Posted by: gdevi | October 12, 2016

APSCUF office moving off-campus

Tomorrow, Thursday, we are moving the union office off-campus to the Masonic Temple in preparation for the strike slated for October 19th. Here is the local newspaper report. Thanks, Mr. Rolley and Lana for the report.

Local faculty union moving off campus

October 12, 2016
The Express

LOCK HAVEN – The faculty union at Lock Haven University will join its colleagues at Pennsylvania’s other 13-state-owned universities in moving to off-campus offices this week as a strike deadline draws near.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and Faculty Unions (APSCUF) approved a work stoppage starting Oct. 19 if a labor contract is not in place by then.

The 5,500 faculty members and coaches have worked without a contract since June 30, 2015.

The state-system universities in Central and Northern Pennsylvania are Lock Haven, Bloomsburg and Mansfield.

Union and state-system representatives are to meet Friday to begin a three-day bargaining session.

Here, APSCUF will move from campus to the Masonic Temple building at Main and Grove streets in downtown.

The union said the move is so no one will have to cross a picket line by going on campus in the event of a strike.

Although the union has authorized strikes several times during the past three decades, it has never conducted a work stoppage.

The decision to move union offices followed a Facebook Live webcast last week in which state-system Chancellor Frank Brogan addressed its 104,790 students.

Brogan said negotiators were working to avert a strike, but if there is one students must to report to class regardless of whether their professors are there.

The dispute occurs against a backdrop of continuing enrollment declines. System officials last week announced a sixth-consecutive year of decreasing enrollment statewide, for a total decline of 12 percent over that time period.

System negotiators have offered the faculty union $159 million in wage increases over three years, in exchange for $70 million in concessions on health care and other issues, Brogan said. He wants more control over classroom assignments in order to respond quickly to changing workforce needs and student demands.

APSCUF President Ken Mash, however, said requests for concessions on the increased use of part-time faculty, changes in departmental assignments and distance learning pose a threat to the quality of education.

Barbara Hess, a math professor who heads the faculty union at California University of Pennsylvania, worries those conditions would change the culture of the school.

“They want to use more adjuncts, more online courses and have a higher number of students in the classroom,” Hess said. “You talk to students and they want to get to know their professors, have smaller classes and know that the professors care about them.”

Some information for this story was compiled by Debra Erdley of the Tribune-Review (www.tribweb.com).

For questions, contact Dr. Gayatri Devi, Chair, Public Relations, LHU-APSCUF.

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