FAIRBORN — The American Association of University Professors – Wright State University Chapter completed a strike authorization vote Jan. 13 in response to the Wright State University Board of Trustees Jan. 4 unilaterally imposing a labor contract. According to a press release by the AAUP-WSU, the strike will officially begin 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.
“The contract imposed by the administration will make it more difficult for faculty to offer individualized attention to students who most need it. It will reduce the percentage of students completing their degrees or completing them in a timely manner. And it will reduce the quantity and the quality of the research and scholarship produced by the faculty, undermining the academic reputation of our university and eroding the value of the degrees that our students are earning and that our alumni have already earned,” the press release said. “The faculty are committed to meeting the educational needs of the students in the Dayton region who depend on our providing an affordable education and a pathway to career opportunities that might otherwise be out of their reach.”
The AAUP-WSU had already fuled an intent-to-strike notice with the State Employment Relations Board, but the final decision was made by a democratic vote of its members.
Rudy Fichtenbaum (Chief Negotiator for AAUP-WSU and President of National AAUP) said, “Our members have voted to reject not only the language itself but the administration/board’s skewed idea of negotiation, in which their proposals cannot be discussed but can, at most, be traded off against one another. That is not fair dealing in any sense of the phrase,” Chief Negotiator for AAUP-WSU Rudy Richtenbaum said.
According to a press release by the AAUP-WSU, 85 percent of voters had authorized a strike, and 95 percent of eligible voters made a vote.
“Administrators and boards come and go, but most faculty will spend their entire careers at Wright State,” AAUP-WSU President Marty Kich said. “We have a deep interest in the long-term viability of our university and are devoted to its academic mission. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, and the value of the degrees that our students earn is defined in no small measure by the professional contributions of our faculty. Like the teachers in the ‘Red for Ed’ movements nationwide, our faculty are standing together to uphold the principle that public education serves the public good. We want to preserve faculty’s role in making decisions about the university. No one who has been following what has been happening at Wright State in recent years can possibly think the administration or trustees need more power.”