Media Release: AAUP-WSU Files to Strike

On Friday night, the Board imposed a contract on Wright State faculty that will seriously damage the quality of education we provide our students, as well as the academic reputation of the University. AAUP-WSU (the American Association of University Professors, WSU chapter) will file a strike notice with Ohio SERB on Monday morning.

Despite the significant financial concessions and consistent offers to continue negotiating by AAUP-WSU, the Schrader administration and Wright State Board of Trustees have chosen to impose a “last best offer” on the teaching faculty represented by AAUP-WSU. President Marty Kich said, “They have refused to negotiate at all since our members overwhelmingly rejected the Fact-Finder’s report in early November. Despite their repeated promises to negotiate, and our repeated offers to do so, the Board has elected to impose a contract that damages our students and makes academics a low priority.”

The Board clearly intends to have fewer faculty teaching more and larger classes, and the imposed contract would enable them to effect such changes. The faculty feel compelled to stand up for the quality of the education we provide our students – individualized attention and a rich variety of academic offerings – and the value of the degrees our alumni have earned.

While faculty were working under the old contract, Wright State avoided fiscal watch and generated a $10 million surplus last year. But the Schrader administration and the Board continue to use the Board-created financial crisis as an excuse to undermine fundamental principles of higher education adhered to at virtually all American universities.

The imposed contract also eliminates our right to negotiate over healthcare. It would immediately result in Wright State faculty having the worst healthcare plans among Ohio’s state universities and provide the administration with unlimited authority to further slash coverage at their whim. Many other articles in their imposed contract diminish the faculty voice in university decisions.

Dr. Kich said, “Our faculty have been attempting to resolve this contract without a strike for twenty-four months, but our attempts have been repeatedly rebuffed. This reckless Board needs more faculty input and oversight, not less.”

 

January 5, 2019

Contact: Noeleen McIlvenna, 202-258-0879, mcilvenna2016@gmail.com

Contact: Marty Kich, 419-303-4619, martinkich@gmail.com

About AAUP-WSU

 AAUP-WSU – the American Association of University Professors, Wright State University Chapter – is the union representing all full-time WSU faculty (excepting only administrators) with appointments in the university’s primary academic colleges on both the Dayton and Celina campuses. [These colleges are the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science; Education and Human Services; Liberal Arts; Nursing and Health; Science and Mathematics; the Lake Campus; and the Raj Soin College of Business.]

Collective bargaining for WSU’s tenured and tenure-eligible faculty began in spring 1998 and was expanded to include non-tenure-eligible faculty in fall 2012, both via secret ballot votes overseen by Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board.

About AAUP

 The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.

 

AAUP-WSU EC’s Summary of the Administration’s Imposed Contract and Our Recommendation

On January 4, the Board of Trustees voted to impose a “last best offer” – an imposed contract. AAUP-WSU is a member-driven organization; therefore, the Executive Committee has decided that the RCMs should have another opportunity to authorize a strike.

 The unanimous recommendation of the AAUP-WSU Executive Committee is to reject the imposed contract by authorizing a strike.

The imposed contract would be overwhelmingly negative for faculty, students, alumni and the community. Before we review the particulars, it is imperative that we emphasize that now is the time to take a stand, because if you won’t strike, EVERYTHING they have imposed will likely remain imposed FOREVERIndeed, when CBA negotiations start again in January 2020, the imposed contract will be the default language, and default language takes power to change.

What follows is a brief summary of each article in which the admin/Board imposed their language. Note that the Board’s Resolution is NOT the contract they are imposing, so one must read the actual imposed contract that begins on page six of

https://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/page/attachments/Resolution%20to%20Implement%20Terms%20and%20Conditions%20of%20Last%20Best%20Offer%20and%20Exhibit%20A.pdf

For WORKLOAD, the admin/Board nullified our workload agreements altogether. They have claimed the right to assign workloads to faculty in any way they want. Faculty spread thinner hurts the quality of education our students receive. Don’t be fooled by the admin/Board’s suggestion that they will be guided by a policy of the Senate. After all, in 2012 the Senate passed a workload policy for NTE faculty, and the administration promptly rejected it and imposed their own; that’s why the NTE faculty unionized. Likewise, for TET BUFMs, the admin/Board would have imposed a higher teaching load when WSU was converting to semesters. For all BUFMs, only our signed MOUs protect us against arbitrary and capricious workload assignments.

For MERIT PAY, the admin/Board has imposed language that would give Deans and Chairs total discretion to allocate merit pay to anyone having a 2.0 overall annual evaluation score, a standard met by nearly all BUFMs. Transparency is eliminated and merit pay (which now may mean one-time bonuses) will be awarded arbitrarily. Who will question or protest a decision of their chair or dean? Who will file a grievance? Your next chair or dean may not be someone you trust. In practice, academic freedom is at risk!

