State sys­tem strike con­tin­ues

WCU sub­con­tracts ath­letic train­ers; univer­sity’s home­com­ing cel­e­bra­tion this week­end still on

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

As the strike con­tin­ues, the ma­jor­ity of classes on West Ch­ester Univer­sity’s cam­pus, along with the other 13 univer­si­ties in the state sys­tem have largely stopped, but the univer­sity’s home­com­ing cel­e­bra­tion will con­tinue.

Nancy Gainer, a spokes­woman for the univer­sity, said the tra­di­tional home­com­ing foot­ball game will con­tinue as sched­uled Sat­ur­day, the only hur­dle be­ing the ath­letic train­ers, who are part of the fac­ulty union and cur­rently on strike.

Gainer said the univer­sity is sub­con­tract­ing the ath­letic train­ers, and also said the coaches will be present at the game; how­ever, the band will likely not play since band mem­bers are led by fac­ulty.

When asked about the sub­con­tracted ath­letic train­ers, fac­ulty union spokesman Ed­ward Lor­dan said, “It’s dis­ap­point­ing. We wish they would set­tle the strike.”

But for the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents, classes stopped this week as fac­ulty stayed on picket lines and con­tin­ued to protest against the state sys­tem.

On Wed­nes­day, there were un­con­firmed re­ports of at least one pro­fes­sor cross­ing picket lines to teach early that morn­ing. Lor­dan said he be­lieved some pro­fes­sors crossed the picket line.

“I think there are a few,” Lor­dan said. “But peo­ple are not happy about it.”

Lor­dan also added that he be­lieved Thurs­day “was a strong day on cam­pus.”

Gainer also said that the univer­sity’s in­terim

pres­i­dent, Christo­pher Fiorentino, hosted a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion Thurs­day for stu­dents and staff re­gard­ing the strike and classes.

“We’re just very hope­ful the fac­ulty union and the state sys­tem will come to a res­o­lu­tion,” she said. “Ev­ery­one cares about the stu­dents.”

The union rep­re­sent­ing the fac­ulty across the state sys­tem went on strike at 5 a.m. Wed­nes­day, af­ter months of failed ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the union and state sys­tem of­fi­cials. Most is­sues cen­tered around course load and health care.

As of Thurs­day evening, there were no of­fi­cial plans to con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions; how­ever, one per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion said the union’s ne­go­ti­at­ing had been called back to Har­ris­burg.

When asked about that state­ment, Lor­dan said that progress had been made through back chan­nels and that there was a lot of “non-of­fi­cial ne­go­ti­a­tion” go­ing on.

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.

There are roughly 110,000 stu­dents who at­tend univer­si­ties in the state sys­tem of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

ADAM FARENCE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Some West Ch­ester Univer­sity stu­dents have gone on strike with fac­ulty.

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