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Penn State University technical services union workers will not strike after tentative agreement

A union representing Penn State workers agreed to a new contract when their employment contract expired and the possibility of a strike loomed.

Teamsters Local 8, a union for technical service workers at Penn State, posted on Facebook early Saturday that they had reached a tentative agreement with the university for four years. Many details of the contract have not been disclosed, but the post said it includes 20% wage increases over the life of the contract.

“This effort was only possible because of the nearly 1,900 members who approved the strike and showed the university that WE ARE READY! There will be no strike; therefore, there will be no disruption to your work schedule,” the post said.

The union will vote on ratifying the contract in the next few weeks, a university press release said. More details on the terms will be announced at that time. If ratified, the contract will take effect retroactively to July 1 and will last through June 30, 2028.

In the press release, union president Jon Light said they were grateful that a preliminary agreement had been reached.

“Local 8 and our members are proud to provide exceptional service to the university community and look forward to continuing to do so for the next four years. This contract recognizes the hard work and dedication of our members to the university and the university’s commitment to our members,” Light said.

Jennifer Wilkes, vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer, said this agreement continues the university’s tradition of negotiating in good faith and reaching such agreements with the union.

“We greatly value our technical service members, and this contract recognizes their important contributions to Penn State and the critical work they do every day to help us fulfill our teaching, research and service mission,” Wilkes said.

The union had been in contract negotiations with the university since early May, whose contract expired at midnight on June 30. Earlier this week, members voted to authorize the union’s executive board to take strike action if necessary.

The members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike: of the 2,053 members who took part in the vote, 1,878 (91%) voted in favor and 175 against.

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