American University Staff to Go on Strike if Negotiations Fail

Hundreds of American University (AU) staff will go on labor strike next week if negotiations do not result in a contract by Aug. 22, when students return, The Washington Post reported.American University

AU and Service Employees International Union Local 500 – a union of about 550 clerical, technical, and academic staff – have been negotiating for over a year.

But despite progress on some issues, the parties clash over salary increases, said Dr. Sam Sadow, organizer with Service Employees International Union Local 500 and visual resources curator at AU.

Staffers want a 5% raise in the first year of the contract and a 4% increase in the second. And they want AU to expand annual raises to part-time staff members and ensure no full-time member earns less than $40,000 a year.

“We have resolved numerous issues for this first contract and continue to offer proposals on the outstanding items,” AU spokesman Matthew Bennett said in a statement. “A strike is not an inevitable outcome, and American University is committed to reaching a final agreement.”