“Although the union has the right to call a strike, it is disappointing. Certainly, faculty members and their union understand the massive financial challenges the university has confronted in recent years.
“The employment terms are fair in light of our unprecedented financial crisis, and the actions we have taken to respond to the crisis. Under the terms of our last and best offer, our faculty would continue to enjoy higher salaries than their peers at similar state universities. Faculty would also receive the same competitive healthcare benefits provided to all other Wright State employees.
“The university cannot continue on the path to financial sustainability by maintaining the status quo. Our other Wright State employees understand this, and have accepted reasonable concessions. We are asking the faculty to do the same.
“We have negotiated in good faith for nearly two years, and these employment terms reflect our continued good faith. We have kept in place the current retrenchment and layoff procedures to ease any faculty concerns, and will work with the Faculty Senate on a workload policy.
“We can return to the bargaining table when the university is back on solid financial footing.”
On Friday, the Wright State University Board of Trustees, in an effort to bring closure to a nearly two-year collective bargaining process with the AAUP-WSU executive committee, issued a resolution implementing its last, best offer for the union that represents about 560 of Wright State’s more than 3,000 employees.
During a meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously in public session to implement immediately the terms and conditions of its last, best offer.
The terms maintain faculty salaries at current levels, which are above average salaries for university professors, according to the AAUP 2017-18 Faculty Compensation Survey. Wright State University full professors earn, on average, $119,600 over the nine-month academic year. Full professors at comparable Ohio public universities earn an average salary of $117,322. The AAUP survey also indicated that full professors at 1,018 institutions nationally earn on average $104,820.
The terms also place faculty in a competitive, unified health care plan with all university administrators and other employees, which is a necessary practice to keep healthcare costs down for everyone.
Trustees noted it was necessary to move the university forward beyond negotiations that have proceeded for nearly two years, encompassing over 20 formal meetings, the efforts of a mutually agreed upon federal mediator, and those of a separate mutually agreed upon, independent state arbitrator, known as a fact-finder. All efforts of the labor negotiators, mediators and fact-finder have been rejected by union leadership.