Strike averted: State universities, union reach agreement

Published: Feb 03 2013 12:41:00 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 04 2013 06:41:42 PM EST
KUTZTOWN, Pa. -

A strike at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities may be off the table.

After two days of marathon negotiations, the State System of Higher Education and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties reached a deal Sunday, and agreed to the framework for a new contract, said officials.

"I didn't want to go on strike. I'd be inconveniencing my students. I don't want to do that," said Dan Spiegel, computer science professor and APSCUF-KU PR committee co-chair.

According to Spiegel, he is better served in a classroom than on the picket line.

"I came here specifically because my number one job was my students," said Spiegel.

Since June 2011, union members have been working without a contract at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities, including Kutztown.

PASSHE and the union have been at odds, and a strike has been looming for months. Both sides are not releasing details about the new contract. The negotiations committee is set to vote on the agreement Monday night.

"I think it's better it's not going to happen, because if it did happen, it'd slow down my chance to graduate," said Treyvon Hall, a freshman at KU.

"I really feel like we would miss out on a lot of money because we'd be a whole semester behind," said Taylor Carney, who is happy the strike has most likely been averted.

The tentative deal will affect the 5,500 faculty members at the 14 state-owned universities and their 115,000 students.

"I'd like to continue my schooling without any more problems added on to my agenda," said Bram Wilusz, a junior at KU.

More details are expected to be made available as the ratification process continues.