The strike is over… What now?

Published in The Snapper the week of November 1.

While many may have found solace in the long homecoming weekend caused by the historical teacher’s union strike, many faculty and students took this time to show their solidarity and pride for their professors.

The strike lasted from Oct. 19 to Oct. 21, leaving students to miss three days of classes across 14 different state-operated universities, including Millersville.

But, what now?

For starters, the professors in APSCUF, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, are working under a non-expired contract. The three-year deal will last until June 30, 2018, according to APSCUF’s Oct. 21 press release.

The press release also included the exchange for the retraction of almost all of the 249 changes proposed by the State System, PASSHE, which included a salary package that was “significantly lower” than what they had wanted.

“Our primary goals were to preserve quality education for our students, protect our adjuncts from exploitation, and make sure the varieties of faculty work are respected,” APSCUF President Kenneth Mash said in a press release.

Mash continued, “We achieved every single one of those goals, and the faculty were willing to take less than every other bargaining unit in order to preserve those goals.’

The negotiated contract still has to be ratified through APSCUF’s full membership; once it is agreed upon, the contract will officially be put forth and more details will be available, according to PASSHE’s Oct. 21 press release.

While this strike may have seemed divisive, both sides encouraged a sense of unity and solidarity, and say they are brought together by what matters most to them: the students.

“We want to thank the students who showed remarkable poise and patience during those challenging three days,” said PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan and Chairwoman of PASSHE’s Board of Directors, Cynthia Shapira, collectively in an Oct. 27 press release.

For Millersville students, it may seem like not much has changed because of the strike; the professors are coming to class and are teaching much like they always have. However, it’s required that the students make up the time lost by the three-day strike.

Professors must submit a proposal for missed time, and it must be approved by the Dean of the professor’s respective school. Some professors are including an extra assignment or two, and some are having their students come in on a Saturday to count for an extra day.

The assignments and make-up days are up to professors, but no matter the changes, they are required to let students know about any upcoming changes.

The ripple effect: coaches now have an updated contract.

Thanks to recent negotiations between APSCUF and PASSHE, coaches in the respective 14 institutions in the state system are working under an official, non-expired contract. This announcement was made Oct. 27 in press releases and via social media.

“… I’m very pleased with the deal we have reached,” said APSCUF Coach Executive Leader John Gump in the Oct. 27 press release. “It provides reasonable salary increases for our members while keeping the costs of our healthcare plan affordable. Now, we can get back to doing what we love — coaching our teams and working with our student-athletes.”

The contract lasts for four years, and will not expire until June 30, 2019.

Stay tuned; as more information arises on the tentative contract agreement for the APSCUF coaches, The Snapper will update their channels with information.

For APSCUF updates, you can follow them on Twitter at @APSCUF, and for PASSHE updates, you can follow them on Facebook or Twitter at @statesystem.

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