Wright State Faculty and Students Need Your Support!

Wright State faculty and students need your support. Right now, the stakes at Wright State have never been higher— over the past several years, our students, the local workforce, and the region’s economy have been harmed by the administration’s poor stewardship. And now that this administration has exhausted the financial resources of the university on initiatives unrelated to its educational mission, it intends to recapture this lost money through cuts to faculty and programs. The one thing standing in their way is a faculty contract that protects the educational mission of the university.

You may have heard that the faculty union, AAUP-WSU, is moving toward a strike.  The faculty at Wright State do not want to strike, but feel that they may have no other option. The situation is indeed that dire. What you might not know is that the base salaries and benefits of the WSU faculty—who generate almost all of the university’s revenue—account for just 17% of the university’s budget. But, since early 2016, we’ve suffered a net loss of 92 full-time teaching positions. We cannot allow our students to suffer from the inevitable decline in quality if faculty are forced to teach more and even larger classes, if critical courses are offered much less frequently, and if WSU is unable to recruit and retain the best educators and researchers.

There’s still time to avoid a strike. Sign your name and send President Schrader and the WSU Board of Trustees a clear message: the students, alumni, and the community are standing behind the faculty. We will not allow the administration’s poor stewardship of the University fall on the backs of faculty and students. End this contract impasse now, and return to the table to negotiate a fair contract with faculty.

Please sign our petition, expressing your support for our efforts to get a fair contract:  https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stand-with-wright-state-faculty.

Please share the petition with your colleagues, family, and friends, and please ask your chapter leadership to share it with all of your chapter members. What happens at our university may become a harbinger of what will happen at your college or university.

Thank you for any support that you can provide.

 

If you would like a fuller explanation of the issues involved in our extended contract impasse, you are welcome to look through the materials available on our chapter website: https://aaup-wsu.org/strike-related-materials/.

If you would like to know how our administration wasted $130 million in reserves over four years, you can get some sense of the misplaced priorities in these posts–open letters to our former president and our board of Trustees–to our old chapter blog, which are now archived on our new website:

https://thewebsiteofwrightstateuniversitysaaupchapter.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/003-april-11-open-letter-to-hopkins-and-board-of-trustees.pdf

https://thewebsiteofwrightstateuniversitysaaupchapter.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/004-aaup-recommendations-for-addressing-budget-shortfalls.pdf

 

Health Care Summary

The board/administration want our members on the same health care plans the rest of the university is forced to use – source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/Exhibits%20_A-N(from%20admin)(OCR)(annotated).pdf (Article 26, Exhibit H).

The board/administration unilaterally canceled the PPO 90/10 option for non-bargaining unit employees, and significantly degraded their 80/20 and HDHP options. Below, we offer a comparison of our current plan to the non-union/staff plan.

80-20 Plan

Our monthly premiums would increase significantly. See the table below for details.

80-20 Plan [2]

HD DP [1]

Our members on the HDHP would see decreased contributions from the university to their Health Savings Accounts.

HD DP [2]

The administration/board wants to reserve the right to make changes to plan coverage and rates on short notice. Simply put, the proposed changes to our healthcare are absolutely huge in terms of negative economic impact to our members.

Contemplate the cumulative effect of these increased costs over 3, 5, 10, or 20 years.

Summary

Beyond the obvious huge increases, the administration’s proposal shifts the burden to the sick and to the lowest-paid. It is clear why unilateral changes to our healthcare arrangements are not acceptable.

 

Furlough Summary: Administration Term–“Cost Savings Days”

The board/administration want to impose furlough (non-paid) workdays on faculty. Source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/APPX-I-admin- revised(OCR).PDF

The university could institute a furlough of 10 non-paid days in a fiscal year. Source: https://policy.wright.edu/policy/8470-furlough-leave

The conditions include…

A composite SB 6 score of less than 2.40 within a 24-month period….

…which is the current state of WSU. We would still be expected to complete any teaching, research, and service requirements.

 

What a Furlough Means to Us:

 Financial impact:

10 furlough days would cost you 5.128% of your annual base salary

Base Salary/Year     Furlough Days     Impact to You

$50,000   10 $2,564 pay cut
$75,000   10 $3,846 pay cut
$100,000   10 $5,128 pay cut

If you have a different base salary, multiply by your yearly base salary * 5.128% to calculate the negative financial impact of 10 furlough days.

Summary

A furlough is the equivalent of stealing your money and would be implemented at the University’s discretion. We must reject this proposed furlough language.

