SERB Rules That AAUP-WSU Strike IS Authorized

STATE OF OHIO

STATE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD

 

In the Matter of Wright State University,

Employer, and

AAUP Wright State University Chapter, Employee Organization.

Case Number: 2019-STK-01-0001

 

DETERMINATION

Before Chair Zimpher, Vice Chair Schmidt, and Board Member Lumpe: January 27, 2019.

This case comes before the State Employment Relations Board (“SERB”) upon the filing of a Request for Determination of Unauthorized Strike by Wright State University (“Employer” or the “University”) under the provisions of Ohio Revised Code (“O.R.C.”) § 4117.23. SERB is required to determine whether the alleged strike by bargaining-unit members represented by the AAUP Wright State University Chapter (“Employee Organization” or “AAUP-WSU”) is an “unauthorized strike” as defined by O.R.C. § 4117.01(H). SERB is required to render its determination within seventy-two hours of the filing of the request. The request was filed on January 24, 2019, at 4:06 p.m.

The Employer has argued that the AAUP-WSU interfered with the University’s right to continue offering public services. Upon consideration of the parties’ pleadings, all filings in the record, exhibits, and upon the arguments presented by the parties’ representatives on this date, SERB finds that the strike is authorized. In sum, the University has not shown that there is urgency warranting the procedures of O.R.C. 4117.23. Rather, the unfair labor practice procedure is the appropriate  forum  to address these matters.

We are not unmindful, as prior Boards have observed, and as both counsel today have referenced, that strikes should always be a last resort in any conflict resolution; and, further, that strikes “by their nature are disruptive and designed  to  cause  inconvenience .” Beaver Local School District Bd. of Ed., SERB 98-002. Nonetheless, the issue of whether strikes are permitted, albeit limited in nature, was resolved years ago by the General Assembly and is not at issue before this Board today.

 

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