In a surprising move, the APSCUF representatives from all of the 14 state schools announced that they have rejected the currently proposed contract.On the afternoon of Monday, March 29, the union instructed its members to stop reporting to their classes at the end of the week. However, the news will likely cause students and faculty to stop meeting immediately.
“Given the drastic gap between our demands and the State System’s proposal, it is unlikely that classes will resume this semester, and we are not optimistic about the 2004-2005 year either,” said Marvin Wilson, an APSCUF spokesman. “The result of this riff could well be the dissolution of state-funded higher education in Pennsylvania.”
Numerous Pennsylvania unions, including SEPTA, local chapters of the Teamsters, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters have indicated they too will stop working in sympathy for Pennsylvania’s professors.
The faculty of the 14 universities may be shocked to learn that their reported “strike fund” was a mere bluff to help APSCUF gain leverage in negotiations. APSCUF will provide each of their members a check for $5 and a box of No. 2 pencils.
“It’s not much, but it’s comparable to what the state would pay us to work for the next three years,” said Wilson.
News of the strike has drawn mixed reactions from students. “I was failing all my classes anyway, but it only seems fair for them to refund our tuition for this semester,” said Greg Eastman, an undeclared senior.
“Isn’t this really what we all wanted?” asked freshman Kelly Peterman, a History major minoring in Astronomy. “I came here to take up time and space, and I can still do that. I’ve always said, ‘This would be a great school if it wasn’t for the classes.'”
Some professors have told The Quad anonymously that they will continue lecturing to their empty classes rather than seek new employment.