Retirees Association

DBJ: Wright State files unfair labor practice against faculty union as strike begins


Excerpt from the Dayton Business Journal

Wright State University has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union that represents hundreds of faculty members as they begin to strike.

The ULP, which was submitted to the State Employment Relations Board, details several charges the university has made against the American Association of University Professors — Wright State University chapter.

Allegations made by the university include:

  • The AAUP-WSU explicitly instructed its members to mislead the university about whether they intended to strike.
  • The AAUP-WSU threatened deans and department chairs and demanded they resign and stop working for the university.
  • The AAUP-WSU told graduate assistants and adjunct faculty not to assist the university in continuing to offer courses during a strike.
  • The AAUP-WSU demanded that local teachers join the strike and refuse to work for the university.
  • The AAUP-WSU spread misleading information to stop students from attending classes and prevent other employees from having classes to teach.

Marty Kich, president of AAUP-WSU, stated the union views the ULP as "retaliatory," and that is has "very little merit." Noeleen McIlvenna, contract administration officer for AAUP-WSU, added that the union regards the administration's ULP as a "nuisance."

"There was no demands, no threats, no coercion," McIlvenna stated.

The ULP comes as the union, which represents 560 faculty members, initiated a strike that started at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. Wright State remains open and will operate under normal hours. The administration is urging students to go to class as scheduled.

The exact number of faculty members that have chosen to strike is unknown at this time, though it should become clear as professors fail to show up for their regularly scheduled classes.

It is also unclear what the ULP will mean for contract negotiations among the union and administrators. However, the ULP is a clear sign that negotiations have come to a halt, and intervention from the state may be on the horizon if a deal is not reached.

This is at least the second time a ULP has been filed since Wright State and AAUP-WSU began negotiating a faculty contract more than two years ago. The union also filed a ULP against Wright State, and has agreed to withdraw the charge if the administration returns to the negotiating table.

But Wright State has been steadfast in its position that it will not negotiate the current contract imposed by the university, saying it is no longer possible.