The Wright State University Board of Trustees, in an effort to be proactive and show its commitment to embrace compromise to settle prolonged labor negotiations with the AAUP-WSU, accepted the recommendations by the independent fact-finder, David Stanton.
During a meeting held Nov. 1, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously in public session to accept Stanton’s report, signaling that the solutions of the mutually selected arbitrator, who has three decades of experience, should be incorporated in the next faculty contract.
After reviewing the fact-finder’s decision, trustees noted that, though the recommendations did not give either party all of what they were seeking, and it did not give all of the long-term solutions they were hoping to agree on during negotiations, the report did provide some short-term relief for the university to help facilitate financial recovery.
Trustees also noted how the fact-finder’s resolutions included language that made it clear many of the changes would not be permanent and would be subject to renegotiation at the end of the contract.
“The trustees felt that approving this report was in the best interest of our students and the university and it will help Wright State move forward,” said Wright State University President Cheryl B. Schrader. “I think both parties would have preferred to have negotiated a longer settlement.”
Wright State’s administration and AAUP-WSU finished a stage of the bargaining process known as fact-finding last summer. This process came at the end of negotiations where an independent fact-finder heard and reviewed evidence from both parties to make a recommendation on open contract items.
The fact-finder’s report was issued on Oct. 29 for review by the university administration, the Board of Trustees and AAUP-WSU. Within 14 days of the delivery of the report, each party must determine if it wants to accept or reject the suggestions from the fact-finder as the new faculty contract.
The Board of Trustees, by a three-fifths vote of its total membership, and AAUP-WSU members, by a three-fifths vote of the union’s total membership, are provided the option to reject the recommendations. If neither party rejects the recommendations, the recommendations are deemed agreed upon as final resolution of the issues submitted to the fact-finder.