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Penn State union voting on whether to authorize a strike

Old Main building
Emily Reddy
Old Main, Penn State's administrative building on the University Park campus

The Teamsters Union Local 8, which represents about 2,500 technical service employees at Penn State, is voting on whether to authorize a strike, as negotiations continue for a new contract to replace the one that expires June 30.

The Teamsters Local 8 represents custodians, food service workers and other employees at University Park and campuses across the state. Voting started Tuesday and ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Teamsters’ website says they’ve seen “very little movement from the university on our wage proposal and they continue to drag the process out."

"We need to let them know we are serious about securing substantial raises for our members," the Q&A on the strike authorization reads.

The university has proposed 3% wage increases for the next three years, according to the website it has with information on the contract negotiations.

The Teamsters says its bargaining committee will do what it can to reach an agreement. But on Facebook, its leadership is asking members to vote yes on the strike to give the negotiating team leverage to get a “fair contract.”

In a statement, the university says its leaders are “optimistic that a fair and competitive agreement will be reached.”

"Asking for authorization to strike from union members is a standard part of the bargaining process and most of the time it does not result in a work stoppage," the statement says.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.