Wright State University will maintain its normal operating hours following a strike notice filed today by the union representing nearly 560 of the university’s more than 1,700 faculty members. The notification indicates the strike may begin on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 8 a.m.
“We are disappointed the union representing many of our faculty members decided to file a strike notification today,” said Wright State University President Cheryl B. Schrader. “While the union has a right to do this, the university has offered fair employment terms in light of our unprecedented financial crisis. With our new terms we still keep faculty salaries among the highest in the state. Faculty will also receive the same competitive healthcare coverage offered to all other Wright State employees.”
“In addition, 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,” said Schrader. “We have done everything in our power to prevent a strike from occurring.”
If a strike were to happen, Wright State students should continue to attend class in accordance with their regular class schedule. Should any change in a class schedule occur, all enrolled students in that class will be notified via their wright.edu email account.
Not all Wright State faculty are in the AAUP-WSU. Wright State employs over 3,000 people, including more than 1,700 full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty members. Wright State has about 560 faculty members in the AAUP-WSU. Neither the Boonshoft School of Medicine nor the School of Professional Psychology has faculty members in AAUP-WSU.
Wright State is committed to maintaining the quality of its academic programs and preserving the opportunity it provides students to achieve their goals. The university has a duty to its students to take every step available to minimize disruption as much as possible. The university has developed strike response plans that would be put into place if a strike occurs.
During this potential work stoppage, Wright State will continue to provide service to its students; however, service may be modified or reduced.
If there is a strike, the university will utilize the Wright State Alert system to communicate daily with students and employees.
During a meeting held on January 4, the Wright State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously in public session to implement immediately the terms and conditions of its last, best offer to the AAUP-WSU. Trustees noted it was necessary to move the university forward beyond negotiations that have proceeded for nearly two years but failed to produce an agreement despite over twenty formal meetings, the efforts of a mutually agreed upon federal mediator, and those of a mutually agreed upon, independent arbitrator known as a fact-finder. All efforts of the labor negotiators, mediators and fact-finder have been rejected by union leadership.
The Trustees 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 independent, mutually agreed upon fact-finder issued his recommendations to settle the contract Oct. 29. The Wright State University Board of Trustees, in an effort to embrace compromise, unanimously accepted his recommendations calling them a fair and reasonable arbitrated settlement. AAUP-WSU membership rejected them.
Throughout the bargaining process, while navigating financial recovery, Wright State’s Trustees have been focused on the fiscal sustainability of the university now and in the future to ensure that Wright State remains what its more than 15,000 students and the region need it to be.
Wright State is doing everything in its power to preserve the opportunity for its students to succeed. Maintaining the quality of its academic programs and meeting the needs of its students is the highest priority at Wright State.