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The Latest: Professors, students take to picket lines

October 19, 2016 - 6:19 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Latest on strike at Pennsylvania state universities (all times local):

9 a.m.

Professors, students and supporters are taking to picket lines at state universities around Pennsylvania, including dozens at West Chester University, outside Philadelphia.

Faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, affecting more than 100,000 students.

At West Chester, picketers are carrying signs and chanting "2, 4, 6, 8 why don't you negotiate?"

Victoria Tischio, a full-time tenured English professor, says some 500 of the university's about 950 professors had signed up for the walkout. About 77 per cent of the university's professors are full-time union members.

The school's approximately 17, 000 students received an email from administrators telling them that the university will not close.

University spokeswoman Nancy Gainer says students are expected to attend classes because not all professors will strike.

Some professors who walked out also provided assignments in advance.

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8:30 a.m.

Pennsylvania's governor says he's "extremely disappointed" that the state's System of Higher Education and the faculty union failed to reach a contract agreement.

Gov. Tom Wolf says the "resulting strike is detrimental to the system and will have far-reaching effects for years to come."

Faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, affecting more than 100,000 students.

The Democrat says the "shortsightedness on both sides" hurts the dedicated professors, staff, students and their families who are paying tuition.

He says "everyone's top priority should be the students and their families who are counting on an agreement to ensure Pennsylvania continues to deliver on its promise to provide a world-class college education."

He urges both sides to return to the negotiating table immediately and work to reach an agreement.

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7 a.m.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education says there is disappointment that the union representing faculty decided to strike, and the state system wants to settle the differences for the sake of the students.

Faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, affecting more than 100,000 students.

Kenn Marshall says the state system is still assessing the impact of the strike, because it's not immediately clear how many faculty members will participate and how it will affect classes.

He says the state system thought it made significant progress toward settling the strike and thought the union would consider postponing the action.

Marshall says they will do everything they can to get the differences settled, but "it takes two. We need co-operation."

No meetings are currently scheduled, but Marshall says the sides "need to get together and need to resolve this."

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5:05 a.m.

Faculty members have gone on strike at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, impacting more than 100,000 students.

Contract negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union hit an impasse late Tuesday night when the union says the state handed it its last, best offer and was done negotiating.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties announced on its Facebook page that faculty went on strike for 5 a.m. Wednesday. It affects more than 5,000 faculty members and coaches.

The two sides were unable to reach agreement on proposed raises and health care contributions.

The system has never had a strike in its 34-year history.

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1 a.m.

A faculty strike impacting more than 100,000 students at 14 Pennsylvania state universities appears imminent.

Contract negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union hit an impasse late Tuesday night when the union says the state handed it its last, best offer and was done negotiating.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties has set a strike for 5 a.m. Wednesday for its more than 5,000 faculty members and coaches if no agreement is reached.

The union says it's reviewing the proposal and a final decision about a strike will come at 4:59 a.m. Wednesday.

The two sides appear to be unable to reach agreement on proposed raises and health care contributions.

The system has never had a strike in its 34-year history.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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