Retirees Association

DDN: Deal to end strike eludes Wright State with central issue still on the table


Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

Negotiators for Wright State University’s administration and faculty union haven’t met since Monday, leaving what may already be the longest faculty strike in Ohio’s history to continue.

One of the most contentious remaining issues is health care, said Noeleen McIlvenna, a WSU history professor and contract administration officer for the union. The administration has moved faculty union members into a “uniform” health care plan with the rest of the school’s staff and faculty.

A stipulation in the terms and conditions of employment imposed by the board of trustees on Jan. 4 states that health care can be changed at the university’s discretion. The administration must give 60-days notice to the faculty union before health benefits are altered, according to the terms.

Union leaders believe the measure takes away their right to bargain over health care and has opposed it since before the strike began Jan. 22.

“It’s about the right to bargain over health care as opposed to all the specifics of the plan,” McIlvenna said. “It’s the idea that they could change the plan next year and then the next year.”

The strike is the union’s response to the WSU board of trustees implementation of its last, best offer of terms of employment for the union.

The terms include moving faculty union members into a “uniform” health care plan, maintaining current rules of retrenchment, including no pay raises and allowing faculty to be furloughed as part of “cost savings days.” The union has taken issue with the furlough policy, changes to health care, new provisions for promotions and tenure appointment, workload and a merit pay system.