PORTLAND The professors union at Portland State University picketed on the South Park Blocks Thursday after declaring an impasse in contract talks.

Though mediation between the parties is continuing, the declaration of impasse moves the university closer to a potential strike, said American Association of University Professors spokesman David Osborn.

PSU administrators said their bargaining team was disappointed by the declaration because negotiations were making progress earlier in the week.

A strike would not happen before April and would be the first ever by Oregon public university professors.

More: Portland State faculty declares impasse in talks

Contract sticking points include wages and lack of stability in teaching positions, union officials said.

I ve been teaching in the general education program at PSU for four years. Like many faculty I m laid off each year and rehired, said PSU instructor David Osborn. I have no way of knowing if I ll have a job in the next year. The instability is hard on my family, bad for my students and hurts the quality of our academic programs.

The rally started at 11 a.m. Thursday and some students walked out of class at 11:30 to show their support for the professors.

With an enrollment of nearly 29,000 students, PSU is Oregon s largest University.

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