Gov. Wolf Implores: Keep Teaching, Keep Talking

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With the potential strike by Pennsylvania’s 14 state schools’ faculty looming, Governor Wolf released a statement about the contract negotiations between Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF):

“I have monitored negotiations between PASSHE and APSCUF closely and I have had many conversations with both sides. Throughout all of this I have repeatedly urged both sides to continue talking until an agreement is reached.

“We must ensure our professors are treated fairly while recognizing PASSHE’s difficult financial situation due to years of underfunding.

“There is enough common ground for the two sides to reach a final compromise. Both PASSHE and APSCUF should continue negotiations until a final agreement is reached.

“Avoiding a strike is paramount because a work stoppage will be devastating for the state system. Most seriously, a strike could drive a loss of students, which would further exacerbate an already precarious financial situation for the state system. We have to look no further than what happened to Temple University following the faculty strike in 1990. It took years for Temple to recover its student population.

“We all agree that the higher education of our students is a top priority, and tomorrow students should show up to class and professors should show up to teach them.”

Temple University students march during the 1990 strike (from http://temple-news.com/news/recent-protests-african-american-studies-department-revisit-old-battles/)
Temple University students march during the 1990 strike (from http://temple-news.com/news/recent-protests-african-american-studies-department-revisit-old-battles/)

The 1990 Temple University strike Governor Wolf is referring to occurred because the then-President Peter Liacouras refused to budge in negotiations of a contract with Temple Association of University Professionals’ (TAUP), according to The Temple News. On Aug. 30, 1990, TAUP went on strike at picket lines along Broad Street.

During the course of the strike (29 days) and after, more than 3,500 students withdrew from Temple University. According to James Hilty, a history professor, Temple’s enrollment numbers did not recover until the 1999-2000 academic year. The strike also cost Temple more than $12.5 million.

We cannot predict whether or not the potential strike affecting us will have similar results, nor can we predict with certainty if the strike will occur. As of now, we just have to wait until 5 a.m. tomorrow, Oct. 19, and see what happens.

Let us know your thoughts on the strike in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #BloomUstrike.

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