MILLERSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Faculty members at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities are getting ready to walk off the job.
A strike date has been set for Oct. 19 if a deal is not reached.
Professors at schools like Shippensburg and Millersville universities have been working without a contract since June 30, 2015.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union that represents faculty members, have said their members could walk off the job.
“We are not talking about that during class time, but students are concerned as we are,” said Thomas Boyle, the APSCUF representative at Millersville University. “We would expect faculty members to not be in the classroom should a strike be called.”
Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the State System of Higher Education, said a strike is not a sure thing yet. He said if faculty members walk off the job, the goal would be to keep the universities open to the greatest extent possible.
Marshall said each school will have a plan in place for a potential strike. He added that students are still required to go to class, despite there being no guarantee that a teacher will be in that classroom.
As days count down before a potential work stoppage, both sides remain optimistic an agreement can be reached.
“It’s time we get an agreement and for the sake of our students, for the sake of the system, and our universities,” Marshall said.
“We’re concerned, but also hopeful that we have three negotiation days,” Boyle said.
Negotiations continue Friday and are expected to last through the weekend.