Penn State Wins Big Ten Championship Game

Strike Begins at 14 State-Owned Universities

EAST STROUDSBURG -- Tens of thousands of students at 14 state-run universities--including Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and East Stroudsburg--are out of class because of a strike that began Wednesday morning.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties announced Wednesday morning that APSCUF faculty members are officially on strike.

The two sides had to reach an agreement by 5 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19 or more than 5,000 faculty members would hit the picket line.

According to the union, more than 5,000 teachers and coaches have been working with an expired contract for 477 days. The main sticking points are salary and benefits.

The Pennsylvania State System for Higher Education says participating in a strike is up to each faculty member. By law, they also have the right to stay in the classroom to teach. Students say they still plan to head to class even if there's a strike.

Frustration seemed to be the theme of the morning at East Stroudsburg University. East Stroudsburg is just one of the 14 state-run universities with 100,000 students affected by the strike.

“No one said anything, so I don’t know what’s going on,” said one student.

“The president Tweeted it. They also sent out an email that we should go to our classes, see if our professors show up, and if they don’t, to keep up with course work as much as we can,” said freshman Isabella Llaudes.

Students are on edge not knowing how long a strike could last, and how it could affect their futures.

“I’m trying to stay hopeful,” said Llaudes.

“I'm worried how it’s going to affect me. I just got here. I have four more years and I’m like why what’s going to happen,” said Lance Peters, East Stroudsburg University Freshman.

A few students were out and about on ESU’s campus overnight, waiting for word to see if this strike was actually going to take place. One told Newswatch 16 it brought back some memories from high school.

“At Wyoming Area, I experienced one, and it lasted a month,” freshman Daulton Shearer said.

Shearer said the teacher’s strike he experienced in high school just meant fewer breaks, but he believes at the college level, the stakes are much higher.

“There’s going to be a lot of angry parents with all of the money being involved here, so it’s completely different. It’s going to be solved a lot quicker I think,” Shearer said.

Since no contract agreement has been reached, it’s still unclear what will happen with class schedules or possible tuition reimbursements.

According to the State System of Higher Education, each university has developed a response plan to keep its campus open and to keep students on schedule to completing their degrees.

Students click here to learn more about the strike from the state. 

To find the latest information about how contract negotiations can affect students from the APSCUF, head here.

25 comments

  • Melanie

    How dare each and every one of you judging students for standing WITH faculty. Have you worked 478 days without contract? No. Then sit down and be quiet. Have you been threatened to be replaced by others who do not do a job as well as you? No. Then sit down and be quiet. Right now, we have faculty who are doing an amazing job teaching these students. PASSHE suggests part-timers to teach outside their fields along with graduate students teaching undergrads. I am a PROUD supporter of Lock Haven faculty and students. I currently attend Kutztown and you bet your buttons if I didn’t have to go to class I would be out picketing with them. I pay for myself, so don’t use it as an argument. I am pissed. AT PASSHE. That is where the anger needs to be pointed. It took well over a year for negotiations to even begin, and the State walked away. Not the faculty. Learn your facts before you claim we are pissing away money.

  • typical union dope

    they are striking not because they make between 45-120k per year, not because they get 9-17% annual increases, no it’s because they don’t want to pay a dime towards health care costs…..get real….get with reality!

  • THE REAL SCRANTONY

    Perhaps the students will have to get actual jobs and stop being “triggered” by micro-agressions.

  • Writer Girl

    Good for the teachers and others who are striking. This state needs to join the 21st century and get real about jobs. It’s disgusting how those at the top love their cushy jobs, but think everyone else can work without raises, benefits and more. The best way to have a robust economy is to have a robust working and middle class. You go guys!

  • Gerald Filtz

    Teachers already have good pay and great benefits when compared to average Pennsylvanians. If they go on strike fire them and hire new teachers. The unemployment rate for teachers remains high.

    • ChuckT

      Gerald Filtz- Your stupid is showing. These are not just “teachers”. They are post secondary educators. It’s not as easy as finding a “replacement teacher” like in the public school system. Many of these “teachers” are Ed.d and Ph.D educated with published journalistic work.

    • Theignorantgeraldfiltz

      PROFESSORS* many of them with Ph.Ds are not “average Pennsylvanians”. Try replacing 5,000 faculty members, I promise you won’t be able to.

    • Jason

      Gerald, the Professors at these colleges are accomplished Ph.Ds. They are not easily replaceable. They’ve worked very hard to get where they are, and they are extremely passionate about education. Their pay is significantly below the national average salary for Professors even though most of PA has an above average cost of living. The faculty haven’t seen an inflation-adjusted pay increase in years and the new contract puts a drastic cut on cost-of-living pay adjustments. This is just another example of the middle class paying the price for the economic downturn caused by corruption of the Big Banks (who’s top managers continue to get richer and richer). The State should give the PASSHE Faculty a fair contract and consider balancing their budget through increasing taxes on the wealthy and/or eliminating corporate tax loopholes for financially stable companies.

      • CeeMe

        You are correct. The rich, like the bankers and others, want a rich class and poor one, no middle class, as they want more and more money for themselves. Government on all levels, help this along. It’s time for the American people, especially many commenting here, to wake up and realize what is happening. You will lose, if you go along with all this. Add to that, the fact that these workers have been without a contract for 3-4 years and I understand why they’re angry.

  • WCU Student

    State chose to walk out in negotiations last night.. forcing crappy proposals and crappy healthcare.. Our teachers deserve more. Especially since the money flowing in from each student is outrageous.

  • Sammy

    so liberal indoctrination is on hold for a few days. No big deal. How come no outrage over tuition going up each year?

  • Broke college parent

    As a tuition paying parent this is disgusting. I have not had a raise in 16 years and pay more for health care and receive less in benifits. This is the real world.

    • TheNerd

      Why would you work someplace for 16 years w/o a raise? No wonder you’re broke. Sounds like you should join a union.

    • seriously

      If you aren’t at least earning a 3% annual increase in your compensation, you should really consider finding a new job. Health care and benefits aside, compensating for inflation you are making DRASTICALLY less today than when you started. This is the real world, it’s a game of life, and you’re losing.

    • CeeMe

      No, this is the world we had thrust upon us, by the greedy governing class. It will only get worse with attitudes like yours.

Comments are closed.