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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Faculty and staff members at the Community College of Philadelphia have voted to go on strike. At the start of April, 1,200 members of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2026 will strike.

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The vote was nearly unanimous; 98 percent of union members voted in favor of the strike.

The decision comes after three years of negotiations, in which CCP faculty sought pay raises that aren’t wiped out by healthcare and retirement costs and more resources to better help students. The union notes that they “remain committed to trying to settle contracts without a strike if the CCP Administration will come back to the table and negotiate in good faith.”

Credit: CBS3

Officials at CCP responded with a statement Wednesday night.

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“The College administration is disappointed that the Faculty and Staff Federation (the Federation) of Community College of Philadelphia is calling for a strike just weeks before the semester’s end.”

Threat Of Teachers’ Strike Worrying Students At Community College Of Philadelphia

The college said the union’s demands would increase spending by $82 million. CCP claims its final offer gives new instructors salaries that are $10,000 higher than community colleges in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

In February, the college’s president offered these words for students worried about their future if a strike were to happen.

“I say to them, first of all, that we’re doing all we can to try to settle this, we will ensure that their education will be complete this semester, as well as for those who are graduating and beyond,” Dr. Donald Guy said.

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The last time faculty and staff went on strike was in 2007. That walkout lasted two weeks.