Kent State professors set to vote on possible strike


Members of AFSCME, a workers union on campus, and USAS, a student group supporting the union, picket outside the M.A.C. Center on May 1, 2015 as President Beverly Warren is inaugurated inside.

Matthew Merchant

Kent State professors plan to hold an online vote next week to potentially authorize a strike.

According to an email sent from the Executive Committee of Kent State’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, an online vote for members is scheduled for Nov. 18 through Nov. 22.

The union will offer an anonymous online vote to members and a poll to non-members, according to the email.

According to the same email, a majority vote in favor would “authorize the Executive Committee of AAUP-KSU to call a strike if this is deemed necessary to secure a fair contract.”

In September, negotiations over a renewal for the three-year collective bargaining agreement between the union and representatives from the university reached an impasse over medical benefits and salaries. The university wants to require spouses of members to receive health care benefits if offered through outside companies. In terms of raises, the university is offering a 2 percent raise for the first two years and a 1.5 percent raise the third.

“We’re sad to see it progress like this, but the difference between the two sides, we haven’t been able to bridge that,” Bill Sledzik, a spokesman for the AAUP-KSU, told on Monday.

University spokesman Eric Mansfield declined a comment, reported, saying the university doesn’t comment on ongoing negotiations.

AAUP-KSU will hold a member meeting Friday at 3:30 p.m. in room 306 of the Student Center.

Matthew Merchant is a senior reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].