The Strike At Millersville University
The APSCUF Faculty Strike began on October 19, 2016, ranging across a total of three days: October 19, 20 & 21. Participants included both APSCUF and PASSHE members. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, APSCUF for short, represented the faculty union for all employed educators at the 14 state school systems. The Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, or PASSHE, constituted the 20-member Board of Governors responsible for overseeing the State System; this included the Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Brogan.
Roughly following a year and a half with no contract, and various failed attempts to reach a negotiated agreement, the APSCUF faculty members voted to go on strike. The “original motions for a strike-authorization vote” occurred in April at the April Legislative Assembly.3 Attended by all the delegates from the 14 state universities, the negotiations committee–or chapter presidents–brought the motion for a strike to the floor. The motion served as a tactical maneuver to exemplify the seriousness of the situation.
Although the Legislative Assembly tabled the idea, they agreed to arrange an authorization vote during the summer, before extending the decision to a campus wide ratification. As reported by Barry David (Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology), an increasing number of calls concerning the strike began appearing between the months of May and June, escalating in seriousness in August. The strike authorization vote of Legislative Assembly delegates took place late in the summer, while the campus wide ratification vote occurred during the month of September.5
In total, 468 members actively engaged in the strike, leaving only 57 faculty members to cross the picket line. Statistically speaking, 89% of Millersville’s faculty participated in the strike. Over the course of the next three days, faculty members received no pay and no benefits–this included health insurance. The outcomes of the strike included the following: no adjuncts will be forced to teach full course loads, lower increases in salary, and greater contributions to health care.
- Barry David (Applied Engineering, Safety and Technology), interview by Elizabeth Nelson and Katie Barrett, November 28, 2016, transcript, Millersville University Special Collections, Millersville, PA.
- PennLive.com, "State universities faculty union leader sets strike date" (video), accessed January 5, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRH-Lpbe0fc.