The recent announcement by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties that it would not call a strike in the last weeks of the Fall 2012 semester should make it clear that some of the recent characterizations of the union's position by the state system's chancellor have been misleading ("Faculty Puts Strike on Hold," Nov. 28).
The union voted recently to authorize a strike if the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education continues to refuse a fair deal. Some accused the union of acting in haste and without the interests of the students at heart. As is now evident, we do not want to strike and are doing everything to avoid one.
We tried to begin negotiations with PASSHE before our contract even expired in June of 2011. We have been working without one for 18 months. But more than 90 percent of our membership voted that a strike must be an option if PASSHE continues to obstruct a resolution.
We aren't asking for higher salaries. All we want is to defend what works: in-person teaching, reasonable class sizes and manageable course loads. Our salary proposal wouldn't even make up for the cost-of-living increase since the contract expired, let alone give APSCUF members a "raise."
The steady removal of state funding support from these universities is the reason why tuition is going up, not salary increases for those mythical, rich professors.
APSCUF invites the public to become more aware of what is at stake. Visit the website: www.apscuf.com
Associate Professor of History
Slippery Rock University