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Letter of Support from United University Professions, SUNY

united university professions [suny]

Marty Kich, President AAUP-WSU

113 Medical Sciences Building Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway Dayton, Ohio 45435-0001

 

Dear President Kich:

On behalf of the 35,000 members of United University Professions (UUP), the union representing academic and professional faculty of the State University of New York (SUNY), I am writing to you to express our unwavering support for AAUP-WSU in your struggle with the Wright State University administration.

UUP stands in solidarity with you, our sisters and brothers in AAUP, in your strike for a fair contract. The employment terms imposed by the WSU Board of Trustees constitute an outrageous attack on the union’s fundamental rights. We applaud your efforts to preserve, protect and defend union rights, working conditions and quality education.

We join our sister public higher education unions in calling on the WSU administration to commit to the common good of the students, community and faculty. It is time for the administration to end this dispute and negotiate in good faith.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Frederick. E. Kowal, Ph.D., President

 

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Statement of Support and Resolution from the California Conference of AAUP

ca aaup

Statement of Support from the California Conference of AAUP

26 January 2019

To: Marty Kich, President AAUP-WSU

The California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP) stands in solidarity with the striking faculty of the American Association of University Professors-Wright State University (AAUP-WSU). Yours is a fight for your students’ education and for the continued existence of public higher education as a common good.

We are dismayed that administrators at your institution refuse to negotiate in good faith and are instead using deceptive and coercive tactics to weaken support for the strike among faculty, students, and the Dayton, Ohio, community (e.g., running classes with scab faculty unfamiliar with the curriculum; threatening loss of financial aid to students who fail to attend class; filing an unfair labor practice claim to seize faculty intellectual property). Such tactics are unacceptable in an institution of higher learning.

At the same time, we are heartened by the broad support you have received from your students, the local community, and other members of the higher-education community in Ohio and beyond. We recognize how crucial your struggle is to the future of public and private higher education in the United States, and we will support your strike until you achieve the resolution that your collective-bargaining chapter finds acceptable.

Signed,

Claudio Fogu, President, CA-AAUP

on behalf of the CA-AAUP Executive Board:

President
Claudio Fogu, University of California, Santa Barbara

Secretary/Treasurer
Mary Ann Irwin, Diablo Valley College

Vice President for University of California:
Jesse Drew, University of California, Davis

Vice President for California State University:
Rosalinda Quintanar, San Jose State University

Vice President for California Community Colleges:
Katie Graham, Diablo Valley College

Vice President for Private Colleges and Universities:
Alex Zukas, National University (2018-2020)

___________________________________________________________________

Resolution Approved by the CSU-AAUP Council, 1/29/2019

CSU-AAUP stands with our colleagues at Wright State University in protecting quality public higher education.  The administration’s solution to budget deficits brought on by a drastic decline in state funding for public higher education will leave students with larger classes, fewer interactions with faculty, and longer completion times. Areas critical to a liberal arts education will be gutted.  Academic freedom is under siege.  Each of these assaults would limit access to university education and diminish its effectiveness; together they will be devastating.  We urge management to find a solution that doesn’t sacrifice students, faculty, or the quality of higher education.

 

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An Incredible Week at Wright State University

Posted to the Academe Blog of the national AAUP by Rudy Fichtenbaum: https://academeblog.org/2019/01/27/an-incredible-week-at-wright-state-university/.

It has been an incredible week at Wright State University. The weather has been terrible (temperatures in the single digits followed by snow and freezing rain).But everyday this week, hundreds of faculty have been on    the picket line from 8am to 6pm at the four main entrances to the campus. Our faculty have given up their paychecks, lost their health insurance, and left their classrooms, labs, schools, and hospitals to take a stand and send   a message to the administration and board that we will not let them  destroy public higher education at Wright State.

Members of the Wright State AAUP chapter executive committee have  been working around the clock, writing press statements, doing interviews, posting on social media, organizing picket shifts, and dealing with the campus police. All who can are also doing regular shifts on the the picket lines. We have other members in charge of checking people in for picket duty, supplying picketers with hand and foot warmers, providing food for hundreds of strikers, shoveling snow, shuttling picketers from our headquarters to the picket line, putting up and taking down tents every  day.

Our students have been unbelievable. They have brought food and drinks to us on the picket lines. One day last week while I was on the picket line a computer science student crossed the street in front of campus carrying a shopping bag full of hot bowls of chili and thanked us for what we were doing. Students have held two marches, walking from campus out to our picket lines, and briefly occupied the president’s office on Thursday demanding a meeting with the president.

We have been joined by our brothers and sisters in the labor movement from Dayton area and beyond. Of course, AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress chair Paul Davis was there with us, as were others from Cincinnati State. John McNay president of the Ohio AAUP conference was on the line with us. Other chapters from across the state have joined us as well–Bowling Green State University, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and faculty from the University of Dayton. This fall the Wright State AAUP chapter affiliated with the Dayton-Miami Valley Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO), and their support for us has been fantastic. The president Tom Richie and executive director Diane Walsh have been on  the line with us, as have members from IBEW local 82, UFCW local 75 , IUE local 775, Iron Worker’s local 290, Ohio Federation of Teachers, and the Ohio Education Association. The state AFL-CIO blasted out our petition  and a petition organized by students across the state. The AAUP-CBC has approved a grant in support of the strike and we have received donations and letters of support from other unions across the country.

