Trustees approve faculty contract

FAIRBORN — The Wright State University Board of Trustees unanimously voted Feb. 11 to approve a term sheet agreement with the AAUP-WSU Executive Committee. The agreement is comprised of two consecutive labor contracts that will meet the needs of Wright State’s students and provide labor stability through June 2023.

The new agreement represents concessions from both parties. The agreement brings all university employees, including AAUP-WSU members, into a unified health care plan allowing the university flexibility to address health insurance costs under the university’s existing health care plan. According to a press release by Wright State, the new arrangement on health care provides the university with the short and long-term financial relief it sought.

As to raises, the parties addressed the time frame from the most recent expired union contract of June 2017 through June 2023. Bargaining unit faculty will receive no pay raises for the first four years, academic and fiscal years 2017-2021. The university will provide bargaining unit faculty members with a 2.5 percent general salary increase for the final two years of the agreement, academic and fiscal years 2021-2023.

In the agreement, terms for retrenchment (or layoffs) and workload would revert back to 2014 contract terms. Additional changes were made giving the university ways to address financial concerns with the addition of the ability to furlough union faculty members one day per semester as a cost savings measure, and a reduction in summer teaching pay for union faculty members ranging from 20 percent to 15 percent over the course of the two contracts. Also, a retirement incentive program was put in place to encourage retirement, while providing teaching opportunities for those who elect the program.

“The university and faculty union have made substantial concessions over the last two years to put Wright State on solid financial footing,” said Wright State President Cheryl Schrader. “We appreciate the collective sacrifices made by our students, faculty and staff. These sacrifices have enabled the university to continue its progress toward financial sustainability … I welcome back our returning faculty, and I know the rest of the university does too. We are united in our collective calling to serve our students now and in the future by providing a high-quality and affordable education.”

Since the first day of the spring semester 405 Wright State students have withdrawn from the university while 494 new students have enrolled. Any student who dropped a class last week will be able to re-register for that class with permission from the chair through the end of this week. No late fees will be applied this week for changes in the student’s schedule.

“I want to thank our students for showing great faith in Wright State by maintaining their enrollment status and allowing us to work through this process. Working with our entire faculty and staff, we will bring things back to normalcy as quickly as possible,” said Schrader.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 18, normal operations and academic calendar deadlines will resume. Students can still use the petition process for any exceptional circumstance. As previously communicated, the university will accept all grades and work performed by students during the strike.