Faculty union approves contract with Wright State University


FAIRBORN — The Wright State University faculty union approved a new contract for the next three years.

According to Bobby Rubin, president of the Wright State University American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the union is “overall positive” about the contract, though both sides had to make some sacrifices during negotiations.

The contract has been under negotiation since the beginning of 2023 in preparation for the expiration of the last contract, which expired in June and was extended six months as negotiations continued longer than expected.

“Overall it’s a good contract,” said Rubin, noting an annual 3 percent raise for all faculty members until the contract expires in June 2026. This raise is also retroactive to August when it was originally meant to be ratified.

Some other notable changes Rubin pointed out include cleaning up the language and making sure the contract “fits the reality of what’s happening on campus.” Though he said no huge substantive changes were made, Rubin said the union gathered information on what was most important to the faculty members and made sure to secure those priorities first.

The top priority for faculty, according to Rubin, was maintaining the retrenchment article. This article provides protections for faculty members should the university decide to downsize and lay off teachers, requiring certain notices to be given and respecting the current chain of seniority.

In addition, this contract changed the paid leave system for tenured professors, lowering pay for a year-long sabbatical to 66 percent from 100 percent. Summer class teaching will also be changed to a flat rate rather than a percentage of the teacher’s regular salary and Rubin said this flat rate will mean some higher-paid professors will take a pay cut for teaching summer classes, while others will see their pay increase.

The contract needed a majority vote to pass, and it exceeded that requirement with 269 votes for and 20 votes against the contract.

According to Rubin, the contract took some time longer to become ratified, although it’s not uncommon for that to happen. He said one main reason for the lengthy negotiations may be due to the fact finders both parties requested, which required a hearing and subsequent vote for approval. According to Rubin, there was no ill-will between parties, and although negotiations typically take just six months, it’s not uncommon for them to take as long as this year’s did.

Rubin said a lot of what the union looks at when determining a contract is what’s going on in the rest of the state, and many of the changes made in this contract are in line with recent trends. He said that while they don’t follow exactly what other colleges are doing, it’s important to understand the trends and use that as a jumping-off point.

The consensus from the faculty about the new contract is “generally positive,” according to Rubin, and comes with some positive changes for both parties.

“As with any contract negotiations,” he said. “There’s some give and take.”

A Wright State spokesperson said the university has not commented and there are no plans for any type of media release.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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