We have had the support from members of the Dayton City Commission and Senator Sherrod Brown.

We have had great support from the national staff of the AAUP. Organizers Ben Ratliff and Kira Schuman have been on the ground for weeks and both organizing director Christopher Simeone and executive director Julie Schmid have also been here to offer their support.

The administration and board have still refused to negotiate with us believing that our faculty would never strike. Once the strike was a reality, they claimed that they would cover all of our classes. In reality what is happening is that the campus is in chaos. They have threatened students with the loss of financial aid if they fail to attend class. They have some chairs attempting to teach as many as six classes. They have ads on  LinkedIn offering to hire hundreds of scabs. There are hundreds of reports from students on social media telling us that substitutes are telling them   to read their books or work on previous assignments. We have had reports of clinical sections at hospitals where no instructor showed up, so the students left. Their definition of covering a class is having a “sweeper” take attendance! But as one of the signs held up by one of our picketers said “Attendance is not Instruction.”

The administration and board have filed an Unfair Labor Practice against our chapter for not helping them determine how many scabs they need to teach classes and for refusing to provide scabs with the intellectual property of our faculty to enable them to run classes. On Thursday, in what is clearly a move of desperation, they filed a Notice of an Unauthorized Strike with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB).

Our attorney has told us there is a difference between an illegal strike and and effective strike and what the administration and board are admitting with this filing is that the strike is effective. The SERB agreed, and found in our favor.

We are confident that our members will remain united and do whatever is necessary. As the president of the national AAUP, I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with each of our members who have chosen to take  a stand, putting everything on the line, to fight for students and to ensure the continued existence of public higher education as a common good.

 

23+

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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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Letter from the University of Rhode Island AAUP Chapter to President Schrader

aaup-uri

January 24, 2019

Cheryl Schrader, President

Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.

Dayton, OH 45435

 

Dear Dr. Schrader,

The University of Rhode Island Chapter of the American Association of University Professors condemns the unilateral imposition of a contract on the faculty represented by AAUP-WSU. We believe the ongoing faculty strike is justified and we stand in solidarity with AAUP-WSU. We urge you and the Board of Trustees to bargain in good faith, use fair and reliable information, and reach a collective bargaining agreement that respects the faculty at Wright State.

Attempting to shift responsibility for financial mismanagement from the administration onto the shoulders of faculty is irresponsible and shortsighted. Claiming low institutional financial ratios is deceitful. It is clear that some of the financial mismanagement predates your appointment. It is incumbent on you, as the President, to exert leadership. Press the Board to be honest about the squandering of reserves, the abuse of foreign-born workers, and misguided investments in off­ campus properties. The Wright State financial crisis is not a result of faculty salary and benefits, nor should the faculty bear the burden of remedying the problem.

We strongly urge the Wright State University administration to refrain from draconian impositions, negotiate in good faith, and reach a fair deal with AAUP-WSU.

On behalf of the URl /AAUP Executive Committee,

Jay Walsh, Ph.D.

Executive Director

 

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Letter from Sociologists for Women in Society to President Schrader

sociologists for women in society

January 25, 2019

President Cheryl Schrader and Members of the Board of Trustees of Wright State University:

Dear Colleagues at Wright State University,

We write in support of our faculty colleagues at Wright State University on behalf of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), an international organization of over 600 sociologists and publisher of the highly respected academic journal Gender & Society.  We are contacting you regarding the contract negotiations impasse that led faculty to go on strike.  We wish to express our sincere hope that the University will work to achieve a fair and expeditious resolution to this troubling situation.

SWS was formed in 1971 to promote activism, scholarship, and education that improves the lives of women in all walks of life. We have been especially active in supporting the professional and academic careers of women and of gender scholarship in colleges and universities.  Current scholarship in the social sciences and education consistently shows that women and members of minority groups face unique challenges to their professional success in academia.  We also know that unions work hard to decrease inequalities among faculty. The Board of Trustees’ decision might impact women and people of color disproportionately for economic reasons such as fewer assets and safety net savings.

We strongly support human rights, democracy, and scientific research, and we believe that colleges and universities should assume prominent roles in civil political discourses and policy decisions that are vital to the welfare of the nation—especially when it comes to promoting social justice.  On a daily basis, however, faculty educate and enrich the lives of students. Faculty and students are certainly the heart of every university.

For these reasons, we hope that this contract negotiation impasse is resolved promptly and amicably, in a way that demonstrates the crucial role faculty play in fulfilling the University’s mission and guaranteeing academic excellence. Furthermore, we urge Wright State University to work with faculty to clarify any misunderstandings or prejudgments that recent events may have caused and to guarantee a fair and respectful work environment for the future.

Sincerely,

SWS President, Adia Harvey Wingfield, Ph.D.

SWS President, Tiffany Taylor, Ph.D.

SWS Past President, Abby Ferber, Ph.D.