Combined with the elimination of the workload MOU, subjective merit pay empowers administrators to assign more service as well as more teaching. This in turn will diminish the quality of our work in those two categories and also reduce scholarly productivity. BUFMs will find it more difficult to meet standards for promotion. The cumulative impact over one’s career and into retirement will be substantial. Worse, the impact on our students and our University’s reputation will be incalculable. Students cannot receive the individualized attention they need. The reputation of any university depends on the research output of the faculty. The value of a Wright State decreases if the teaching and service load of the faculty increases.

For NTE PROMOTION AND JOB SECURITY, the imposed contract means that NTE BUFMs not already on a continuing appointment cannot attain one unless they have “nine or more years of service … [AND] have been appointed or promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer or Clinical Assistant Professor.” In fact, no new Instructor will be eligible for a continuing appointment for at least twelve years. The old CBA provided continuing appointments after six years. This immediately impacts at least sixty of our colleagues, who now face very indefinite futures.

If we let this stand, our union will have sold out sixty-plus current and all future NTE colleagues. Plus, the administration will have even less incentive to hire TET faculty. Altogether, this will make shared governance and academic freedom more tenuous for all, for faculty vulnerable to job loss cannot be expected to challenge poor decision making of Board or administration. The Factfinder made clear these provisions for merit pay and NTE job security were not necessary for the financial sustainability of WSU. These changes represent a clear power grab by the admin/Board.

For HEALTH CARE, the imposed contract gives us the healthcare plan imposed on the staff — the worst among public universities in Ohio — and permits the admin/Board to impose additional changes with 60 days’ notice, taking away our right to bargain over healthcare. Overall, BUFMs will immediately suffer an effective pay cut of more than 4%.

Premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket maximums will increase significantly for everyone. For example:

For a faculty member earning $75,000 with a family on the 80/20 plan, monthly premiums will increase from $326 to $472, an increase of 45%, and the yearly deductible increases from $500 to $1600, an increase of 220%. The yearly out of pocket maximum increases from $3500 to $8000, an increase of 128%.

For a family on the HDHP, monthly premiums increase from $230 to $416, an increase of 80%. The yearly out of pocket maximum increases from $4,000 to $6,000, an increase of 50%. The administration’s annual contribution to your health savings account is reduced from $2,000 to $1,000, a reduction of 50%.

In both examples, if your spouse is on your plan, you will also pay a surcharge of $68/month, even if your spouse is not eligible for health coverage elsewhere.

Prescription coverage will be much worse, too – up to $200 per prescription for a specialty drug (if it is covered at all).

For our current coverage, see

http://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/page/attachments/AAUPplancomparison.pdf

and for the imposed plans

http://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/page/attachments/2019staffNBUFplancomparison.pdf

For FURLOUGHS, the imposed contract would empower the admin/Board to declare an unlimited number of “cost savings days.” We cannot measure how much income you might lose, because the Board’s recommendation that cost savings days be limited to two per semester is not in the imposed contract. Since the imposed contract requires that cost savings days be implemented “in a manner that does not interrupt academic … functions,” you will be forced to work without pay.

For SUMMER TEACHING ASSIGNMENTS, the imposed contract gives the administration the right to deny summer teaching to any BUFM, without explanation. They could assign all summer teaching to adjunct faculty.

For RAISES, there is no money to offset the losses we will take in healthcare, furloughs, and summer teaching assignments—never mind the real cut in pay due to inflation. Since we have not received any raises for five of the last eight years, the impact of our salaries’ not even keeping up with inflation is far from incidental for our current faculty. But it also makes it much more difficult to recruit new faculty.

For EARLY RETIREMENT, we don’t object in principle to a program of this nature, but the admin/Board included no provisions to prevent this program from being abused by the use of retirees to delay the appointment of new BUFMs or even eliminate existing BUFM positions entirely.

For the above reasons, it is the unanimous recommendation of the AAUP-WSU Executive Committee that members vote to reject the imposed contract by authorizing a strike.

Voting will open 7pm on Tuesday, January 8. You will receive a Survey Monkey ballot by email.

We will have a meeting of all RCMs to discuss this matter on Friday, January 11, at 11:00 am. This is before the semester begins to ensure that teaching and other university duties will not prohibit your participation.

On Monday, January 7, our attorney will file a formal strike notice with Ohio SERB (State Employment Relations Board). This prompt filing will provide great flexibility in timing a strike, which will of course be contingent upon the results of the vote. Our attorney will also file an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the admin/Board, because they failed to negotiate before imposition.

As always, we are ready to negotiate.

 

Union Members Reject Fact Finder’s Report in Overwhelming Vote

For Immediate Release

 November 8, 2018

Media Contact:

Noeleen McIlvenna

Contract Administration Officer, AAUP-WSU (202) 258-0879

mcilvenna2016@gmail.com

 

In voting that ended at 5pm yesterday, members of AAUP-WSU voted overwhelmingly to reject the Fact Finder’s report: 467 voted to reject, 12 to accept. Over 97% of the voters rejected the report.

Our members found that the Fact Finder’s recommendations would erode the quality of education faculty provide our students, hurt the community Wright State University serves, and threaten the livelihood of our faculty — and they voted accordingly.

