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!

 

NTE Promotion Changes

The board/administration wants to drastically reduce job security for NTE faculty. Source: http://www.wright.edu/administration/aaup/nego/FF/Exhibits%20_A- N(from%20admin)(OCR)(annotated).pdf (scroll to Article 13)

The administration’s proposal:

Continuing appointments require future NTE faculty members to serve at least 9 years of full-time service at WSU and most must serve 12 years (up from the current 6 years.)

What the Proposal Means:

 This is a horrible and divisive proposal for ALL faculty. Without any job security for up to 12 years, NTE faculty are at the mercy of Chairs and thus will not feel free to question or protest. NTE faculty turnover will increase as they look for more secure jobs. As the national and WSU trend is to turn ever more faculty positions into non- tenure lines, this will destabilize departments and will be bad for our students.

If we agree to worse terms for incoming faculty than we ourselves enjoyed, the union we have built will erode due to lack of good faith and we will gradually be less able to protect anyone.

How Is a Wage Freeze a Wage Cut?

Make no mistake about it – a wage freeze is a concession that costs you money. This is due to inflation. Whereas our wages remain frozen, the prices of goods and services continue to rise. Inflation is forecast between 1.9% and 2.0% for the next three years.

The administration proposal calls for 0-0-0 in raises and their attorney suggested they would refuse any in the three following years also. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the ability to tell your utility company, your Internet Service Provider, your local grocery store, and the gas station that you have decided not to pay their higher prices? Of course life doesn’t work that way. Each year, we see prices increase.

The following table illustrates what happens to the value of $50,000 from 2017- 2022, assuming no raises and an inflation rate of 2%. Take your salary and divide by

$50,000, then multiply by the “value at end of year 2022” to see how much real money you are losing.

Value of $50,000 Over Time Assuming 0% Raises 

Value at Start of Year Projected Inflation Value at Year End
’17 $50,000 2.00% $49,000
’18 $49,000 2.00% $48,020
’19 $48,020 2.00% $47,060
’20 $47,060 2.00% $46,118
’21 $46,118 2.00% $45,196
’22 $45,196 2.00% $44,292

 Over a 6-year period, your $50,000 is only worth $44,292 due to inflation.

Unfortunately, the ramifications do not end there. This table does not include the long-term compounding effects of the loss of contributions toward retirement.

 

AAUP-WSU Strike Platform

AAUP-WSU, which represents all full-time teaching faculty in the university’s seven undergraduate colleges, has been attempting to negotiate a fair contract since January 2017. Indeed, on a timetable agreed to by both sides, we had exchanged all non-economic articles (the bulk of the contract) by late March 2017. But when Dr. McCray was appointed Interim President, the administration postponed negotiations until President Schrader took office in July and then delayed them indefinitely until the administration/Board could address its largely self-created financial crisis. For the first time ever, the administration hired an outside labor attorney to conduct the negotiations, and two things quickly became clear: the administration wanted us to allow regressive bargaining, or to restart the negotiations from scratch, and their idea of compromise was that they might not get absolutely everything that they wanted. AAUP-WSU finally forced the administration back to the table by filing for fact-finding. With fact-finding looming, tentative agreement was reached on about two-thirds of the contract articles in a series of marathon negotiating sessions in December 2017 and January 2018. What is important to note is that every change in those articles represents a concession made by AAUP-WSU.

Our position all along has been that since the base salaries and benefits of the faculty whom we represent account for just 17% of the university budget—or 17 cents of every dollar of tuition and state subsidy—overspending on the faculty who generate almost all of the university’s revenue very clearly did not cause the financial crisis, and cutting that part of the budget will not address the crisis in any meaningful way. Therefore, the extreme proposals of the administration on the dozen or so unresolved elements of the contract seem simply to use a largely self-created financial crisis as an opportunity to gut key provisions in our contract. Although the university’s financial issues can be addressed in the near term, the administration’s proposals will adversely affect the long-term earnings of our members and further erode their working conditions and employment security. Just to be clear, in several instances, the administration is asking for rollbacks of contract provisions that now provide protections which are routine for university faculty throughout Ohio, indeed nationwide, even where faculty are not unionized.

Most Wright State faculty spend their whole careers at this university. They have a vested interest in advancing not only their own careers but in sustaining and boosting the reputation of the university. Likewise, although administrations and Boards of Trustees come and go, students who receive their degrees at Wright State will be alumni/ae for the rest of their lives. Given our students’ investment in those degrees, we need to protect and, where possible, to enhance the university’s academic programs and reputation in order to safeguard the value of the degrees that they have earned—and that many of them will be paying for well into their working lives. But, since early in 2016, we have had a net loss of 92 full-time teaching positions. As a result, students are facing both restrictions on course offerings in their majors and fewer sections of high-demand core courses. Such changes impair student recruitment, retention, and degree completion, and they diminish the value of the degrees earned.

The administration’s draconian proposals on salary and benefits will make it harder to attract faculty. The changes in health coverage imposed on other university employees have made those benefits the most costly at any public university in Ohio. The lack of any wage increases for the foreseeable future will place Wright State faculty at every rank at or near the bottom among Ohio’s public universities within the next two years. These financial considerations, in combination with proposals to undermine radically job security of even tenured faculty, will make it much harder for the university to attract talented faculty and to maintain the morale and the commitment of current faculty.

The faculty represented by AAUP-WSU have been making compromises to avoid a strike, but the administration’s refusal to compromise on a fairly large number of extreme proposals may give us no alternative but to strike. Given the degraded conditions under which we have been working for several years, we have earned and demand—

That the Schrader administration and the Board acknowledge our legal right to bargain over healthcare benefits and provide insurance that does not burden the sick and the lowest paid employees, largely to make up for revenue losses elsewhere;

That the Schrader administration and the Board accept the current retrenchment language, which is standard at unionized and non-unionized universities nationwide, and not reduce tenure to an empty promise;

That the Schrader administration and the Board maintain our workload agreement, which has not only been fair but has also led to a marked increase in research and scholarship, enhancing the university’s reputation;

That the Schrader administration and the Board maintain the educational quality of courses offered in the summer and not attempt to turn the summer into even more of a revenue generator than it already is—or would be if it were not mismanaged;

That the Schrader administration and the Board maintain a merit pay formula, which insures that faculty productivity is measured and rewarded by some objective measures rather than by administrative whim;

That the Schrader administration and the Board recognize that continuing contracts for NTE faculty have a very positive impact on the education provided by the university and that entrenching the contingency of faculty has exactly the opposite effect;

Finally, that the Schrader administration and the Board recognize that it cannot continue to spend millions on initiatives that have uniformly failed to generate the promised additional revenue streams, that it cannot continue cutting the budgets of the colleges without eroding the quality of education being provided to our students, and it cannot compound these skewed priorities by proposing furloughs, which are simply pay cuts for faculty, on top of its proposals for stagnant salaries and massive increases in benefit costs.