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Penn State employee union votes 'yes' on option to strike

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

The Teamsters Local 8, which represents about 2,500 Penn State employees, voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize a strike, as negotiations to reach a deal continue.

The current contract expires June 30. Jonathan Light, the union president, said there’s still time to agree on a contract with the university.

“They know the results," Light said after voting finished Wednesday. "And now let's get this deal done. What we're asking for is a fair contract. That's all we're asking for.”

The union represents technical service employees at University Park and other campuses. Of the 2,053 employees who cast ballots, 1,878 or 91% voted yes to authorizing a strike.

Light said both sides are still at the bargaining table.

“We're not there yet," he said. "But they're working with us, they’re talking to us. And we're going to get this to where we need to be. We believe that wholeheartedly.”

The university has offered 3% wage increases for the next three years. But Light said workers are trying to catch up after getting raises that have not kept up with inflation.

In a statement, the university said it’s “optimistic that a fair and competitive agreement will be reached.”

Copyright 2024 WPSU.

Updated: June 27, 2024 at 11:17 AM EDT
Updated with yes vote.
Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.