Yesterday faculty and coaches at 14 of Pennsylvania’s public universities went on strike. This is a historic moment: it is the first strike in the history of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which has had legal bargaining authority for faculty at these schools since 1973, and for coaches since 2000. This strike comes after faculty and coaches worked for over a year under an expired contract. Today the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) would like to express our support for APSCUF during this time. Although we know that a strike is never the first course of action, it is sometimes necessary when dealing with recalcitrant leadership who will not bargain in good faith to develop an equitable contract.
The faculty and coaches of PASSHE should not be forced into a contract that requires longer hours and less pay. As part of previous negotiations, APSCUF members had already accepted tightening their belts by taking on more health care costs, yet they were told this was not enough. We are especially alarmed at attempts to create a new lower salary scale for adjunct faculty, which would leave them even further behind.
In supporting this strike, we join many other organizations of students and educators that have already expressed their support:
The CGE stands in solidarity with the faculty and coaches of PASSHE in their fight for a more equitable higher education system