Board of Trustees
Wright State University
282 University Hall
Dayton, Ohio 45435
February 8, 2019
We write in support of the Wright State University faculty who are exercising their ability to collectively bargain to protect the fair wages and benefits of workers.
We all have a shared interest in attracting top talent to Ohio and ensuring they are equipped with the means to support their families and plant roots here. Creating greater opportunity through access to health care, fair wages and benefits, and a seat at the bargaining table helps workers not only at Wright State, but across Ohio.
There is no question that Wright State faces financial challenges. Like other institutions of higher learning across Ohio, your university has not received the financial support it needs from the state. The state has not restored pre-recessionary levels of state share of instruction (SSI) per student, though the state’s budget has recovered.1 The state is sending less money per student to universities than we were over ten years ago, but we have expected you to cut costs and reduce prices.
However, the shortcoming of the state’s commitment to universities is not the only hurdle that Wright State has had to overcome. According to news reports, the university has encountered some financial issues of its own making, including a federal investigation into work visa violations, and various errors and poor fiscal management which more than make up for what the university was trying to conserve to avoid fiscal watch. The faculty are not responsible for these decisions, but it seems as though they are being asked to pay for them.
It is disheartening that while there is only one main point of difference between the two sides, they remain so far apart. It has been reported that the administration at Wright State wants to eliminate the ability of its professors to negotiate health care, which subverts their ability to collectively bargain on any other matter of cost or workload. Allowing the administration to balance any concessions by increasing premiums or reducing the quality of health care impedes the ability of the union to negotiate.
The undersigned members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus are united in our support of the ability to collectively bargain as a right that creates a better quality of life for all Ohioans.
Kenny Yuko, Minority Whip 32nd Senate District
Cecil Thomas, Assistant Minority Leader 9th Senate District
Sandra Williams, Assistant Minority Whip, 21st Senate District
Teresa Fedor, State Senator, 11th Senate District
Nickie J. Antonio, State Senator, 23rd Senate District
Tina Maharath, State Senator, 3rd Senate District
Hearcel Craig State Senator, 15th Senate District