“All of these contract components play a role if Wright State is to continue to attract top-notch faculty in the future. That’s critical for our students and for their younger sisters and brothers. Students have supported us in the strike because they understand the difference great faculty have made for them as individuals,” Kich went on. “And everyone in the Miami Valley needs their nurses and teachers, scientists and journalists, engineers and entrepreneurs trained by top faculty.”
Tonight, in a late evening negotiation, the Wright State University Trustees turned down an offer from AAUP-WSU of over $8 millions in concessions in an effort to bring resolution to the contract dispute and protect the academic mission of the university. The AAUP faculty, while disappointed to stay away from the classrooms, announced they plan to be on the picket lines on Monday. “We strike to preserve quality education above all,” said AAUP-WSU President Marty Kich.
The University’s attorney refused to allow a federal mediator to participate this evening. The faculty proposal would have meant pay cuts for summer teaching, and furloughs, as well as major increases in healthcare costs. Earlier statements by the administration attempted to deceive students and the public by emphasizing raises to finally come in 2022 and 2023. However, the Board also proposed drastically lowering the rate of summer pay. This would constitute a 20% pay cut for the faculty in the summers. So the Board’s offer was not a pay increase that would cost them any money, but would instead be paid for by faculty who teach summer school. It was an attempt to divide and conquer the faculty. AAUP-WSU will not allow the Board to succeed in pitting faculty members against one another.
“When the board hired President Schrader and an outside attorney, their goal was to break the union. The reason the faculty are on strike is to save our union, because it gives us a voice at the University. This allows us to protect the academic integrity of our programs so that we can offer students the education that they deserve,” explained Kich. “These Trustees have not served this public university well. They do not understand higher education and they should not be allowed to determine the curriculum.”
In the spirit of reaching an agreement, AAUP offered to compromise on a health plan. Faculty would accept all aspects of the plan now in place for staff, except that they would keep their state-guaranteed right to bargain about premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. This would allow the administration to have control over changes in every aspect of healthcare (copays, drug copays and changes in formulary, changes to HSA contributions and more).