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KU students brace for strike

KU students brace for strike

MAXATAWNY TOWNSHIP, Pa - Soon, faculty at Kutztown University and 13 other state-owned universities will likely be on the picket line.

As it stands, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and the faculty union, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), have not agreed to the terms of a new contract.

The union's strike deadline is 4:59 a.m. and it says the state has walked away from the table.
In a statement, the state said the two parties were able to agree on over a dozen issues over the past five days but they still are not able to agree on 2 key areas -- healthcare and salaries.

However, APSCUF has argued the debate is not around salaries but rather the increase of temporary faculty and its effects on the quality of students' education.
Meanwhile, some KU students say they spent the day preparing in case their professors strike.

"We were printing out all of the online material, all of our assignments," said Jared Bailey, a senior, leaving a computer lab on campus with a friend.

"I'm just going along, still doing my homework hoping that there isn't one, but if there is one, I'm hoping that it's just a day or two," said Justin Jones, who is scheduled to graduate in December.

In a statement, Gov. Tom Wolf said he believes there is enough common ground between the union and the state for a deal to be reached.

He said in part:

"Avoiding a strike is paramount because a work stoppage will be devastating for the state system. Most seriously, a strike could drive a loss of students, which would further exacerbate an already precarious financial situation for the state system."

Students, especially seniors, like Bailey, are worried.

"It's coming at a stressful time in the semester," Bailey said. "It's just yet another thing to think about. I'm thinking about my classes, I thinking about graduation, I thinking about finding a job, and now I've got think about the possibility that my professors might not be here tomorrow."

KU officials said regardless of what happens, students should report to classes tomorrow.

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