Retirees Association

WDTN: WSU faculty union, administration meet for negotiations

Excerpt from WDTN

The faculty union and administration at Wright State University continued talks Monday evening to reach a deal on a new labor contract, but the two sides still have not reached a deal.

The negotiating session came the day after a four-hour meeting that set up the framework for negotiations, according to union officials.

According to union officer Noeleen McIlvenna, Monday's meeting wrapped up around 11 p.m. with no final agreement reached.

"They found common ground on many issues, but not [a] health care plan," McIlvenna said in a text message late Monday night.

Rudy Fichtenbaum, chief negotiator for the American Association of University Professors at Wright State University, said he was feeling "cautiously optimistic" heading into Monday night's meeting with the administration, but he added he believes faculty members could be back in the classroom as soon as Thursday.

Wright State has scheduled a special executive session for the Board of Trustees Tuesday evening.

"There did seem to be an interest in trying to resolve these differences," Fichtenbaum said of the Sunday night meeting.

Fichtenbaum said his team prepared specific proposals to the administration for Monday's meeting. 

"We're going to offer the university some, I think, substantial, financial concessions," he said. "And in return, we hope that they're going to reciprocate."

Fichtenbaum said he wants to see the administration reciprocate in ways that protect the union and quality of education at Wright State.

University president Cheryl Schrader released a statement Monday, saying she was "encouraged" by the Sunday night meeting and looked forward to the negotiations.

Schrader said, in part: "We value our faculty and want them back in the classroom as soon as possible...We know these uncertain times are testing everyone’s patience and thank the university community for its continued understanding and civility.”

Fichtenbaum said he's hopeful for an end to the strike.

"We all want this to be over," he said. "It's just that we need a fair contract and one that's really going to protect students, protect the academic integrity of the programs."

Once a tentative deal is reached, the agreement would have to be approved by the Board of Trustees, followed by the union members, Fichtenbaum said.

It's not yet clear when both sides will meet to resume negotiations, McIlvenna said.