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Statement of Solidarity from Ohio University’s AAUP Chapter

aaup-ou

The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) stands in solidarity with the faculty of Wright State University (WSU), who are striking to demand a fair contract. 

​We express alarm at the WSU administration’s decision unilaterally to impose a contract on full-time teaching faculty represented by AAUP-WSU.

The financial data that are publicly accessible indicate that WSU’s budget problems are self-inflicted. The problems stem primarily from the failure of the Board of Trustees to manage resources, competently. Compensation and benefits of the full-time teaching faculty comprise just 17 percent of the university’s budget. Expenditures on faculty hiring are not the source of WSU’s budget problems, and faculty should not be made to bear the brunt of fixing them.

The WSU faculty have nevertheless indicated a readiness to bear some of the burden of solving the budget disaster that the Board of Trustees and the administration have produced. They are offering a range of financial concessions.

The WSU administration has disregarded this offer to meet halfway and instead has forced a punitive contract on the faculty. The rationale provided is the very crisis that the administration and the Board of Trustees have created.

We urge the WSU administration to retract this decision to impose a contract and instead return to good-faith negotiations with the WSU faculty to achieve a just resolution.

We urge our OU-AAUP chapter members to post individual expressions of support to their WSU colleagues at the following links:


Loren D. Lybarger
President, OU-AAUP

 

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Letter of Support from Temple Association of University Professionals

temple u assoc of univ professionals

24 January 2019

 

Rudy Fichtenbaum, President

American Association of University Professors

1133 Nineteenth St., NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20036

 

Dear President Fichtenbaum,

On behalf of TAUP (AFT Local 4531), I write to express the solidarity of our 3000-plus faculty members, librarians, and academic professionals in your struggle for a just contract.

As your members bravely stand on the picket lines, we know that you are fighting for a vision of education that truly serves your students and the values of that must be at the heart of the university—among them, academic freedom, just compensation of both full-time and part-time faculty, and satisfactory working conditions. As you have seen the number of full-time faculty drop as administrative bloat and frivolous spending continue to creep upward, you have rightly said, “Enough!”

While you—the people who teach the classes and generate the research and creative work—have been bargaining in good faith, Wright State administration has not, instead shamefully trying to impose an unfair contract upon you.

Know that we at TAUP and, as is clear from the other letters of support you’ve received, your Union siblings from across the country see what is really going on here, and we stand with you in this fight!

Sincerely,

Steve Newman, Ph.D.

President, TAUP

 

cc: Martin Kich, President, Wright State University AAUP

Alyssa Picard, AFT Higher Ed

 

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Letter of Support from the Long Island University Faculty Federation

liuff

Dear Martin,

I write with solidarity greetings from the Long Island University Faculty Federation, NYSUT/AFT. We are following your strike under arduous conditions. A statement approved by our Executive Committee is pasted below.

In solidarity,

Emily Drabinski

President, Long Island University Faculty Federation

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Long Island University Faculty Federation sends our support and solidarity to the striking members of the AAUP faculty union at Wright State University. We understand too well the challenge of working with a management that seeks to resolve administratively-produced crises on the backs of faculty and students. We have also watched our administration attempt to replace us in our classrooms with attendance takers. We too have stood on picket lines, signed petitions, and attended rallies as we fight for the heart of the university–students and the teachers who share their classrooms. We stand in solidarity with you in your fight for a fair contract.

In solidarity,

The Officers and Executive Committee of the LIUFF

 

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Open Letter to the Wright State University Board of Trustees from Pamela A. Schulze, President, U of Akron AAUP Chapter

This open letter was published on the national AAUP’s Academe Blog [https://academeblog.org/].

aaup-akron 2

I am writing this letter as President of the University of Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, which represents 586 full-time faculty. I have been following the contract negotiations and current impasse that has resulted in a faculty strike. To my dismay, I have observed that the WSU administration has resorted to using its students as pawns: putting their education at risk, and frightening them with threats of withdrawal of financial aid, all in order to avoid bargaining with faculty in good faith.

Let me be clear: the faculty at any university is not a problem to be managed. The current strike at your institution is not merely the undesired outcome of a typical labor-management dispute. The faculty are quite simply the backbone of any university, and they are the key to student success. When faculty fight for better working conditions, they are fighting for better learning conditions for their students. Your openly hostile attitude toward the WSU faculty reveals your dismissive view of students, evinced when subs, adjuncts, and administrators are hastily thrown into classrooms, or classes are cancelled altogether, all destroying the good faith needed as a basis for shared governance.

Shared governance–an anathema to many a dysfunctional university administration– is necessary for any university to function effectively. The pattern of wasteful spending on the part of the administration presents an all too common case of chronic mismanagement without real consequence for managers. Instead, the Board of Trustees seeks to punish the faculty for the administration’s misdeeds. In the end, it will be the students and the community at large who will suffer because of the Board’s dereliction of its fiduciary responsibility to the institution.

It’s not too late to return to the bargaining table. The students, faculty, and the community at large are waiting.

Yours sincerely,

Pamela A. Schulze
President, Akron-AAUP

 

Media contact: Julie Cajigas, Vice President, Akron-AAUP| julie.cajigas@akronaaup.org