YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some Youngstown State University students are concerned a strike could impact their semester if it continues past Wednesday, but some are standing by their teachers.
Members of the faculty union took to the picket line Monday morning. Some students could even be found among the faculty in solidarity with their decision to strike.
“We really care about them, and it’s been like that since day one,” said Jinny Phillips, a junior physics major.
Because of Phillips, the entire physics department has been like one big family. She want to to see her professors get what she believes they deserve.
Theodore Bucci is a senior, who is also in the physics department. He says he wants to see the administration at YSU value their educators over everything else.
“They are mentors. They are extremely educated, and they are really good people,” Bucci said. “I care about whether or not the longstanding implications of this particular negotiation process has a positive impact.”
For now, classes haven’t been impacted because students are on fall break. There are concerns, however, if a tentative agreement can’t be reached.
“If the strike spills into Wednesday when classes resume, we’re working on a plan that we will have in place,” said YSU President Jim Tressel.
Sophomore forensic science major Abby Sharpless says she struggles in Chemistry. if the strike extends past fall break, she may have a substitute. But even though that situation isn’t ideal, she says she will still be out there, sign in hand with the faculty.
“They support us and they believe in us, and they know that we can do great things. A lot of the people in the administration building probably wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have a teacher that fought for them, even if it ate up some of their personal life,” Sharpless said.
YSU-OEA spokesperson Mark Vopat said students should not be concerned about their standing at YSU because they would never let this situation impact them negatively.
After nearly three hours of negotiations Monday, YSU’s administration said “productive conversations took place” and more talks are scheduled for Tuesday.
“We’re encouraged by the progress made today and are optimistic that YSU-OEA is moving closer to a tentative agreement on a fair contract for our members,” YSU-OEA President Steven Reale said.
Talks will resume Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
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