YSU provost calls on faculty union to withdraw strike notice

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Friday, university administrators said talks "came to an abrupt end" and that union officials didn't make any new economic proposals

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With several hours to go until a final strike vote is counted, YSU Provost Brien Smith is calling on the YSU-OEA to withdraw their strike notice.

The union issued a 10-day notice last week and will finish up voting on whether to strike or not at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Talks have deteriorated over the past week. Friday, university administrators said talks “came to an abrupt end” and that union officials didn’t make any new economic proposals.

No additional negotiating sessions are planned.

The union filed a notice to strike on Monday, Oct. 12.

YSU administrators say they cannot afford a 6% salary increase that the union is asking for, saying it would cost the university $4.2 million.

“For the sake of our students and the community, who have persevered under difficult and unprecedented circumstances this year, we need to come to a resolution that is within the university’s financial means and without a work stoppage,” Smith said.

Citing declining enrollment and reduced funding, university officials say the budget cannot sustain the pay raise, especially after some university employees have been furloughed.

YSU-OEA officials said in a release Thursday that the university’s financial situation is not as bleak as they predicted.

“YSU’s administration insists on bringing further uncertainty to campus by refusing to acknowledge the results of the impartial fact-finding process that they themselves insisted upon. In her report, Judge Widgeon acknowledged that the parties were unlikely to agree to all of her recommendations, but articulated her hope that they would be a starting point for continued negotiations,” Mark Vopat, YSU-OEA spokesperson,
said.

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