 

Impact of Retrenchment Proposal

The board/administration wants to alter the Retrenchment procedures.

Source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/ART-17-admin- revised(OCR).pdf

 

What is the proposed change to the Retrenchment Article?

 The potential TERMINATION of a Bargaining Unit Faculty Member during ANY appointment (even tenured or continuing) when WSU has a sub-2.40 financial score over the most recent 24-month period – or RIGHT NOW.

Under the administration’s proposal:

Retrenchment procedures can become active immediately, the day the Factfinder Report is accepted.

Bargaining Unit Faculty Members would lose this key provision: would no longer be offered available faculty positions for which they are fully qualified or for which they can become fully qualified within the period of their notification of termination; further, the University would no longer have to consider BUFMs for a non-faculty position as an alternative to termination.

 

What the Retrenchment Proposal Means:

 Tenure has no meaning. Continuing status has no meaning. This proposal puts every faculty member at risk.

Summary

This proposal allows the university to terminate faculty with a low burden of proof and must be rejected.

 

Summer Teaching Assignment Impacts

The board/administration wants to completely eliminate our Summer Teaching Assignment procedures. Source:   http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/Exhibits%20_A- N(from%20admin)(OCR)(annotated).pdf (located in Section 7.8 and at Exhibit K)

Under the administration’s proposal:

Bargaining Unit Faculty no longer receive preference for summer teaching.

Summer teaching assignments at the discretion of the Department Chair and with the approval of the Dean, based on “student and curricular needs.”

Every full-time faculty may be replaced by a part-time faculty member.

 

What the Summer Teaching Assignment Proposal Means:

 About half of our members routinely teach one-two summer courses each academic year. Summer courses are paid at the rate of 1/12 (8.33%) of base salary. If summer courses are instead assigned to part-time faculty, our members lose out on income. We have provided another column that shows additional retirement investments forgone.

Base Salary   # of Courses   Salary Impact   Retirement Impact

$50,000 1 $4,166 pay cut $1166 lost
$50,000 2 $8,333 pay cut $2333 lost
$75,000 1 $6,250 pay cut $1750 lost
$75,000 2 $12,500 pay cut $3500 lost
$100,000 1 $8,333 pay cut $2333 lost
$100,000 2 $16,667 pay cut $4666 lost

This proposal allows the university to outsource summer classes to part-time faculty. The cumulative, long-term consequences are enormous.

 

Cancellation of Merit-Pay Process

The board/administration wants to eliminate the process for which merit pay is determined. Source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/Exhibits%20_A- N(from%20admin)(OCR)(annotated).pdf (located in Section 11.6)

Under the administration’s proposal: Merit pay process eliminated from CBA.

Deans/chairs would have total discretion to allocate merit pay in the future.

 

What the Merit Pay Process Cancellation Proposal Means:

Under the old CBA, there was a transparent process in terms of calculating merit pay. Our members knew that meeting specific performance criteria would result in a merit pay raise.

Under the administration’s proposal, transparency is eliminated and our members will be under subjective criteria we cannot negotiate. Arbitrary financial power in the hands of administrators in practice removes many protections from faculty. Who would question or protest the decision of their Chair or Dean? Who would file a grievance? Your next Chair or Dean may not be someone you trust.

Merit pay increases, when earned, become part of one’s base salary. No merit increases put our members at a cumulative, long-term financial disadvantage.

Summary

Merit pay increases are permanent and added to base salary. This proposal allows the university to arbitrarily determine your merit pay. The cumulative negative impact of this proposal is substantial, in terms of both money and freedom.

Workload Agreement Cancellation

The board/administration wants to eliminate our agreement on workload. Source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/Exhibits%20_A- N(from%20admin)(OCR)(annotated).pdf (located in Article 19)

Under the administration’s proposal:

The administration can unilaterally change faculty workload (# of classes taught) Workload would be a prohibited subject of bargaining.

 

What the Workload Cancellation Proposal Means:

 Under the MOU on Workload currently in effect, workloads are transparent.

Under the administration’s proposal, transparency is eliminated and the administration can increase our teaching load.

If the administration increases the number of classes we are required to teach, they will need fewer faculty. Combined with the proposed Retrenchment language, layoffs are likely and more unfilled positions could remain unfilled.

Less time for research

Less time to tutor/mentor students

Less time for service

Summary –Increasing workload means each and every student gets less attention. You have less time to publish and complete service activities, BUT promotion demands remain the same. Wright State becomes less attractive to new faculty.

Increasing workload is bad for students and faculty!