Pennsylvania higher ed system seeks mediator in strike talks

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has asked the state’s labor board to appoint a fact finder to help in negotiations with a union representing faculty at 14 state universities.

State System spokesman Kenn Marshall says the school system hopes the mediator could move the talks forward. The labor board could consider the request at its meetings this week.

A spokesman for the union says the move is just a delaying technique: faculty would be barred from striking until the fact-finder’s report is issued. That could take up to 40 days.

Both sides are returning to the bargaining table Tuesday.

The union represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at universities including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown and Shippensburg, among others.

The union has authorized its representatives to call a strike if needed.

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