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Deadline Passes, Faculty Strike At 14 State-Owned Universities

Faculty at the 14 state-owned universities went on strike today and began taking up picket lines on campuses statewide and at the Dixon Center in Harrisburg after bargaining to prevent the first classroom walkout in the system’s 34 years collapsed.

The strike against the State System of Higher Education by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties affects 105,000 students and more than 5,000 faculty.

Both sides had negotiated for five days but the talks broke apart over issues including health care costs shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. The system made a last, best offer, which the union rejected, and management said it was done bargaining for the night.

The strike drew sharp reaction from Gov. Tom Wolf, who called the breakdown in talks ”shortsightedness on both sides.”