Youngstown State Strike

Hundreds of non-classroom employees at Youngstown State University began a strike on Tuesday because of contract disputes.

The Association of Classified Employees represents about 400 maintenance workers, groundskeepers, janitors, clerks, secretaries, cafeteria workers and computer programmers.

The two sides disagree on healthcare costs and pay increases. The university sweetened its salary offer before the strike began.

Union president Christine Domhoff predicts fall semester enrollment will decline if the strike isn't settled because of strong organized labor backing in the Youngstown area.

University spokesman Walt Ulbricht says the university will remain open and essential operations will be maintained.

The union representing faculty members is threatening to strike if a contract agreement isn't reached by next Tuesday. That would be six days before fall semester classes begin for 13,000 students.