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Faculty members Juliet Wunsch, center, and Jeremy Holmes, right, walk a picket line at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. Faculty at Pennsylvania state universities went on strike Wednesday morning after contract negotiations between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and its faculty union hit an impasse. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Professors continue their strike at 14 Pennsylvania universities over wages and benefits


Faculty at 14 Pennsylvania state universities have been on strike since Wednesday.

The motive behind the strikes

Hundreds of professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities are on strike this week to push for wage increases, better health benefits and more generous pensions.

The strike comes after members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties failed to reach a faculty contract agreement with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.  

The last faculty contract expired June 30, 2015.

Even students have joined in on the "walkout" in support of the faculty strike.

Classes are still in session, but students told to go to class

The strikes have affected more than 100,000 students across the board.

The state said despite the strike, students should report to their scheduled classes, unless the university indicates otherwise.

Victoria Tischio, a full-time professor at West Chester University, said some 500 of the university's about 950 professors had signed up for the walkout.

Penn State, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln U are not affected.

So, what's next?

The state school system said overnight its latest proposal would provide raises to all permanent and temporary faculty members and a health care package identical to what other system employees have.

In an effort to reach an agreement, the state said it withdrew several proposals including one that would have required full-time temporary faculty to teach an additional class each semester.

Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement he's "extremely disappointed" with both parties.

Here's the Penn State System of Higher Education chancellor speaking on the negotiations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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