Until now, no one associated with APSCUF has been willing to mention a possible strike date. Yesterday, however, Lauren Gutshall, a spokeswoman for the faculty union at the state-owned universities, said the “optimal date” for a work stoppage would be January 28th, the day spring semester classes are scheduled to start. She then said another possible date would be February 5th, the day Governor Corbett is scheduled to give his budget address.
Gutshall says they have not voted on a strike date yet, and said the union continues to hope for agreement on a new contract to replace the one that expired 18 months ago.
Meanwhile, the State System is forming its contingency plans should a strike occur. The Harrisburg Patriot-News surveyed websites from the individual universities to try to get an idea of what those contingencies are. Among the answers: students should report to class if a strike occurs and refer to their individual university for more specific instructions. Students with campus jobs should report for work, and if they work for a striking faculty member, they should report to their dean. University facilities will remain open to the extent possible, and members of other unions are required to report to work. And extracurricular activities such as sports will go on. It should be noted that the individual universities are forming their own contingency plans, so the procedures and information may be different from school to school.
The next negotiating session is scheduled for this Friday.