YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown State faculty union went on strike Monday after contract negotiations with the university failed once again.
The union took to the picket lines at its headquarters around 8 a.m.
On Saturday, the union voted to strike. Of the 337 union members, about 97% of them voted — 86% voted “yes” to the strike, 9% voted against it and 5% didn’t vote.
On Sunday, YSU administration met with YSU-OEA to continue negotiations.
Later that day, YSU-OEA reported some progress in its ongoing negotiations with the administration but said there is still work to be done before a tentative agreement can be reached, according to a release.
The union said it’s pleased to report productive conversations took place during the Sunday negotiating session and acknowledged the administration’s counterproposal. Discussion over that took the entire session, and they made small moves in both financial and non-financial areas.
The union said it would take all things into consideration and go from there.
Neal McNally, YSU vice president for finance and business operations, said he’s surprised the faculty don’t understand:
“In reviewing a recent report released by the YSU faculty union, I must say that I am surprised by the union’s apparent lack of understanding of the university’s financial position. So as the individual who is charged with management of the university’s finances, allow me to set the record straight.”
He went on to say the faculty union wants more money their way for teachers and that YSU doesn’t have money to give because of the pandemic, which is the main culprit.
YSU President Jim Tressel posted a video Monday morning regarding the strike.
“It’s certainly an unfortunate situation, one that we never thought we would be in, but we’ll certainly get through it. Your perseverance through this COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of unbelievable. We are confident we will clear this additional hurdle as well.”
YSU-OEA’s negotiations team is scheduled to meet with YSU administration again Monday from 1 to 4 p.m. It’s hoped an agreement can be reached before there are any disruptions to classes.
Monday is also YSU’s first day of fall break. Classes resume Wednesday.