­less a con­tract is an­nounced prior to that time.

As of press time Tues­day evening, no con­tract was reached and union mem­bers were pre­par­ing for a 5 a.m. strike.

The Daily Lo­cal News’ web­site will be up­dated when news of an agree­ment or con­fir­ma­tion of a strike be­come ap­par­ent.

Both sides have re­peat­edly said they hoped to avoid a strike, ne­go­ti­ate a fair con­tract, and keep the best in­ter­ests of 110,000 stu­dents

in the state sys­tem as a pri­or­ity.

Both sides also have been ne­go­ti­at­ing for 15 months. In ad­di­tion, both sides en­acted a me­dia black­out Oct. 15 where they agreed to re­frain from mak­ing state­ments to the press re­gard­ing the progress of ne­go­ti­a­tions in or­der to limit dis­trac­tions.

Since then, there has been no up­date about the state of ne­go­ti­a­tions, leav­ing the 5,500 fac­ulty and 110,000 stu­dents across the 14 uni­ver­si­ties in the state sys­tem in the dark.

West Chester Univer­sity fac­ulty are among those in­volved in strike ne­go­ti­a­tions, and fac­ulty there, along with fac­ulty across the state, are pre­pared to strike to­day if they feel they do not re­ceive a fair con­tract from the Penn­syl­va­nia State Sys­tem of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion.

The sit­u­a­tion started to de­te­ri­o­rate in late Au­gust, when the As­so­ci­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia State Col­lege and Univer­sity Fac­ul­ties an­nounced fac­ulty mem­bers and ath­letic coaches could vote to au­tho­rize a strike, which the fac­ulty and coaches did. How­ever, only the fac­ulty set a strike date.

If a strike does oc­cur, it will be the first in the state sys­tem’s his­tory.

West Chester Univer­sity, along with other uni­ver­si­ties in the state sys­tem, have made plans in prepa­ra­tion of a strike.

In ad­di­tion to West Chester Univer­sity, the state sys­tem of higher ed­u­ca­tion in­cludes Blooms­burg, Cal­i­for­nia, Cheyney, Clar­ion, East Strouds­burg, Ed­in­boro, In­di­ana, Kutz­town, Lock Haven, Mans­field, Millersville, Ship­pens­burg, and Slip­pery Rock uni­ver­si­ties.

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