Retirees Association

DDN: No deal in sight as strike date nears for Wright State

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

With two days until some of Wright State University’s faculty is set to strike, both the union and administration remain dug in on the issues that divide them.=

Members of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors plan to start picketing outside campus entrances at 8 a.m. Tuesday, including locations along Colonel Glenn Highway and outside the Nutter Center. At this point, a strike is likely unavoidable, said Noeleen McIlvenna, a WSU history professor and contract administration officer for the union.

“I think we could do a contract pretty quickly, but I’m pretty sure there will be at the very minimum a day of strike,” McIlvenna said. “I don’t think it’s possible to get it done before Tuesday. There is a slight chance, but I’m not really thinking its feasible.”

The possible strike comes after the WSU board of trustees’ decision to implement its terms: 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.” In its strike notice, the union took issue with the furlough policy, changes to health care, new provisions for promotions and tenure appointment, workload and a merit pay system.

In something of a last-ditch effort to calm tensions, the administration made an offer last week to begin negotiating a “successor agreement” to the terms imposed on the union. Wright State University president Cheryl Schrader’s offer was turned down, with union president Martin Kich saying that the board was fighting for a change to the current terms of employment, not a future contract.

On Thursday, the union emailed the administration’s attorney saying it would withdraw an unfair labor practice complaint if the administration was willing to withdraw the terms of employment in exchange for negotiations on a current contract.

The administration followed up by filing its own unfair labor practice complaint with the state, saying the union had its members mislead the university about whether they intended to strike, spread misleading information to students about attending classes and told department chairs they should resign, among other things, according to the university.