AAUP-WSU is ready to negotiate. It is now the responsibility of President Schrader and the Board of Trustees to sit down with us. AAUP-WSU has committed not to initiate a strike unless President Schrader and the Board try to impose a contract that would damage education at Wright State.

Marty Kich, President of AAUP-WSU, said, “Our membership is clearly united in their determination to protect education for present and future Wright State students. Our position has always been that solving WSU’s short term financial crisis should not inflict permanent damage on the University’s academic mission. In fact, WSU avoided fiscal watch without any of the extreme proposals President Schrader and the Board demanded. For months, they have only pretended to engage in bargaining. It is time to work together to ensure WSU’s future.”

The numbers:

  • 564 persons are in the Bargaining Unit represented by AAUP-WSU.
  • Of these, 493 were chapter members and eligible to
  • Among the eligible voters, 97.2% did indeed
  • Among those who voted, 97.5% voted to reject the Fact Finder’s report

2018-10-19 [JL-DK 37] +

AAUP-WSU members turned out in large numbers for the October 19 Board of Trustees meeting.

About AAUP-WSU

AAUP-WSU — the American Association of University Professors, Wright State University Chapter — is the union representing all full-time WSU faculty (excepting only administrators) with appointments in the university’s primary academic colleges on both the Dayton and Celina campuses. [These colleges are the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science; Education and Human Services; Liberal Arts; Nursing and Health; Science and Mathematics; the Lake Campus; and the Raj Soin College of Business.]

Collective bargaining for WSU’s tenured and tenure-eligible faculty began in spring 1998 and was expanded to include non-tenure-eligible faculty in fall 2012, both via secret ballot votes overseen by Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board.

About AAUP

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.

 

Student Poster

Student Poster

The production and distribution of this poster has neither been initiated by nor sponsored by AAUP-WSU–though it is very clear who has inspired it.

It demonstrates that there are many ways in which we can inspire our students in very meaningful and substantive ways.

Even more importantly, it demonstrates that our students understand what the institutional priorities of a university ought to be. They understand that a university that makes non-academic initiatives and enterprises a higher priority than academic programs is failing to meet its fundamental mission.

The critics of the AAUP-WSU leadership have sometimes claimed that we are not concerned enough about our students, as if concerns about the degradation of faculty working conditions can be divorced from concerns about student learning conditions.

Over the past several weeks, someone has been tearing down AAUP-WSU posters in buildings across campus.

If the vandal–and if one calls these actions what they are, this vandalism is very clearly the antithesis of professional behavior–if the vandal starts tearing down these posters, I think that it is fair to question his or her support for students and to wonder whether that ostensible concern for students is simply an empty talking point that serves to mask agendas that have very little to do with any real concern for students.

Marty

 

 

Letter of Support from Fred Strahorn, Minority Leader, Ohio House

Letterhead from Fred Strahorn

October 19, 2018

 

Cheryl Schrader

President Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy 260 University Hall

Dayton, OH 45435

 

Dear President Schrader:

Wright State University is a pillar of achievement and innovation in Dayton and an integral part of Ohio’s public university system. The university has a strong academic, communal, and historical presence in the Dayton community, the State of Ohio, as well as across the country.

Due to this, we are all highly invested in and committed to the future well-being of the university and the students, alumni, and community members who benefit from and contribute to Wright State’s culture of excellence.

I recognize that the university has been put in a difficult financial position that, to overcome, will likely require sacrifices and difficult decisions. During these deliberations, I urge the university leadership to prioritize faculty who serve as the backbone of student achievement and university success. Professors are one of the first interactions students have with the university, through developing professional relationships and acting as a source of guidance for students both inside and outside the classroom long after they have graduated.

I have faith that the university and faculty will be able to agree to terms that are deemed acceptable to both parties to prevent any strikes that would have dire consequences for the 15,558 students who attend your university and the prospective students and faculty who are interested in becoming a part of the Raider community.

Please let me know if my office can be helpful in any way.

Sincerely,

Fred Strahorn

Minority Leader

39th House District

 

 

 

Stand with the People Who Have Stood with You

2018-10-19 [LF 42] +

RUSS JOSEPH – MONTGOMERY COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS

DAN FOLEY – MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER

KARL KEITH – MONTGOMERY COUNTY AUDITOR

MATT JOSEPH – DAYTON CITY COMMISSIONER

JOHN McMANUS – VICE PRESIDENT DAYTON SCHOOL BOARD & HOUSE DISTRICT 41 CANDIDATE

2018-10-19 BoT--Ryan Taylor and Kim McCarthy

RYAN REBECCA TAYLOR – HOUSE DISTRICT 40 CANDIDATE

KIM MCCARTHY – HOUSE DISTRICT 73 CANDIDATE

[For more information on Ryan Taylor’s and Kim McCarthy’s candidacies, see the page on this site on our PACs:  https://aaup-wsu.org/political-action-committees/.]

VOTE!!!

CANVAS!!!

CONTRIBUTE!!!