Wright State University’s president has responded to the faculty union’s strike notice filed Monday.
In a statement aimed at reassuring students and the campus community, president Cheryl Schrader said that the university will maintain its normal operating hours during a strike set to begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 22.
“We are disappointed the union representing many of our faculty members decided to file a strike notification today,” Schrader said in a prepared statement. “While the union has a right to do this, the university has offered fair employment terms in light of our unprecedented financial crisis. With our new terms we still keep faculty salaries among the highest in the state. Faculty will also receive the same competitive health care coverage offered to all other Wright State employees.”
Wright State will notify students of any changes to class schedules through email, if a strike occurs, according to the school. The announcement states Wright States services “may be modified or reduced” during the strike.
The Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors represents nearly 560 faculty out of around 1,700 full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty members, according to the school. Neither the Boonshoft School of Medicine nor the School of Professional Psychology have faculty members in AAUP-WSU.
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The decision to put the university on notice for a strike comes after the board of trustees on Friday voted unanimously to implement its “last, best offer” on terms and conditions of employment to the school’s faculty union. The new terms moves faculty union members into a “uniform” health care plan, maintains current rules of retrenchment, includes no pay raises and would allow faculty to be furloughed as part of “cost savings days.”
In its strike notice filed Monday, the union takes issue with the furlough policy, changes to health care, new provisions for promotions and tenure appointment and measures for a merit pay system. The union in its strike notice complained that the terms and conditions imposed by the board Friday are actually worse than the recommendations from a fact-finder’s report that was issued in October.
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