This open letter was posted on the faculty listserve at Wright State by Julie L. Williams, Psy.D., ABPP, a Professor and Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist in the Wright State University-School of Professional Psychology. She has given permission to re-post it.
For the past 3 weeks, I have read the strike-related email threads, and like many I have stayed silent, perhaps in my own fear as we have been warned of consequences for showing solidarity as nonunion faculty. Silence however, is not usual for me, as I am known for my speaking up.
So, here I go. I am writing to offer my voice of support for what it’s worth and in the spirit of solidarity to the Union. As a person, who is hard of hearing, Dwarf, deals with significant and ongoing healthcare related costs, I painfully understand the fear and powerlessness felt when being told someone or others will decide how and under what circumstances my benefits will change. I also recall the hurt I felt when I read WSU emails/reports of catastrophic healthcare spending creating budget problems–as if, it’s people like me with disabilities and chronic illnesses who created budget problems and burdening the system.
I am in awe of the union efforts and it gives me profound hope. Healthcare is real for everyone and we really want someone to fight for healthcare, not just people like me and unions. It’s a matter of life and death. I am moved and I gain hope when I see individuals standing and fighting for those rights. That is noble, and it is a current and present day issue. Even as a nonunion employee who will not benefit from this fight, I believe in what you are doing.
I remain and continue to verbalize my support to the union. Furthermore, I believe this fight has the power to benefit our students, who will some day work in institutions and be employees–and administrators–and they will remember how one can and should fight for their rights and cultivate healthy work places for all..
I look forward to working with the union faculty again on the other side of this. In the meantime. I offer my voice of solidarity.
Julie L. Williams, Psy.D., ABPP.
Professor/Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist
Wright State University-School of Professional Psychology