YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Saturday, Youngstown State University’s faculty union, YSU-OEA, voted to strike.

Of the 337 member union, about 97% voted. 86% voted yes to the strike, 9% voted against it and 5% abstained from voting.

Once the state chapter of the Ohio Education Association sanctions the move, the strike will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 12.

YSU students will be on fall break, giving YSU administration two days to make a deal with the union without interrupting classes.

Later Saturday night, YSU’s News Center sent a release saying the administration is calling on the faculty union to continue negotiations and present a counterproposal in hopes of reaching a contract agreement.

“This decision reinforces what members said last week when they voted overwhelmingly to accept Judge Widgeon’s fact-finding report and we hope that Administration hears us too, this time,” YSU-OEA spokesperson Mark Vopat said in a press release.

“Let’s remain optimistic,” YSU President Jim Tressel said in an email. “You [students and other employees] have shown great perseverance through this difficult year and worked hard to overcome many obstacles. We are committed to ensuring that you’ll be able to successfully complete this semester without disruption.”

Senator Sherrod Brown released the following statement after hearing the OEA voted to strike.

“Given the uncertainty the pandemic has caused, I’m glad that an independent fact-finding report revealed that the YSU budget is in fact solvent. I am troubled, however, that following the release of this report, the administration remains unwilling to negotiate faculty compensation on par with inflation. I stand in solidarity with the YSU staff, and urge the administration to negotiate in good faith, quickly to ensure these educators are able to continue providing a high-quality education for YSU’s students.”

“This will not negatively impact the students in terms of their progression at YSU or in terms of their grade. This is not going to have a negative… our disagreement should not impact the students in that way,” said YSU-OEA spokesperson Mark Vopat.

YSU has a section on their website with more information for students about the strike.

Friday night, a tentative contract agreement was reached with the YSU Association for Classified Employees.