Penn State & Union Reach Agreement, Avoid Strike

Penn State and Teamsters Local Union 8 have reached a tentative agreement to a new four-year contract, avoiding a potential strike by the union that represents 2,700 university employees. The union announced on its website the contract would guarantee a 20% raise for union members over the life of the contract.

The union’s members are expected to vote on the contract in the coming weeks, at which point more details about the agreement’s terms will be publicly available. Should the Teamsters membership agree to the new contract, it will replace the existing contract and apply from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2028.

“We’re very grateful to have reached a tentative agreement with the university,” said Local 8’s President Jonathan Light in a university release.  “Local 8 and our members are proud to provide exceptional service to the university community and look forward to continuing to do so for another four years. This contract recognizes the hard work and commitment of our members to the University and the commitment of the university to our members.” 

“I’m gratified that we have successfully concluded our negotiations and reached a tentative agreement with union leadership, continuing Penn State’s history of good-faith bargaining and reaching mutually acceptable agreements with Teamsters Local 8,” Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Wilkes said. “We greatly value our technical service employees, and this contract recognizes their important contributions to Penn State and the essential work they do every day to allow us to deliver on our teaching, research, and service mission.”  

The union had previously voted internally on a strike, with 1,900 members agreeing to a strike. In bargaining discussions, the Teamsters proposed a 32% wage increase over three years, while Penn State offered wage increases of 3% annually for three years.

The Teamsters Local 8 union represents workers across Penn State’s University Park and Commonwealth campuses. Union members are technical service employees working in custodial service, emergency medical response, food service, housing service, trades, science, athletics, agriculture, research, printing, engineering, transportation, airport services, ITS, and media.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He covers Penn State football, among other Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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