Wright State Board Approves Terms That Ended Strike

Wright State University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve a term sheet agreement with the institution’s American Association of University Professors-affiliated faculty union. Many members went on strike for three weeks, through late Sunday, over an imposed contract. Wright State said in a statement that the tentative agreement is made up of two contracts lasting until 2023.

The agreement puts all university employees, including faculty members, on the same health-care plan — something the university wanted, to save on costs. The faculty will not see a raise for the next two years but will see a 2.5 percent pay increase for the last two years of the agreement. The board’s previous “last best offer,” which triggered the strike, included no raises. Layoff policies will go back to previous terms — something the faculty wanted, according to the agreement. Furloughs are limited to one day per semester. Summer teaching pay will be cut by 15 to 20 percent.

New full-time professors teaching off the tenure track will still be eligible for continuing appointments, for their eighth year of service instead of their seventh, as stipulated in the prior collectively bargained contract. The imposed contract put this threshold at effectively 12 years and was a major sticking point for professors prior to the strike.

“The university and faculty union have made substantial concessions over the last two years to put Wright State on solid financial footing,” President Cheryl B. Schrader said in the statement. “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.”

Some 405 Wright State students withdrew from the university during the strike, while 494 new students enrolled, according to the university. Students who dropped classes during the strike will be able to re-register with permission.

Source :insidehighered