UNH unionized faculty authorize strike if contract not reached

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Unionized faculty members at the University of New Hampshire have authorized a strike if they can’t reach an agreement on a new contract.

Dale Barkey, president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, says that the strike authorization vote passed yesterday by a nearly four-to-one margin.

It was 194 votes in favor, and 55 opposed.

That does not mean that professors will go on strike however. Barkey says that the purpose of the vote was to get the administration back to the negotiating table.

Barkey says that the union is encouraged by the latest overtures of the UNH administration, but as of now, no new date has been set for talks. Negotiations have been stalemated for 15 months over pay and health care benefits.

UNH has said it would seek a court order to stop a strike if they were to go out, and the faculty says it would comply with an order if it were attained. In that case, they would be teaching under the order of the court.

The sticking points in the negotiations are compensation and benefits.

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